Trump Has Been Convicted—What’s Next?

The former president is likely to appeal the conviction.

A Manhattan jury took fewer than 12 hours to return a verdict in former President Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial, finding him guilty of 34 counts of falsification of business records with the intent to conceal another crime.

The former president’s conviction makes him the first U.S. president to be convicted of a crime.

Short of a successful appeal, he could now be facing such penalties as jail time, probation, or fines.

Ultimately, it will be up to the presiding judge, Justice Juan Merchan, to decide on the appropriate sentence.

The judge has set the sentencing hearing for July 11 at 10 a.m.


The six-week trial revolved around $130,000 in payments that President Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg claimed that Mr. Cohen made the payments on President Trump’s behalf to buy Ms. Clifford’s silence over an alleged affair that the former president denies took place. The district attorney further charged that President Trump mislabeled his reimbursements to Mr. Cohen for those payments to conceal another crime, constituting felony-level falsification of business records.

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As for what the underlying crime was, the prosecution was vague, identifying tax fraud, violations of federal election law, or the falsification of additional business records as possibilities.

Notably, to return a guilty verdict, the jury was not required to agree on what the underlying crime was—just that there was one.

Throughout the trial, President Trump maintained his innocence of any crimes.

Ultimately, the jury disagreed, finding him guilty on all counts.

What’s Next?

The crimes President Trump was convicted of are class E felonies, the lowest level under New York law. Each count carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison, but state law limits the total maximum sentence to 20 years.

President Trump is likely to immediately appeal his conviction, and he has 30 days to do so. But should that effort fail, his fate will rest in the hands of a judge he has vocally criticized as biased and “corrupt.”

During the trial, the former president twice sought Justice Merchan’s recusal over perceived conflicts of interest. One of those alleged conflicts was the fact that the judge’s daughter, Loren Merchan, heads up a political consulting firm that boasts the Biden-Harris campaign as a client.

Justice Merchan also imposed a gag order on President Trump, preventing him from commenting on court staff, prosecutors, potential witnesses, jurors, and members of the judge’s own family.

The pair’s contentious relationship could lead to a harsher sentence for the 45th president.

However, the judge could also choose a lighter sentence that does not involve jail time. The decision will be up to his discretion.

On top of his conviction in New York, President Trump also remains embroiled in two federal cases brought by special counsel Jack Smith and a 2020 election case in Georgia brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

His mounting legal woes have posed an obstacle to his presidential bid. With the first presidential debate coming up on June 27, the presumptive GOP nominee would undoubtedly prefer to be campaigning rather than fighting for his freedom.

His conviction is likely to be touted by his chief political rival, President Joe Biden, as reason for voters to distance themselves from the former president.

The Republican National Committee is nonetheless set to nominate President Trump as the party’s presidential candidate during a convention starting July 15.

Calling the trial a “disgrace,” the former president appeared undeterred by the verdict as he addressed reporters outside the courtroom.

“The real verdict is going to be Nov. 5, by the people,” he said, adding, “We’ll keep fighting, we’ll fight to the end, and we’ll win.”

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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