Donald Trump after conviction: Presidential run or legal battles?

Donald Trump after conviction: Presidential run or legal battles?

After two days of deliberations, Donald Trump, the former US president, has been found guilty of all charges in his hush-money case by a jury in New York. This landmark ruling marks the first time a former US president has faced a criminal conviction. Despite the guilty verdict, Trump remains eligible to run for president under the US Constitution. 

The Constitution outlines few eligibility requirements for presidential candidates, none of which include a prohibition on candidates with criminal records. However, the guilty verdict may significantly impact voter perception, potentially influencing the outcome of the November presidential election.

What's next for Donald Trump?

Trump, who has been free on bail throughout the trial, will await his sentencing hearing scheduled for July 11. The judge will consider various factors, including Trump's age, before determining the sentence, which could range from a fine to probation or even prison time. Trump's legal team is expected to appeal the guilty verdict, a process that could prolong his legal battle for months or longer.

What are grounds for appeal?

Potential grounds for appeal include the testimony of Stormy Daniels, whose detailed account of her alleged encounter with Trump played a central role in the case. Trump's defense team had unsuccessfully sought a mistrial during Daniels' testimony. Additionally, the novel legal strategy employed by the District Attorney, which invoked an uncharged federal crime, may provide further grounds for appeal.

Voting eligibility

Trump is likely to retain his voting rights this autumn, as felons in New York, where he was convicted, are allowed to vote as long as they are not incarcerated. Regarding pardon powers, Trump's ability to pardon himself remains uncertain, particularly in state matters like the New York hush-money case. Even for federal cases, constitutional scholars disagree on whether a president can pardon himself, making Trump's potential use of this power a matter of legal debate.

Possibility of imprisonment

While Trump faces a maximum sentence of four years for each of the 34 charges, it is unlikely that he will serve time behind bars. Factors such as his age, lack of previous convictions, and the non-violent nature of the charges may influence the sentencing decision. Moreover, logistical challenges and security risks associated with incarcerating a former president make imprisonment improbable.


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