Donald Trump’s biographer’s prediction about prison sentence

Donald Trump’s biographer’s prediction about prison sentence

Donald Trump biographer David Cay Johnston believes the former president will be sentenced to “at least 30 days behind bars” following the guilty verdict in his criminal hush money trial in Manhattan.

In a case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a New York jury on Thursday found Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a money payment made to the adult film star Stormy Daniels by Trump. then-lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen shortly before the 2016 presidential election. Daniels alleges that she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, which he denies. Trump has maintained his innocence, claiming the case is politically motivated, and his lawyers plan to challenge the verdict and appeal the case if necessary.

“This was a disgrace. It was a rigged trial by a troubled judge who was corrupt,” the former president said outside the courtroom after the verdict.

Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author of the best-selling biography of 2016 The creation of Donald Trumpsaid on MSNBC on Saturday that Trump “invited” Judge Juan Merchán, who presided over the case, to hand down a prison sentence because of his behavior, both during the trial and after the verdict.

When MSNBC’s Yasmin Vossoughian asked Johnston, “Do you think Donald Trump could go to jail?” Johnston responded: “Absolutely.”

“If you are remorseful and admit that you did wrong, you usually receive a lighter sentence. In Donald’s case, he has 10 criminal contempts,” he added. “After the jury came in, he continued to attack the judge and attack the system. I think he is inviting Judge Merchan to give him a sentence behind bars. Frankly, I would be surprised if he doesn’t receive at least 30 days behind bars.”

Each of the 34 counts is a class E felony, which under New York state law is punishable by a fine and up to five years in prison. Merchan is scheduled to deliver Trump’s ruling on July 11, four days before the Republican National Convention begins its official nomination process for its 2024 candidate.

In March, Merchan imposed a gag order on Trump, prohibiting him from making public statements about witnesses, including Cohen and Daniels, as well as lawyers and staff in the case and their families. The order excluded Merchan and Bragg. However, it was later expanded to include Merchan and Bragg’s families after Trump harshly attacked the judge’s daughter, Loren Merchan, and her connection to the Democratic Party.

Trump was fined $10,000 in total for 10 separate violations of the gag order, and Merchan threatened prison if the former president continued to violate the order.

news week He emailed Trump’s lead lawyer, Todd Blanche, seeking comment Saturday night. This story will be updated with statements provided.

Trump after the verdict
Former President Donald Trump leaves the courtroom after being found guilty in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday in New York City. Trump biographer David Cay Johnston believes the former president will be sentenced to “…

AFP/Getty Images

Jailing a former president would involve several logistical questions that have never before had to be answered, namely how the US Secret Service would continue to provide round-the-clock protection, as required by law.

said Syracuse University law professor Gregory Germain. news week on Friday that jailing the leading presidential candidate of a major political party “would create a constitutional crisis, and would await emergency motions to suspend the sentence pending appeal.”

“I think a prison sentence for a first-time Class E nonviolent felony is unlikely,” he added. “Any other defendant would be given probation and I think it will be very difficult for the judge to justify a prison sentence for a records violation.”

Johnston said Saturday that he acknowledged that a number of legal experts do not predict a prison sentence for the former president.

“While it’s true that rich white men with no prior convictions over 70, typically a first-time white-collar crime, don’t go to jail, the sentence also depends on the defendant’s behavior,” he told Vossoughian.

Judge Michael J. Obus, a justice of the criminal section of the New York County Supreme Court, previously said news week that the 10 times Trump was found guilty of criminal contempt of court will be considered by Merchán when sentencing him.

Obus, who has been an administrative judge overseeing Merchan’s court, said a guaranteed way for Trump to end up in jail will be to violate his gag order for the 11th time.

Addressing factors relevant to sentencing, Obus said news week that Trump “has been convicted of lower-level, non-violent, Class E felonies and has no criminal record at the age of 77.”

“On the other hand, a conviction on many counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, in the service of fraud in the presidential election, is a very serious matter. I suppose it is unprecedented in our court, but it is certainly serious,” he said . “This defendant was also found guilty of criminal contempt for ten incidents that took place during the trial, and he has not (proved) that, and I do not expect him to show any remorse.”