Opinion editor's note: Editorials represent the opinions of the Star Tribune Editorial Board, which operates independently from the newsroom.


Donald Trump continued his ignominious career of firsts Thursday, becoming the only former U.S. president to be convicted of felony crimes — 34, to be exact — for falsifying business records to influence an election in a hush-money scheme involving a porn actor.

The jury deliberated for just 9½ hours before returning its verdict — guilty on all counts. Trump reacted as he always does, without any sense of responsibility or contrition but rather with false claims that the trial was a rigged disgrace. Wrong again.

The former president, like all Americans, will have his opportunity to appeal. And, like his fellow citizens, if the convictions hold he'll face the consequences of his actions because that's how the rule of law works. He could face a prison sentence, although neither the verdict nor the sentence would bar him from the presidency.

Will those consequences end his unfortunate re-election bid, finally convincing at least some of his supporters that character matters? Time will provide that answer. We know now that he'll campaign as a convicted felon, no doubt continuing to dispute the outcome of the historic New York trial.

Ideally the other three felony indictments Trump faces would be decided before the election. That's unlikely, but it shouldn't matter. Voters have all the information they need about Trump, from his positions on the issues to his civil and criminal problems.

A Star Tribune reader, in one of our most-read recent commentaries, wrote that he may continue to support the former president because even though he sees his moral failings, he agrees with him on the issues. The Star Tribune Editorial Board would urge voters to expect more from the office of the presidency. Character matters.

Donald Trump is a convicted felon — found guilty in a case directly related to how he approached winning the presidency in 2016. A jury of his peers heard the evidence in a New York courtroom and made that reality very clear on Thursday.