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What’s Next For Trump After Historic Criminal Conviction Of 1st US President?

Appeals, sentencing, presidential rematch with Biden, more criminal trials

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Donald Trump on Thursday became the first former US president to be convicted of felony criminal charges in the New York hush money trial and now has a slew of challenges ahead as he aims to win his second term as president of the United States.

Trump continued to claim that he is not guilty of all 34 counts related to paying off former adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep her story of an alleged affair with him from going public during the 2016 presidential election and then covering up that payment as a business expense.

While Trump’s attorneys have not yet filed a formal appeal, the former president alluded to that scenario immediately after he left the courtroom.

“We’ll keep fighting, we’ll fight til the end and we’ll win because our country’s gone to hell,” said Trump after the guilty verdict was handed down. “We will fight for our Constitution. This is long from over.”

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In addition, his legal team told CNN that they were “prepared for a guilty verdict,” which foreshadows that they already have an appeal in the works.

“We were prepared for a conviction,” said Trump attorney Todd Blanche. “I think it was expected.”

If Trump files an appeal, that would set up yet more courtroom drama in the months ahead with another trial possibly being scheduled before the November general election. But the next court matter at hand will be sentencing of the former president on July 11 and whether or not he will face any prison time.

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Trump could face up to four years in state prison on each count, with a maximum term of 20 years, according to CNN. However, Judge Juan Merchan is not required to sentence the former president to time behind bars and could consider sentencing Trump to probation with a possible fine since he does not have a previous criminal record.

Trump’s sentencing is scheduled just a few days before he will be officially nominated as his party’s presidential candidate at the Republican National convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin which runs from July 15-18.

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Questions have arisen as to whether he is eligible to run for his second term as president as a convicted felon, but the US Constitution spells out the guidelines to run for America’s highest office: be a natural born US citizen, be at least 35 years old (Trump is 77) and have been a US resident for at least 14 years. Trump checks all those boxes, so there are no conflicts with running for office based on his conviction.

In fact, Thursday’s conviction immediately spiked fundraising efforts for Trump’s presidential campaign, according to media outlets, with the former president already proclaiming a win on social media.

“VICTORY ON NOVEMBER 5TH. SAVE AMERICA!!!” Trump posted on his Truth Social platform.

President Joe Biden’s team is not ignoring the importance of this spike in fundraising from Trump’s voter base, countering with a punch of his own on social media.

“There’s only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: At the ballot box,” Biden posted on X, which was linked to a fundraising page.

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Trump’s legal woes will not be over, regardless of an appeal, as he faces three other criminal trials. The only question is whether or not any of those cases will be scheduled before Election Day on Nov. 5.

The former president is facing federal criminal charges in Washington, D.C., where he is accused of trying to steal the 2020 election in which he lost to Biden. That trial was delayed when the Supreme Court agreed to hear Trump’s argument that he should be immune from prosecution for presidential actions. A ruling on that matter is expected sometime in July, which could mean another trial before the general election.​​​​​​​

Trump also faces federal criminal charges in the state of Florida over taking classified documents from the Oval Office. He also faces state criminal charges in Georgia for his attempt to overturn the 2020 election results in that US state. There are not yet any trial dates scheduled for either of those cases.

Through all of these legal crossroads, Trump still has the opportunity to be elected for a second term in America’s highest office. It would be an historical victory, as it would make Trump the first-ever convicted felon to be elected as US president.

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