Will Trump's Manhattan conviction affect classified documents case in Fort Pierce?

Attorney David Weinstein weighs in as Treasure Coast voters react to the verdict
Posted at 12:20 AM, Jun 01, 2024

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — It's an unprecedented verdict— the conviction of a former United States president, who also happens to be the likely Republican presidential nominee for the upcoming election.

One thing is for certain, Donald Trump's Manhattan conviction is certainly raising questions across the board concerning what happens next, including in Trump's other cases.

Aside from the Manhattan hush money case, Trump is facing felony counts in multiple other states: four counts in Washington D.C., 13 counts in Georgia, and 40 in Florida—the latter of which accuses him of hoarding classified documents, among other charges.

So will his current conviction impact the other allegations against him?

"It's not quite so cut and dry," said attorney and legal analyst David Weinstein.

Weinstsein, a partner at Jones Walker LLP, said Trump's conviction won't have a direct impact on his other cases, but could indirectly the outcome.

For one, if Trump is convicted in the Florida classified documents case, Weinstein said the Special Counsel could use his prior conviction in Manhattan to argue for a lengthier sentence.

"The other way the prosecution might use this is to establish a prior bad act, not only on the conviction but also on what he was accused of doing, which is falsification of records," said Weinstein.

Trump is convicted of falsifying records in the hush money case, which Weinstein said isn't all that different from what he's accused of here in Florida: hoarding classified documents, obstruction and perjury.

Weinstein said his Manhattan conviction could help the Special Counsel argue Trump has a pattern of similar criminal behavior. However, if Trump appeals his conviction and wins, that argument doesn't carry any weight.

"So, quite frankly, they’d be better off just leaving it alone and relying on the evidence they do have," said Weinstein.

He also pointed out any admission of more evidence would push the already indefinitely postponed trial back even further, potentially after the upcoming election, which the prosecution doesn't want to do.

So, for now, nothing has really changed in Florida's case against Trump.

The verdict and its implications come as reaction poured in from across the Treasure Coast, the very home of that potential presidential trial.

At the Cake Lady in downtown Fort Pierce, owner Staci Dunn spent the day printing out sheets of MAGA cookies in honor of the former president, who she felt was wrongly convicted.

"I was shocked, I was disappointed. We are Trump supporters and proud of it, and we will have some Trump treats. Trump treats! I just coined a new phrase!" joked Dunn, who said she already has an order of MAGA cookies for November.

Not everyone feels the same, however.

Across the county, Marcus Webb was thankful to see a conviction, but was frustrated at what he felt was a likely outcome.

"He should be in jail, but it’s not going to happen," said Webb. "It’s justice, but at the same time, its not justice if he’s going to get away with it."

Others, like Ashia Parker, didn't know what to think of the unprecedented case.

"I'm in the middle," said Parker, who said she has lots more questions before reaching her own conclusion.

To answer all your questions about the Trump verdict, we've gathered some answers for you here.