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Hochul directed authorities to monitor verdict protests

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(The Center Square) — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul directed law enforcement to brace for the possibility of violence ahead of Thursday’s verdict in former President Donald Trump’s hush-money trial.

“In preparation for a verdict in this trial, I directed my Administration to closely coordinate with local and federal law enforcement and we continue to monitor the situation,” Hochul said in a statement. “We are committed to protecting the safety of all New Yorkers and the integrity of our judicial system.”

Hochul, a Democrat, said the conviction of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records “reaffirms that no one is above the law.”

Supporters and opponents of Trump gathered outside the New York City courthouse Thursday ahead of the verdict, prompting the NYPD to increase patrols in the area.

Trump briefly greeted his supporters after leaving the courthouse after the verdict, pumping his fist in the air and waving to them, according to news reports.

Live broadcast outside the courthouse Thursday night showed crowds of Trump supporters and opponents still gathered along the sides of the road, some waving American flags.

Trump is expected to hold a briefing at Trump Tower in New York City Friday.

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