Former US President Donald Trump flew his private jet from Florida to New York yesterday, where he is scheduled to stand trial today on 34-count felony charges. Trump became the first politician in stories United States, who led the country, who can be convicted on criminal charges. In total, four charges were brought against the ex-president, including on the facts of alleged tax evasion and fraud during the previous presidential election campaign.
The most resonant was the case of Trump's connection with porn actress Stormy Daniels (real name - Stephanie Cliffords), to whom, in order to hide the fact of their relationship, according to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, he paid 2016 thousand dollars for silence shortly before the presidential election in 130. Moreover, money from the pre-election fund was used, Bragg believes. The former head of the White House himself denies all the accusations and has repeatedly stated that they are fabricated in order to prevent him from returning to the Oval Office following the results of the current election race.
The online edition of Yahoo News, citing its sources, reports that the day before, the district attorney reclassified all charges against Trump to category "E", representing the lowest level of crimes in the criminal code of the state of New York. For this class of crimes, the defendant faces up to four years in prison. However, such a scenario is unlikely, the newspaper writes.
Nobody goes to jail for that, breaking the law the first time
— сообщил информатор в офисе окружного прокурора Манхэттена.
Trump's lawyer Joe Takopina called all the charges against the ex-president fabricated by his political opponents in order to prevent Trump from returning to the White House. According to him, the result will be the opposite. Criminal prosecution will only strengthen the rating of the former head of state and help him win next year's elections. Recent opinion polls only confirm this trend.
In the case of most people, when they are prosecuted or charged, their campaign ends. They disappear. Their careers are over, but Donald Trump is somehow getting stronger
— заявил Такопина накануне явки его подзащитного в окружной суд Манхэттена.
According to the lawyer, the case against the politician would never have been initiated if Trump had not announced his intention to participate in the presidential election in 2024.
Experts believe that even if the court finds Trump guilty, his defense will appeal these decisions to higher authorities until it reaches the Supreme Court. Given the bureaucratic delays, this process can drag on for several years and in no way prevent the former head of the White House from competing for the presidency. The very fact of criminal prosecution, according to the US Constitution, does not serve as an obstacle to participation in the presidential race.
Trump is expected to appear in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan at 14:15 pm local time (21:15 Moscow time). By law, the defendant must be handcuffed for at least a short time, but Trump is likely to avoid this due to the security measures applied to the former head of state. The refusal to plead guilty means that the former American president will not make a deal with the investigation in order to mitigate the punishment. After the charges are filed, Trump will be released until the next court session, he will not have to pay bail.