What happens now that Trump has been convicted in his hush money criminal case

ByDevan Cole, CNN CNNWire logo
Friday, May 31, 2024
What happens now that Trump has been convicted?
What happens now that Trump has been convicted?

A New York jury convicting Donald Trump on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records brought the former president's weekslong trial to a close but ushered in a new phase of the historic case.

Now in the unique position of being the first former US president convicted of a felony, Trump faces the possibility of a prison sentence or probation for his crimes stemming from a hush money payment scheme he helped facilitate ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Trump - who is known for mounting lengthy appeals of court rulings against him - is also likely to appeal the conviction, which could significantly delay his sentencing, currently set for July 11.

Here's what to know about the case following Trump's conviction.

When will Trump be sentenced?

Judge Juan Merchan has set Trump's sentencing for 10 a.m. ET on July 11.

Merchan could sentence Trump to probation or up to 4 years on each count in state prison, with a maximum of 20 years.

For now, the former president will remain out of prison as he awaits his sentencing. Prosecutors did not ask for Trump to post any bond.

Can Trump appeal his conviction?

Trump has consistently appealed court rulings against him in an effort to delay the proceedings or eventually land his case before a court that may side with him. The New York case is no different.

Shortly after Trump was convicted, his attorney Todd Blanche asked Merchan for an acquittal of the charges notwithstanding the guilty verdict. The judge rejected the pro forma request.

During the course of the trial, Trump's legal team took other steps to preserve its right to appeal a potential guilty verdict, looking at rulings from the judge on testimony and evidence. They're all but certain to mount such an appeal in the coming weeks.

Can Trump still be elected president?

In short, yes.

University of California, Los Angeles law professor Richard L. Hasen - one of the country's leading experts on election law - has consistently said that nothing in the US Constitution bars a convicted criminal from running for the nation's highest office.

"Legally, nothing changes with Trump's status as a candidate," Hasen wrote in his Election Law Blog on Thursday.

"The Constitution contains only limited qualifications for running for office (being at least 35 years old, a natural born citizen, and at least 14 years a resident of the U.S.)," Hasen continued.

Additionally, states cannot disqualify Trump from running due to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election due to the Supreme Court's ruling earlier this year, Hasen said, "and they cannot add qualifications such as removing convicted felons off the ballot."

Will the conviction cost Trump his right to vote?

Though Trump, as a Florida resident, is subject to the state's draconian rules disenfranchising certain people with felony convictions, he may ultimately benefit from how legislators in New York in 2021 made it easier for felons to regain the right to vote.

When it comes to the Manhattan guilty verdict just rendered, Trump's right to vote in Florida in November's election will depend on whether he is sentenced to a term in prison and if he has finished serving that prison sentence by the time of the election.

Florida bans felons from voting until they have completed the full terms of their sentence - including any supervised release - and until they have paid any associated fines and fees. That latter requirement was the subject of litigation after Florida's GOP-led legislature passed legislation that undermined a state constitutional amendment allowing people with felony convictions to regain the right to vote.

Florida's felon voting prohibitions apply to people with out-of-state convictions. However, if a Floridian's conviction is out of state, Florida defers to that state's laws for how felon can regain their voting rights.

In New York, thanks to a 2021 law, people with felony convictions regain their right to vote once they finish their term of incarceration - even if they are still subject to parole. That means Trump would only be denied his right to vote in Florida if he is serving a prison sentence for the Manhattan conviction at the time of the election.

What does this mean for Trump's other criminal cases?

Trump's conviction means little for his three other criminal cases, which will continue to proceed as they were prior to him being found guilty in the New York case.

Trump's federal election subversion criminal case has been on hold while the US Supreme Court considers his claims of presidential immunity. The judge overseeing his classified documents case in Florida has indefinitely postponed the trial. And the Georgia election interference case is in legal limbo while Trump and several of his co-defendants try to disqualify the Atlanta-area prosecutor who brought the charges.

CNN's Tierney Sneed contributed to this report.

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