Q&A – Donald Trump’s Hush Money Trial

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Q&A – Donald Trump’s Hush Money Trial 

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods.       

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com      

Social: @brianmuddradio     

iHeartRadio: Use the Talkback feature – the microphone button on our station’s page in the iHeart app.        

Today’s Entry: @brianmuddradio What’s the worst that can happen to Trump in the hush money trial and what impact do you think it will have politically? 

Bottom Line: Those are both good questions as today’s Stormy Daniels “Hush Money” jury selection gets under way. Of the four indictments Donald Trump has faced in the two federal and two states cases brought again him, this case is not only the weakest in its potential merits, but also the weakest in terms of potential liability for the former and perhaps future President of the United States (though still potentially significant).  

As you no doubt know, not all criminal charges are created equally and not all felonies are either. On that note, the charges brought against Trump are the lowest tier of felony charges within the State of New York. What are known as class “E” felony charges. Under New York statutes class “E” convictions can result in penalties ranging from no jail time up to 4 years. Current New York sentencing outcomes are tough to come by, however I in a quick review of New York Criminal cases it appears that roughly 80% to 90% of the time that a first-time offender is convicted of a class “E” felony a sentence doesn’t come with additional jail time. With that said, what makes the potential liability for Donald Trump extreme is the sheer number of charges – which is 34. Each of those charges carries with it the potential for up to 4 years in jail.  

While the minimum liability for Donald Trump, even if convicted of a charge or of multiple charges in this case, is no jail time, the maximum if the jury and judge were to attempt to stick it to him is 136 years. For that reason, as absurd as this case by any objective standard would appear be, the risk is still considerable for Trump. This is especially true since, even if elected president once again, he wouldn’t be able to pardon himself of New York state charges. Something else to keep an eye on in this case is the length of the trial. Donald Trump must be in the court room each day the trial is taking place. The judge allocated up to six weeks for the trial – a length that seems oddly long for what’s not an especially complicated case. Will the prosecution attempt to drag out the trial to keep Trump in the court room and off of the campaign trail? As for the political side of this, my message is this...Be careful what you wish for. A political witch hunt may come back to bite you.  

What Trump’s being tried for in the New York state case was out in the open prior to the 2016 presidential election and it obviously didn’t hurt him politically then. Just as was the case last year with the series of indictments, the public interest in these matters is highest with what comes first. For everything the left has thrown at Trump the first trial to be brought against him (and maybe the only one) is Stormy Daniels hush money...? Seriously? If he wins in this case, he’s vindicated, and he’ll highlight everything he’s been put through for a political witch hunt. If he loses, aside from making an appeal on the basis that the statute of limitations had already run on these charges, he’ll rightly claim it’s a political witch hunt and election interference using it to cast as a shadow over the other three cases invalidating them in the minds of many voters as well. Prosecutors...be careful what you wish for. 

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