Trump trial will change US politics, presidency - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Trump trial will change US politics, presidency

May 27, 2024 10:07 PM IST

If the people decide that Trump should be the next president, it will not only be Trump who has been put on trial, it will be the country’s political system.

The first-ever trial of an American president in a civil or criminal court might conclude this week, following Memorial Day, a national holiday observed on the last Monday in May to honour fallen American military personnel. The prosecution is set to make its closing argument in “People v. Trump” on Tuesday, May 28, with jury deliberations likely to begin on Thursday.

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 26: Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump raises his fist as he looks on during the NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26, 2024 in Concord, North Carolina. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Jared C. Tilton / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)(Getty Images via AFP)
CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 26: Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump raises his fist as he looks on during the NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26, 2024 in Concord, North Carolina. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Jared C. Tilton / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)(Getty Images via AFP)

Whether Donald J Trump, the 45th president, will be convicted for falsifying business records related to hush money payments made to a porn star is a subject of considerable discussion around the country, which is in the middle of another close presidential race between former president Donald Trump as the Republican candidate and current president Joe Biden as the Democratic candidate.

Now catch your favourite game on Crickit. Anytime Anywhere. Find out how

During the six-week trial in New York, the prosecution presented several key witnesses. They included Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” as the-star witness; Stormy Daniels, who allegedly had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006; and David Pecker, a former tabloid publisher who paid to “catch and kill” negative stories about Trump to prevent them from damaging his electoral prospects during the 2016 election.

Trump did not testify at his trial, despite his earlier statements that he would. This was not surprising, as many knowledgeable individuals believed the former president’s penchant for talking too much and too long would have aided the prosecution more than advancing his own defence.

After the prosecution and defence have made their final arguments in the trial, it will be up to the 12 New Yorkers serving as jurors to either convict or acquit Trump. A third possibility of a hung jury is also very much on the table. Some legal analysts believe that a hung jury seems more likely, at this point than a conviction or an acquittal.

For a guilty verdict on the felony charges, all the jurors must be convinced “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Trump falsified records with the intent to conceal another crime. In this case, that crime is violating election laws. If even one juror concludes that the charges against the former president have not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the result will be a hung jury. Although this does not equate to an acquittal, Trump and the legion of his supporters would undoubtedly consider it a victory. And, it is unlikely that the prosecution would attempt to retry the case.

If Trump is convicted, it will be up to the presiding judge, Judge Juan Merchan, to determine his sentence. Sentencing is likely to occur one to two months after the verdict. That means, the timing of the sentence could coincide with the Republican National Convention scheduled for July 15 to 18 in Milwaukee/Wisconsin, where Trump is expected to be nominated as the party’s candidate.

If convicted, Trump could be sentenced to jail. Some experts believe that even if Trump is convicted, he might not serve any jail time since he would be a first-time offender. Regardless of whether he is sentenced to jail or not, Trump can still run for president and serve as president if elected.

The consequences of this trial extend far beyond what happens to Donald J Trump. Its more consequential and enduring aspect will be its impact on American politics and the presidency. In fact, the trial may have already changed America, especially in terms of how prosecutors at the federal and state levels view future presidents.

With the Trump trial, the Rubicon of trying a president has been crossed. Now that the precedent of a president in a courtroom has been established, future prosecutors will probably be more willing to bring charges against a former president.

The Trump trial signals a new era where the legal accountability of presidents becomes an ongoing reality. This could reshape the expectations and behaviours of future presidents, knowing that their actions could lead to legal scrutiny and potential trials long after their term in office has ended.

Even if Trump avoids conviction in New York, his legal troubles will not be over. He currently faces charges in three other criminal cases with potential trials in each. That’s the bad news for the former president.

At this time, however, it does not appear likely that any of these trials can be convened and concluded before the presidential election date of November 5. That is the good news for Trump.

If he is re-elected President on November 5, there is substantial conjecture among legal experts as to whether Trump could legally use the Office of President and the federal department of justice to evade the criminal charges against him. Trump has already claimed that there should be presidential immunity and the United States (US) Supreme Court held a hearing on that claim on April 25 and will hand down its decision on this before it adjourns in late June or early July.

In conclusion, according to the most recent political polls, Trump is running ahead of Biden and has a good chance of being re-elected president. Polls do not vote but people do. If the people decide that Trump should be the next president, it will not only be Trump who has been put on trial, it will be the country’s political system and the US democracy.

Frank F Islam is an entrepreneur, civic leader, and thought leader based In Washington DC. The views expressed here are personal

Get World Cup ready with Crick-it! From live scores to match stats, catch all the action here. Explore now!

See more

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections 2024, Lok sabha election 2024 voting live , Karnataka election 2024 live in Bengaluru , Election 2024 Date along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, June 20, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On