On Tuesday, Donald Trump will become the first US president to be charged with a crime when he appears before a judge in Manhattan Criminal Court.
The trial comes in response to an indictment announced by New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg accusing Mr. Trump of covering up a 2016 affair with porn star Stormi Daniels.
Mr Trump, who was also the first president in US history to be impeached twice during his tumultuous one-term tenure in the White House, flew to New York’s LaGuardia Airport on his private Boeing 757 on Monday afternoon before heading to Trump Tower on the fifth. Avenue for a night out ahead of Tuesday’s historic events.
He faces 34 criminal charges in connection with falsifying his business records to hide a $130,000 payment initially made on his behalf by his former attorney, Michael Cohen, to whom he later reimbursed, according to details released Monday night.
Mr Trump will reportedly not be handcuffed, photographed or jailed when he appears before Judge Juan Mercan on Tuesday afternoon at around 2.15pm EST (7.15pm GMT) and will return to his Mar-A shortly afterwards. -Lago’s mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, to give a prime-time televised address.
In New York, he will be represented by the new attorney general, former federal prosecutor and criminal defense attorney Todd Blanch, a lawyer who previously represented former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and former Rudy Giuliani associate Igor Fruman. among many others.
The former president denies any involvement with Ms Daniels and any wrongdoing and, predictably, claimed the episode was another “witch hunt” cooked up by his political enemies.
He has been busy using the indictment to undermine his base and raise campaign donations behind it in support of his 2024 presidential bid.
He also vented his anger on his own social media platform, Truth Social, angrily suggesting Monday night that District Attorney Bragg should “blame himself” after “illegally” releasing details of the trial.
But the big question many observers will want to know is whether Mr. Trump could ultimately be jailed if convicted.
Dania Perry, a former New York state deputy attorney general, told Reuters that would certainly not happen on Tuesday and that she expected Mr Trump to be released on recognizance. certain conditions, such as returning when called.
New York has eliminated the need for bail in most misdemeanor and non-violent crimes, as in this case in 2019.
As for the longer-term outcome for Mr. Trump, we cannot know at this point because the exact charges against him have yet to be made public.
However, a charge of falsifying business records in the first degree is considered a low-level offense but carries up to four years in prison, so it’s theoretically possible.
That said, a conviction would represent a first offense for a non-violent crime, making the prospect of jail time less likely.
The defendant’s 76-year-old age may also be grounds for leniency.
Former Brooklyn prosecutor Arthur Aidala recently said Insider“I can’t say with absolute 100 percent certainty that it can’t be jail, because according to the books he can go to jail… [But] I don’t see a scenario where Donald Trump spends a minute in jail.”
The case is expected to be a drawn-out case and cannot be resolved before the American public goes to the polls in the next presidential election in November 2024, so without a resolution one way or the other, it is not necessary to ban Mr. Trump will continue his latest bid to secure the Republican nomination.
Interestingly, even if a former president is indicted, there is nothing in the US Constitution that disqualifies a candidate with a criminal record from running, although he and his party may still be forced to conclude that support for him is no longer there. there if they see him tarnished by scandal, as almost any politician in the world would be.