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How could Trump's verdict impact November election?

Posted at 11:15 PM, May 30, 2024

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — For the first time in history, a former president is now a convicted felon.

This after a judge found former President Donald Trump guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records in his New York criminal hush money trial.

"Do you feel like the former president was treated fairly in this?" asked WPTV reporter Joel Lopez to Former FBI agent and practicing criminal defense attorney Stuart Kaplan.

"Absolutely not, I think he got hometown cooking," said Kaplan.

He said the deck was stacked against Trump by allowing the trial to take place in New York.

"When you look up the demographics of New York City it's predominantly democratic and I'm sure that if you look at the jury pool there is no doubt that it was predominantly democrats," said Kaplan. "That is not in any way fair and I think that cuts against being tried by a pool of your peers."

State attorney Dave Aronberg said Trump wanted the venue changed to Mississippi.

"That's not how it works, the system doesn't work where the defendant gets to choose his jury and the venue of the case," said Aronberg.

He said it took place in New York because the crime happened in Manhattan.

Trump called it "a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who was corrupt."

"What Trump says outside of the courtroom is just for the consumption of his voters his base to rally them behind him," said Aronberg.

The former president is expected to appeal his conviction.

"His lawyers do have legitimate grounds for appeal based on some legal bases, for example, the judge allowed in a lot of testimony from Stormy Daniels that was very salacious that may too prejudicial and that could result in the case overturned on appeal or the fact that a state prosecutor was allowed to lean on a federal campaign finance law to elevate a state misdemeanor to a state felony," said Aronberg.

"What's next for Trump? Do we expect him sitting in a jail cell at any time?" asked Lopez.

"Sitting here tonight and watching this unfold I guess it's conceivable that this judge could sentence him to jail," said Kaplan.

However, Aronberg said he believes the judge will most likely sentence Trump to probation or house arrest.

"Is he going to be able to vote in this upcoming election for himself like he's done so many times?" asked Lopez.

"Even though he's a convicted felon I don't think that will take away his right to vote because he will be appealing this and if he challenged it in state courts, I'm sure he'll be allowed to vote," said Aronberg.

Regardless trump will still be a convicted felon come election day.

So how could this affect the election?

Experts said the decision could sway 'undecided voters' but we won't know until November if that is true.

"It's going to affect those people that have been undecided because now you have a candidate that's running for president who's a convicted felon. Forget about the stance on border, stance on healthcare, public safety, national security, what have you, the economy," said Kaplan. "I think there are many people and even myself standing alone if this was not Donald Trump the former president of the United States, that I'm not so sure that I would be favorable to vote for someone who is a convicted felon and that's just because that does and will influence someone's thought process."