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Trump is a defendant who’s begging for a jail term by taking a flamethrower to New York judge: Ex-FBI director

Former president and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump entered the history of America as the first former or current president to be convicted on criminal charges following last Thursday’s guilty verdict in the New York hush-money case. This has further fueled the heated political landscape in the country during the presidential campaign, eliciting a range of reactions from political figures, particularly Republican politicians who criticized the Biden administration for using the Department of Justice as a weapon in the cases against Trump.

The New York hush-money trial

A New York jury found Donald Trump guilty of all 34 counts of falsifying business records in his hush money criminal trial, an unprecedented and historic verdict that makes him the first former president in US history to be convicted of a felony. Prosecutors accused Trump of taking part in an illegal conspiracy to undermine the integrity of the 2016 presidential election and an unlawful plan to suppress negative information, which included concealing a hush money payment to an adult film star.

Trump can still run for president

Trump can still run for president despite his conviction. His presidential bid won’t be affected, even if he is sentenced to jail. Under the US Constitution, there are three requirements each individual should meet in order to qualify to run for president, and Trump meets them all: to be a natural-born citizen, to be at least 35 years old, and to have been a US resident for at least 14 years. If everything goes according to Trump’s plan, he should officially become the Republican presidential nominee in mid-July after securing the minimum required number of delegates early in the primaries.

In the spotlight

Trump’s hush-money case conviction is still in the media spotlight. Many legal analysts and political experts have dropped their opinions on the situation since last Thursday, sharing their views about how the conviction could affect Trump’s numbers in the months leading to the November general election. The latest to join the list of public figures commenting on Trump’s case is former FBI Director James Comey, who spoke to CNN on Tuesday and explained why Trump should be very careful in the weeks before his sentencing.

Read also: Panic mode on: Biden’s efforts to win Black voters in Pennsylvania wane as Trump’s lead widens

Former FBI Director James Comey explained in an interview that Trump should be very careful in the weeks before his sentencing
Former President Donald Trump. Courtesy of
Biden-Harris HQ on X (@BidenHQ)

Comey warns Trump

Usually, a white-collar offense, like the 34 felonies former President Donald Trump was convicted of in his hush-money case, wouldn’t warrant a prison sentence, Comey told CNN in a Tuesday interview.

“But this is a defendant who’s begging for a jail term by taking a flamethrower, not just to the judge, but to the entire process and the jury,” Comey said. “A judge will take that very seriously into consideration when deciding whether to deter this person and to send a message more broadly, that he needs to spend some time behind bars.”

When asked if he thinks Merchan will take Trump’s behavior or past comments into consideration during sentencing, Comey said, “I do, as well as him having to find that the defendant had acted in contempt of the court’s orders, on multiple occasions.”

“All of that will be part of the picture that the judge looks at, to decide whether a message needs to be sent that involves jail,” he added.

Read also: Warning for Democrats: The ‘blue’ state of Virginia is becoming increasingly ‘red’, Trump is getting lot of support

The gag order

Donald Trump is scheduled to receive his sentence on July 11, just a few days before the Republican National Convention starts in Milwaukee. His lawyers plan to appeal the verdict. Despite this, the sentencing is likely to go ahead as planned, and the Republican National Committee is preparing for Trump to possibly deliver a speech from jail.

During his trial, Trump frequently criticized court officials, including Judge Juan Merchan and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, stating in media interviews, on social platforms, and during his campaign events that the charges against him were based on political motives. In response, Judge Merchan issued a gag order preventing Trump from making public comments about the witnesses, prosecutors, court staff, or the judge’s family involved in the trial. However, the order did not prevent him from making comments directly about Merchan or Bragg. Ultimately, Trump broke this gag order ten times, leading Judge Merchan to fine him $10,000.

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