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 June 4, 2024

Legal Experts Find Trump Has No Power To Pardon New York Conviction Even If He Wins 2nd Term As President

In an unprecedented legal outcome, former President Donald Trump was recently convicted on all 34 counts in a high-profile New York hush money trial.

This verdict marks the first instance of an ex-U.S. president becoming a convicted felon. ABC 13 News reported that the range of potential sentences for Trump could vary significantly, from probation to home confinement or even prison time.

Trump's conviction raises numerous legal and political questions about the complexities he faces ahead.

The trial, which concluded last week in New York, centered on charges related to hush money payments. Trump was found guilty of all charges, setting a severe legal precedent for post-presidential accountability.

The Specifics of Trump’s Conviction and Potential Pardons

As per the U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 2, the power of the presidential pardon extends only to federal crimes.

This stipulation means that Trump's conviction in New York, a state case, does not qualify for a presidential pardon. The only person potentially capable of pardoning Trump for this state conviction is New York Governor Kathy Hochul, though this is considered highly unlikely.

Trump faces additional legal battles with two upcoming federal cases, one in Washington D.C. and another in South Florida. These cases could potentially see presidential pardons, should circumstances permit in the future.

Amidst these developments, talks of a self-pardon have surfaced, particularly discussing the scenario of Trump winning another presidential term. However, the legality of such a self-pardon remains a topic of intense debate and has yet to be resolved.

According to Trump's legal counsel, Dan Horowitz, the possibility of actual jail time for Trump appears slim, despite the gravity of his convictions.

Horowitz suggests that Trump might instead face conditions such as home detention, potentially monitored with an ankle bracelet. This reflects a significant softening from the potential maximum penalty for falsifying business records, which could be up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine per count.

Trump himself has addressed the potential of a self-pardon, calling it “very unlikely” if he were to win another presidency. Such a statement reflects his current stance on the issue amidst ongoing legal advice and public speculation.

The logistics of a former president running for office while potentially under home detention or other restrictive measures adds another layer of complexity to Trump’s future political ambitions. The implications of such an unprecedented scenario are vast, affecting not only legal frameworks but also political campaigning and voter perception.

Trump’s Continued Legal and Political Saga

Legal expert Dan Horowitz underscores the uncertainty surrounding Trump's sentencing possibilities.

He notes that while imprisonment is unlikely, the probability of house arrest remains on the table, presenting an unusual situation for a former U.S. president.

The forthcoming sentencing on July 11 will no doubt be a pivotal moment not only in Trump’s personal legal battles but also in the broader context of American legal and presidential history. How it will impact Trump's political future is yet to be seen, especially regarding his plans for potential re-election.

Given these complexities, the future involves significant judicial reviews and decisions that will need to be navigated carefully, highlighting a scenario that could become a landmark in American legal and political annals.

Written By:
Christina Davie

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