Hello and welcome to week 13 of our recaps covering all things relating to the 2024 US Presidential election. Think of us as your helpful guide, keeping you in the loop about everything you need to know about the upcoming elections with our bite-sized, crystal-clear weekly summaries. And this week, we took it upon ourselves to dissect a question that’s been on everyone’s mind: will former US President Donald Trump go to prison? From multiple criminal charges to an ongoing ballot fiasco, we’ve got the full breakdown so let’s get started.
With 91 criminal charges having been filed against the former president, it is understandable why voters want to know if any of it is going to eventually catch up to the Republican frontrunner. Especially since a US court has now officially ruled that Trump is not immune to charges of plotting to overturn the 2020 election, despite what he has previously claimed.
After winning the Iowa and New Hampshire Republican primaries with ease, it seems very likely that Trump will secure the coveted Republican nomination, despite desperate efforts by his rival Nikki Haley.
Still, according to The Independent, the increasingly wide range of actions for which the former president is now being prosecuted for is slowly chipping away at the likelihood that he will be able to evade the inside of a prison cell forever.
While Trump is facing multiple charges across four key cases, the first and oldest one is the New York case, which addresses his business dealings prior to his presidency. In April 2023, Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg accused the former president of 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree which is a felony under New York state law.
Bragg alleged that this felony was committed in order to conceal “hush money” payments made on his behalf to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016 to secure her silence about an affair the two had a decade earlier, as reported by the BBC.
Each count carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison, for a total maximum sentence of 136 years. The trial for the case is set for 25 March 2024. That being said, if convicted by a jury, it seems likely that he will get off with fines or, at the most, probation and community service though.
Moving on, a significant chapter in the Trump criminal case files involves mishandling classified documents—a revelation that came to light following a raid on his Flordia estate in Mar-a-Lago. Trump is also accused of obstructing justice and making false statements about the withheld documents.
In this particular case, the former president faces a maximum of 10 years in prison per count of willfully retaining secrets and 20 years per count of obstructing justice, for an overall potential sentence of 450 years in prison. Although, it’s likely that he would probably still be released before any of us got to watch Euphoria season three.
The trial in this case is set for 20 May of this year.
The next case by the Justice Department infamously charges Trump with crimes related to the 2020 election and the months-long effort by his team to overturn the results. This is the case wherein we just found out that Trump would not be granted presidential immunity.
In fact, Trump could be convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiring against Americans’ right to vote in free elections. Yikes. If Trump is convicted, he could serve a maximum of 55 years in prison. All those years are officially starting to add up.
According to The Guardian, the unanimous decision in regard to the immunity factor read: “We cannot accept former President Trump’s claim that a President has unbounded authority to commit crimes that would neutralize the most fundamental check on executive power.”
Oh wait, there’s another one. The final of Trump’s legal woes pertains to an election racketeering case in the great state of Georgia. The prosecution alleges that Trump led a “criminal racketeering enterprise,” in which he and all other defendants “knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome” of the 2020 US presidential election in Georgia.
It is assumed that this case will be the hardest one to prove as it involves fewer allegations and less substantial evidence. Instead, the case mainly relies on the prosecution convincing a judge that Trump’s overall attempt to alter the election results in Georgia crossed the boundary into becoming a fully-fledged criminal enterprise. If the prosecution is successful, Trump could be facing a maximum of 76.5 years.
And that’s a summary of Trump’s potential journey up the river. What happens next, only time will tell. XOXO, Gossip Girl. Just kidding, but tune in next week to stay up to date on this rollercoaster called the US elections.