Trump guilty

Former president convicted on 34 felony counts in hush money trial

Trump guilty

Former president Donald Trump has been found guilty on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

The charges stem from an effort to conceal a hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in the runup to the 2016 presidential election.

This is the first time a former US president has faced a criminal conviction. The fact that Trump is also the Republican party’s presumptive presidential nominee for the 2024 election will also push the race onto an uncharted course, according to a report by CNBC.

Sentencing date set

Judge Juan Merchan, who presided over the case, has set sentencing for July 11, CNBC reported. Merchan ordered the prosecution and defense to file motions by June 13. The parties will likely submit sentencing memos, with each side arguing what form Trump’s punishment should take.

Prison a possibility

The charges against Trump are Class E felonies, which is the least serious class of felony under New York law, according to CNBC.

Trump’s punishment could include fines, restitution, probation or a combination of those. However, imprisonment is not out of the question, CNBC reported. Class E felonies carry a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

Merchan has wide latitude in determining Trump’s sentence and can consider a number of factors when making his decision. Some factors, such as Trump’s lack of a prior conviction and his age – 77 – will likely weigh in favor of a lighter sentence.

However, the former president’s conduct during the trial could also be taken into account, according to CNBC. That could spell trouble for Trump, who repeatedly attacked Merchan and violated a gag order throughout the trial.

“Trump’s violation of the gag orders, his vilification of the court process, of the judge, or of the prosecution – all of that is fair game,” Pace Law School Professor Bennett Gershman told CNBC.

However, most experts think it is highly unlikely that the former president will face any jail time as a result of the conviction.

Gershman told CNBC that a prison sentence is “certainly plausible,” but that because of the significant challenges that would come with jailing a former president, a lesser sentence such as house arrest could be more likely.

Appeal inevitable

Gershman told CNBC that Trump would definitely appeal the conviction. However, the appeals process is a lengthy one, and even if the former president can overturn his conviction, he won’t be able to do so prior to election day.

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