Guilty 34 times – but no punishment?


Lerato Khumalo

Donald Trump was found guilty by a court of paying hush money. The sentence was due to be announced in July. This could now be delayed.

The district attorney’s office in Manhattan has agreed to delay the announcement of Donald Trump’s sentence, according to the New York Times. The former president’s defense team will argue that a Supreme Court ruling granting presidents immunity for official acts should overturn his conviction for falsifying business records and violating election law.

The prosecution wrote in a letter to the judge in charge, Juan Merchan, that it had no objection to a later date for the announcement of the sentence. The prosecution also asked for a deadline of July 24 to respond to a motion by Trump to overturn the conviction. If Merchan agrees, the announcement of the sentence, which was set for July 11, would be delayed by at least two weeks.

The judge in charge will now examine whether the Supreme Court’s recent ruling could jeopardize Trump’s conviction. The judge’s decision to postpone the announcement of the sentence is still pending. However, since the prosecutor and defense are in agreement, it is likely that the judge would agree, the New York Times writes.

Donald Trump was found guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with the cover-up of a sex scandal during his 2016 presidential campaign. Sentencing was scheduled for July 11. He faces up to four years in prison, although he could also receive probation.

On Monday, the Supreme Court granted the president broad immunity from prosecution for official acts, a setback for a federal criminal case against Trump accusing him of plotting to defeat him in the 2020 election.

The Manhattan trial does not concern Trump’s official actions during his presidency, but rather personal activities during his campaign. Nevertheless, his lawyers argued that prosecutors had based their case in part on evidence from his time in the White House.