Trump begins his run for the White House with 34 alleged felonies hanging over his head, where does he go from here?
Indicted Tuesday on 34 felonies for allegedly bribing porn actress Stormy Daniels, former U.S. President Donald Trump is now facing a complicated criminal trial that promises to dominate U.S. politics in the coming months.
With the goal set on the 2024 presidential election, Trump’s indictment has only been the starting gun of a long electoral race, with primaries in betweenwhich is already underway and in which all the battles are yet to be fought.
It is not yet clear who his rivals are or will be, but Trump has made it clear that he will Is willing to fight anything and everythingwhether they are fellow party members, Democratic adversaries, judges and prosecutors, or even journalists far removed from Trumpism.
Trump will contest all charges
Trump’s team of lawyers has advanced that in the coming days. will contest all charges brought against him. by filing motions for the court to dismiss the case. He also plans to request a transfer of the case to Staten Island, a Republican fiefdom within the state of New York. The defense usually has 45 days to file such motions, which the judge may admit, accept in part or reject.
Should the proceeding go forward, the next hearing in Manhattan Criminal Court. has been set for December 4. It will be on that day that Trump’s team of lawyers, who over the next few months will be able to analyze all the evidence presented against him, will have to make a move and the range of options is wide.
His defense may again move for dismissal of all charges., have some evidence thrown out, demand a change of judge, modification of the jury, etc. He could also reach a plea bargain with the prosecution to avoid trial, although it is likely that his lawyers will use all their weapons to delay the whole process as long as possible.
There are no specific deadlines in this legal battle, but the plans of the Prosecution go through to hold the trial in early 2024, in the month of January. Trump’s team, on the other hand, considers this date to be too early and they think in the spring of 2024coinciding with the Republican primary process, which will take place between February and June.
For the time being, Trump is the great favorite to become the Republican candidate and his impeachment over the Stormy Daniels case. has only increased his support within the red party. Even what is presumed to be his great rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, has charged against the prosecutor leading the Stormy Daniels case, temporarily shelving his belligerence towards the former president.
His candidacy will not be affected
In the event that the trial is finally held, its duration is unpredictable and, once concluded, the jury’s verdict may be delayed for several weeks.. In other words, the verdict could come in the middle of the election campaign for the 2024 presidential election, scheduled for November 5.
And while the trial, subsequent jury deliberation and reading of the sentence may influence Trump’s campaign (at a minimum he will have to be present in court during all phases of the process), nothing can take him away from his run for the White Housenot even a conviction. First because he could appeal it and second because the US Constitution allows any US citizen over the age of 35 to run for president, even if guilty of felonies.
What sentence is the former president facing?
Trump has been charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying accounting records, a misdemeanor in New York state punishable by up to one year in jail, but which is elevated to a felony (felony) where the defendant’s intent is to commit or conceal another, greater crime, in this case alleged voter fraud because his concealed payments to Stormy Daniels could have influenced the outcome of the 2016 election.
Thus, each of those felonies provides for a maximum penalty of four years in prison. That means that the sum of all the charges brought against Trump would carry a maximum sentence of 136 years in prison.. However, although the prosecutor filed 34 charges against the former president, they all refer to the same offense of falsification of accounting records, so, according to many legal experts, the maximum sentence he would face would be four years in prison.
Likewise, analysts agree that it will be difficult to to demonstrate such a direct relationship between the payments to Daniels and her influence on the 2016 election. Nor is it certain that, if convicted, Trump will ever go to jail, as he has no criminal record.