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GOP-ers fear Trump’s reelection dream hinges on New York judge’s mercy as Merchan’s decision could put an end to his presidential campaign


Florida – The Florida case against the former president Donald Trump, where he is accused of improperly handling classified documents and faces 40 counts, including the willful retention of sensitive documents and obstructing federal attempts to retrieve them, is already going in Trump’s favor as Judge Cannon indefinitely postponed the trial and keeps “knocking down” prosecutor’s requests, the former president, along with Republicans, have bigger concern ahead of the most important battle in November

GOP-ers fear Trump’s reelection dream hinges on New York judge’s mercy as Merchan’s decision could put an end to his presidential campaign
Former US President Donald Trump. Credit: Deposit Photos

Republicans’ Concerns

Senate Republicans are expressing deep concerns over the potential impact of New York Judge Juan Merchan’s upcoming sentencing of former President Donald Trump. They warn that any decision to imprison or place Trump under house arrest could severely disrupt his ability to campaign for the 2024 presidential election, undermining his chances as the likely GOP nominee.

The Stakes of Merchan’s Decision

Trump’s legal troubles have intensified with his recent conviction on 34 felony counts related to the falsification of business documents. Legal experts suggest it could take months for Trump to appeal his conviction, with little expectation that the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court will intervene on his behalf. This leaves Trump’s fate at the mercy of Judge Merchan, who could impose a range of punishments, from prison and house arrest to probation and community service, that could have a negative impact on his presidential campaign.

Judge Merchan, who has been praised for his meticulous handling of the case, is scheduled to sentence Trump on July 11, just days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee. Senate Republicans are on edge, acknowledging that while it is unusual for a first-time offender like Trump to receive a prison sentence for a class E felony, the judge’s discretion introduces significant uncertainty.

Check also: Trump ‘kneels’ before Judge Merchan, requests gag order lifted to speak freely post conviction in New York

Republican Concerns and Reactions

Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, voiced his concerns about the potential misuse of judicial power. “I’m very troubled by what I see in the way the courts have been weaponized,” he said. “It used to be there were some institutions in America, namely the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the courts, which were regarded as out of bounds for overt partisan politics, but unfortunately, that’s changed, and not for the better.”

Senators like Cornyn fear that any sentence limiting Trump’s mobility or ability to communicate with voters could erode public confidence in the fairness of the 2024 election. Despite predictions from legal experts that Merchan is unlikely to incarcerate Trump before the convention, some GOP lawmakers remain wary.

Senator Ted Budd (R-N.C.) called the possibility of a harsh sentence “foolish” but did not rule it out given his views on Merchan’s handling of the trial. “When you see the conviction and the rules that he instructed the jury with, it’s completely unfair, it’s unconstitutional, and I would put nothing past him at this point,” Budd remarked.

Potential Impact on Trump’s Campaign

A tough sentence could paradoxically bolster Trump’s political support. Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), also a member of the Judiciary Committee, noted the uncertainty surrounding Trump’s fate. “With this process, anything is possible,” he said, adding that the judge would need to demonstrate that Trump’s sentence aligns with those of other defendants convicted of similar crimes to avoid accusations of political bias.

Check also: Trump’s battle against Smith takes a new turn as Judge Cannon’s unconventional moves continue to shape the Florida case

Tillis suggested that a restrictive sentence might energize Trump’s base, further entrenching their support. “Now he looks like he truly is being treated in a punitive way by the courts,” he said, suggesting that it could reinforce the narrative of political persecution.

Legal experts are skeptical that the U.S. Supreme Court will intervene in Trump’s case. Norm Eisen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, highlighted that only 1 in 10 cases of first-degree falsification of business records in New York results in imprisonment. However, Merchan’s reputation for being tough on white-collar criminals adds an element of unpredictability.

Barbara McQuade, a law professor at the University of Michigan, emphasized that the Supreme Court is unlikely to step in unless the case exhausts all state appeals. “I see zero chance of the U.S. Supreme Court intervening in Donald Trump’s conviction before the election,” she said.

Some Republican senators believe that the Supreme Court will ultimately overturn any criminal conviction of Trump. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) expressed confidence that the Supreme Court would intervene, while Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) predicted that any Trump conviction would likely be reversed.

Check also: Florida Representative Matt Gaetz shocks GOP as he takes stand against Trump’s will in Republican primary

Despite these assurances, other legal scholars argue that Trump’s conviction does not present any clear federal constitutional issues that would prompt Supreme Court involvement. “The most likely answer is the Supreme Court is going to do nothing,” said Ilya Somin, a professor of law at George Mason University.

As Trump’s sentencing date approaches, the GOP is bracing for the potential fallout. The decision by Judge Merchan could profoundly impact Trump’s reelection campaign, either by restricting his ability to campaign or by galvanizing his supporters in the face of perceived judicial overreach. The political and legal ramifications of this high-stakes decision will continue to unfold in the coming months, shaping the trajectory of the 2024 presidential race.

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