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Donald Trump’s Hush-Money Trial is Set to Shape Presidential Politics

Donald Trump's Hush-Money Trial is Set to Shape Presidential Politics

This week, a jury consisting of five women and seven men will begin reconsidering whether to convict former president Donald Trump in the hush-money trial. The jury’s decision might have a significant impact on the election year, as it has already offended a lot of people.

Thus far, the trial of the presumed Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, on 34 criminal counts, has left him relatively unharmed. However, a conviction would be a humiliating first for a former president, hurting Trump’s popularity with some voters and giving President Biden more means to attack his opponent.

“Everyone’s perception of Trump has just been confirmed by the hush-money trial. While his opponents highlight his moral failings, his supporters see a corrupt system, according to Republican strategist in Washington, Alex Conant. “Voters are currently hearing little about the trial as background noise, but if the noise level rises, people will take notice.”

A teacher, a physical therapist, an investment banker, and two attorneys are among the 12 jurors deliberating on Trump’s fate. After almost a month of testimony in the first—and maybe only—trial that Trump will face before the election, they will begin their behind-closed-doors discussions. There are already constitutional and procedural hold-ups in three further Trump prosecutions: two federal and one in Georgia.

The Manhattan District Attorney in charge of the hush-money trial is Democrat Alvin Bragg. Prosecutors for Trump claim that he altered financial documents to hide a payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had an affair with the former president, on election eve in 2016. Prosecutors claim that the fake documents are illegal as they were created to hide a criminal attempt by Trump and associates to improve their chances of winning the election by erasing news that was critical of him.

Trump rejects the incident, and his attorneys have informed the jury that it is acceptable to try to influence voters. They maintained that the former president, who was in the White House when the allegedly fake documents were created, was not involved in their fabrication.

Tuesday is the day for closing arguments, according to the case’s presiding judge, Justice Juan Merchan. On Wednesday, he will give the jury instructions before sending them off to deliberate.

Trump’s advisors predict that his post-trial schedule won’t likely alter much right away, regardless of the jury’s decision. It is anticipated that he would still go to a few campaign events each week, but he will be able to visit states that are hotbeds of controversy without having to appear in court.

Politicians believe that Trump has benefited politically from the hush-money trial.

As part of a $15 million day for the presidential campaign, Trump mentioned at a Dallas fundraising luncheon on Wednesday that a few analysts believe the hush-money trial and other charges have aided him politically. A witness said that guests were given packages containing the most recent polls, which put Trump ahead of the pack.

During the hush-money trial, Trump’s funding surged, while Biden is still having trouble winning over young and non-white voters and the economy. Trump made an effort to highlight it on Thursday by drawing an impressive crowd to a rally he held in the Bronx, a Democratic area.

The former president made a passing reference to the trial and his larger legal problems during his Saturday presentation at the Libertarian National Convention. He stated, “If I wasn’t a libertarian before, I sure as hell am a libertarian now,” to a mixture of applause from the crowd and repeated booing from certain groups.

As the booing persisted, Trump made a joke about the gathering, telling them to either support him or stay under the radar. ” Constantly take your 3% every four years,” he declared.

Donald Trump's Hush-Money Trial is Set to Shape Presidential Politics.
Donald Trump's Hush-Money Trial is Set to Shape Presidential Politics 3

According to a Biden official, the president’s team views Trump’s post-trial return to the campaign trail as a positive development, believing it will provide a contrast for many voters who are unfamiliar with many of Trump’s recent remarks, such as authoritarian speech and pledges to close the southern border and enhance oil drilling. The official stated that no final decisions had been made on how Biden would respond to the hush-money trial’s conclusion.

To find Trump guilty, judges must be unanimous. If he is convicted, the court will set a punishment hearing some weeks later. Because the acts in question carry no minimum prison sentence, Merchan would have extensive leeway in calculating Trump’s penalty, which might include a fine, probation, or jail time.

Trump would almost probably appeal a conviction. Among Trump supporters, 6% said a conviction would make them less likely to vote for him. According to a recent Quinnipiac University survey, 24% thought it would increase their chances, while 68% said it would make no difference.

“Will a verdict sink Donald Trump?” “The vast majority of his supporters say it would be no big deal,” polling expert Tim Malloy said in releasing his findings. “But in an extremely tight race, that 6% might shift the balance.”

Trump has already questioned whether the New York jury would give him a fair trial, forcing Merchan to rule for the tenth time that he broke the gag rule preventing the former president from criticizing judges and others.

The jury members’ identities and political affiliations are not publicly available. Unless judges choose to speak after the judgment, the public will not know how they arrived at their conclusion.

Some trial analysts feel Trump’s deep blue jury pool may work against him in a situation where the evidence is uncertain.

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Source

WSJ

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