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Elections 2024: Legal Cases Against Donald Trump And How It Can Impact His Chances For Presidency

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Washington DC: The 2024 US elections will be held in November and it will be a rematch of 2020 between President Joe Biden and Former President Donald Trump. But this time along with campaigning Trump is also fighting legal battles.

These legal battles are affecting his campaigning and Trump is also facing several civil cases related to the business empire that made his name. Some crucial legal appeals are yet to be settled including the one where he is immune from prosecution. His crucial time of campaigning for elections is going in these trials.

Here are some major Legal Cases against former US President

New York State Fraud

In the fall of 2022, New York’s Attorney General Letitia James filed a civil suit against Trump, his adult sons and his former aid Allen Weisselberg, alleging a years-long scheme in which Trump fraudulently reported the value of properties to either lower his tax bill or improve the terms of his loans, all to inflate his net worth. Justice Arthur on February 16 ruled that Trump must pay $355 million in interest. The judge had previously ruled against Trump in late September 2023, concluding that many of the defendants’ claims were “clearly” fraudulent—so clearly that he didn’t need a trial to hear them.

The case was also civil rather than criminal. But although the stakes are lower for the nation, they remain high for Trump and there is a high penalty amount that Trump has to pay.

Election Interference

Former President Trump was indicted with charges of overturning the 2020 Presidential election and was indicted on Felony charges and also the violence of January 6 2021 in Washington D.C. The four-count indictment includes charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States government and to obstruct an official proceeding. It details how Trump attempted to convince state officials, Vice President Mike Pence, and ultimately Congress to reject the official results, all the while lying to supporters and others about his victory.

Prosecutors mentioned six unindicted co-conspirators in their charging documents, including attorneys from both inside and outside the government who they claimed had collaborated with Trump to tamper with the election results and promoted legally questionable plans to assemble slates of fictitious voters in battleground states that Biden had won. The Trump team questioned why it took two and a half years to pursue the allegations and labelled them as “fake.” He entered a not-guilty plea.

Hush Money Scheme

When Trump was indicted in New York in March on state charges relating to hush money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to conceal rumours of extramarital sexual encounters, he became the first former president of the United States in history to face criminal charges.

He entered a not-guilty plea to 34 felonies related to creating false business records. The maximum sentence for each count is four years in prison. If Trump were found guilty, it’s unclear if a judge would sentence him to any time in prison. The allegations are connected to several checks that were made out to his attorney Michael Cohen to make up for his assistance in compensating porn star Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had sex with Trump in 2006, shortly after Melania gave birth to their son Barron.

Mar-a-Lago Documents

Regarding his removal of papers from the White House after he left office, Trump is accused of 37 felonies by Jack Smith, a special counsel in the US Justice Department. Willful retention of information related to national security, obstruction of justice, withholding of documents, and making false statements are among the charges.

Trump took boxes of documents to properties, where they were stored haphazardly, but the indictment centres on his refusal to give them back to the government despite repeated requests. Smith filed charges in June 2023. The trial date is not yet set. Smith has most recently proposed a July trial, but in March, Judge Aileen Cannon seemed sceptical regarding it. Smith has until January 20, 2025, de facto, to file a complaint, after which Trump or any other Republican president would probably close it.

Trump put these documents at risk, but he also refused to comply with a subpoena, tried to hide the documents, and lied to the government through his attorneys.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF TRUMP GET CONVICTED?
If Donald Trump is convicted, then also as per the US Constitution he can fight the elections but this will affect his ability to campaign as he will be busy in court hearings. The criminal trials won’t prevent him from being the Republican Nominee or keep him off the ballot.

There are no limitations based on character or criminal record. While some states prohibit felons from running for state and local office, these laws do not apply to federal offices. But as per the US Constitution, any natural-born citizen aged Thirty-Five and above who has been a US resident for Fourteen Years can run for Presidency. There is no language in the American constitution which prohibits someone to run for office if he/she is convicted. Fifty-four per cent of Republican primary voters also said that Trump would be fit for the Presidency if convicted of a crime. That figure jumped up to 87 per cent among voters who backed Trump in New Hampshire last month.

While this strategy may work for the former president’s Make America Great Again (MAGA) backers, it will fail to appeal to more moderate Republicans, independents or even Democrats who are considering voting for Donald Trump. The trials won’t keep him from being a GOP nominee or put him off the ballot but will showcase his bad qualities among the American voters.

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