Donald Trump

Trump to be sentenced for felonies before Republican national convention

Author: Editors Desk, Cameron Joseph Source: THR (The Hollywood Reporter)
May 30, 2024 at 19:30
Trump leaves the courthouse after a jury found him guilty of all 34 felony counts in his criminal trial. Photograph: Getty Images
Trump leaves the courthouse after a jury found him guilty of all 34 felony counts in his criminal trial. Photograph: Getty Images

Former president Donald Trump a convicted felon. Now what?

On the docket: Guilty. Now what?

Former president Donald Trump is now a convicted felon. The biggest questions now are whether he might go to jail – and how America will react.

A jury of his peers found the former president guilty of all 34 felony charges of falsifying business records on Thursday evening, determining that he had done so to unlawfully influence the 2016 election.

Judge Juan Merchan set Trump’s sentencing for 11 July at 10am ET, after Trump’s attorneys requested a mid- to late-July sentencing and prosecutors didn’t object. That’s just four days before the Republican National Convention is set to begin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he’ll formally be nominated to be the Republican presidential candidate.Trump’s team will almost certainly appeal the ruling. They attempted repeatedly to have Merchan toss out the case before it even began and repeatedly raised objections during the trial that seemed tailored towards future appeals.

In comments after the verdict, Trump reprised his well-worn attacks on Merchan and accused the trial of being “rigged” against him by Democrats to hurt him politically.

“This was a rigged, disgraceful trial. The real verdict is going to be November 5, by the people. They know what happened here, and everybody knows what happened here,” a dour Trump said as he exited the courthouse Thursday evening.

Merchan could theoretically sentence Trump to prison. Experts tell the Guardian’s Sam Levine that’s not likely since the counts are the least serious level of felony charges, he’s a first-time offender and was found guilty of non-violent paper crimes. But there’s plenty unusual about this case, and Merchan alone will decide Trump’s sentence.

Even if Merchan imposes a prison sentence, it’s highly unlikely that Trump will be forced to go immediately to jail. The appeal process will let him stay out and could last some time.

It remains to be seen what impact the verdict will have on the 2024 election. The polls have barely budged since Trump’s trial began, and he currently has a slim lead over Joe Biden in most public polling. His felony conviction might change that – or it might not.

And while Trump has now been found guilty of charges related to the 2016 election, it remains to be seen whether he’ll face legal consequences for his actions after the 2020 election. His two pending criminal election interference trials – a federal one in Washington, DC and a state one in Fulton county, Georgia – are both on ice thanks to strategic court delays pushed by Trump’s team. Trump’s fourth pending criminal trial in Florida, for mishandling classified documents, has also faced repeated delays from a Trump-appointed judge.

Look back at key moments from the trial here.

You did not use the site, Click here to remain logged. Timeout: 60 second