Ex-US attorney predicts Donald Trump's fate in hush money trial, his case is strong but… - Hindustan Times
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Ex-US attorney predicts Donald Trump's fate in hush money trial, his case is strong but…

Apr 17, 2024 01:43 PM IST

Can Donald Trump go to jail? Legal experts speak out as hush money trial continues in New York.

As Donald Trump undergoes historic trial in the hush money case in New York Court amidst the high stake election campaign, experts weigh in on whether former US President will be convicted or not.

Former US President Donald Trump visits a Sanaa convenient store in a Harlem neighborhood after spending his second day of his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, at the Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on April 16, 2024. (AFP)
Former US President Donald Trump visits a Sanaa convenient store in a Harlem neighborhood after spending his second day of his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, at the Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on April 16, 2024. (AFP)

Ex-US Attorney , Kevin C. McMunigal has told the The Mirror that even though the case against Trump is very strong it is unlikely to result in a jail sentence for him.

Hush Money Trial: Legal opinion is mixed

"In terms of consequences, I think there is almost no chance of him receiving a jail sentence given (1) his age, (2) the fact that he has no prior convictions, and (3) that the offenses in the case are nonviolent and don’t appear to have caused any harm," Professor McMunigal, once the Assistant United States Attorney in California, stated.

What is the expected sentence if Trumphush mon is charged?

Trump is facing 34 charges of falsifying records, he could potentially face 15 months to four years in prison for each charge. Yet, most individuals convicted of this charge serve less than a year.

What's the impact of Hush Money Trial on election campaign?

Another law professor at Case Western Reserve University, Professor Johnathan L. Entin, commented that while he cannot confidently predict Trump's conviction odds, Trump will use the proceedings in his favour in the election narrative and call himself a victim of a Democratic campaign aimed at ending his political career.

Entin said, "Trump will probably continue to claim this is evidence of a deep-state effort to prevent him from becoming president again. He will argue that the Manhattan prosecutor is collaborating with New York Attorney General Letitia James and that the trial judge is biased against him." These claims have been Trump's recurring themes for months, according to Entin, who also does not foresee jail time for Trump.

Furthermore, Entin emphasized that even if Trump is convicted, it won't hinder his chances of securing the Republican presidential nomination or appearing on ballots nationwide. He cited the historical example of Eugene Debs, the Socialist Party's presidential candidate in 1920, who ran his campaign while serving a federal prison sentence for criticizing American involvement in World War I.

"Debs was imprisoned during the presidential campaign. Yet, nobody questioned his eligibility or ability to serve if elected, although winning was not expected," Entin added.

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