Convicted Felon Donald Trump Is Facing a Long and Daunting Road



Merchan limited prosecutors from introducing evidence about Trump’s other alleged infidelities, but rejected the Trump legal team’s efforts to block Daniels from testifying. While on the stand, Daniels went into exacting detail about her alleged sexual encounters with Trump. Witnesses are allowed to mention background details to bolster their credibility on the stand; Trump’s lawyers argued that Daniels went beyond that by claiming she had “blacked out” during the encounter. Todd Blanche, Trump’s lawyer, unsuccessfully sought a mistrial for those remarks and others, claiming that Daniels’ testimony was a “dog whistle for rape,” even though she did not allege it.

In past legal proceedings, Trump has also sought to challenge every aspect of a case or complaint against him in an effort to prevail. That could lead him to raise less fruitful lines of attack on appeal. Despite a gag order, for example, Trump has complained that Merchan’s daughter is a Democratic consultant and claimed it amounted to proof of bias. His legal team also previously sought to have the trial moved out of Manhattan, where Trump has lived for decades, because of the perceived political bias that he would allegedly face in the Democratic stronghold.

An appeal will likely take years to unfold, however, meaning that Trump will have to live with the conviction for now. His ultimate escape hatch may be the November election. If convicting a former president of a crime is unprecedented in American history, then the prospect that a sitting president might be under criminal sanctions while in office is completely uncharted waters. If Trump receives a prison sentence that would extend into a potential second term, it could set up a major legal battle over whether he must be released to go to the White House.





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