Donald Trump guilty of all 34 charges in the Stormy Daniels case: does he risk prison?

He is the first former American president convicted in a criminal trial and the first candidate for the White House to run as a convicted felon. The sentence will be decided on July 11.
Trump convicted guilty Stormy Daniels case

Guilty of all 34 counts. With a historic verdict, a Manhattan jury, at the end of two days of deliberation, convicted Donald Trump in the Stormy Daniels scandal.

Trump thus becomes the first former American president convicted in a criminal trial and also the first presidential candidate to now run for the White House as a convicted felon.

The verdict, under American law, does not prevent him from being a candidate nor, if he emerges victorious at the November polls, from returning to the presidency.

Trump convicted, what does he risk

The punishment, which will be established at a subsequent hearing scheduled for July 11, can vary from a maximum of 4 years in prison to probation, from house arrest to a simple fine.

An appeal by Trump is also certain and could prolong the process of the matter for years before it is finally resolved. In the meantime, the court could suspend the application of any sentence.

Defense lawyers should ask for a postponement of the date for the decision on the sentence, which falls on the eve of the Republican Convention in mid-July which should officially nominate Trump as the party’s candidate in November.

The atmosphere immediately heated up after the verdict. Trump reacted by denouncing the trial against him, which lasted four weeks, as a “rigged” proceeding and as a “disgrace”, managed by a magistrate, Judge Juan Merchan, who he called “corrupt”.

The Democratic President in office and his probable opponent in the November vote, Joe Biden, in an email to supporters, instead remarked: “There is only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the White House: the polls”.

The Manhattan district attorney who prosecuted the case, Alvin Bragg, said that amid the controversies “the jury has spoken and his voice is the only one that matters”.

The district attorney who led the prosecution, Alvin Bragg, responded that the trial shows that no one is above the law and that the only voice that matters is that of the jury. Trump, he said, was ultimately found guilty of a scheme to corrupt the 2016 election.

What is former president Trump accused of

Trump was accused of fraud and falsification of documents and accounts in order to hide payments to a porn star, Daniels, who had threatened to make public the story of her extramarital affair with the tycoon, which had occurred six years earlier, on the eve of the 2016 elections.

Trump, in the reconstruction of the public prosecution, feared that the revelations could cost him the chance of an election to the White House (which later took place). As a result, he instructed his former fixer Michael Cohen to pay Daniels $130,000, money which he later reimbursed to Cohen by falsely reporting those payments as legal fees.

Cohen, who has long since broken with Trump, was the prosecution’s key witness during the trial, despite defense efforts to discredit him as a liar. The prosecution was also able to rely on evidence of false reimbursement documentation. He pulled the strings of his thesis by accusing Trump of a conspiracy with the aim of manipulating the election outcome.

Trump’s process in Manhattan

The twelve jurors, before expressing themselves unanimously, asked to listen to some parts of the testimonies, starting with that of Cohen but also the words of the right-wing publisher David Pecker, who admitted the existence of a complex strategy to help Trump buying and hiding stories potentially harmful to his campaign. Thus including other romantic affairs beyond the affair with Daniels. Trump has always denied any wrongdoing.

The Daniels scandal trial in Manhattan was particularly revealing because it will likely remain the only criminal case against Trump to reach trial by the election.

Trump’s other open federal trials (for attempts to overturn the 2020 vote, and for the theft of top secret documents from the White House) could be postponed for a long time and are also subject to decisions this summer by the Supreme Court on degrees of immunity claimed by Trump for his actions when he was President.

Above all, the political impact of the verdict remains to be verified. Some groups of voters have indicated that a conviction could push them to abandon Trump at the polls. According to some analyses, this group could represent 6% of voters and be decisive in uncertain states that are crucial for success in the race for the White House. So far, however, the scandals have not dented his popularity in the polls.

Is Donald Trump at risk of going to prison?

Will Trump go to prison? Unlikely, Reuters says. The maximum penalty for Trump’s crime of falsifying business records is one to four years in prison.

It is rare for people with no criminal records convicted only of falsifying business records to be sentenced to prison in New York. Judge Juan Merchan set Trump’s sentencing for 10 a.m. July 11.

Merchan could sentence Trump to probation or up to 4 years on each count in state prison, with a maximum of 20 years. For now the former president will remain out of prison awaiting the sentence.

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