Business Standard

Trump legal woes likely to go beyond 2024, says Indian-American attorney

"Even if Trump is elected in the 2024 presidential elections, it can at most delay his sentencing as a presidential pardon can be applied to a federal crime and not a case in New York State," he said

Former US President Donald Trump

Former US President Donald Trump (Photo: PTI)

Press Trust of India Washington

Listen to This Article

The legal battle of former US president Donald Trump is unlikely to end soon and could go even beyond the 2024 presidential elections, a leading Indian-American attorney has said, observing that a presidential pardon also cannot be applied in this case.
Trump, 76, on Tuesday, was arraigned in a criminal case in New York. He became the first former US president to be indicted, arrested and arraigned on criminal charges.
The Republican, the leading candidate from the party for the 2024 race for the White House, pleaded not guilty to 34 criminal charges of falsifying business records in person before State Supreme Court Justice Juan M Merchan.
It wouldn't be unusual if this case took two years or more to try, which means by next summer of 2024 when the conventions are being held, this case will not have been tried. In fact, it may not even be tried before the election takes place (in November 2024), Indian-American attorney from New York Ravi Batra told PTI after Trump's arraignment in Manhattan on Tuesday.
He was charged in connection with USD 1,30,000 hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the US presidential election in 2016 to cover up an alleged affair.
Batra said there is a strong case against Trump.
Even if Trump is elected in the 2024 presidential elections, it can at most delay his sentencing as a presidential pardon can be applied to a federal crime and not a case in New York State. Being a Democratic bastion it is very unlikely that a Republican can be elected as a New York State Governor in near future, so the possibility of him being pardoned by the New York Governor is next to impossible, he said.
Let's assume for a minute he could (win the 2024 elections), it would only delay the sentencing. He could not get a pardon. He couldn't do it for himself, nor could anybody give him a pardon. Because the federal president cannot pardon someone for state crimes, Batra said.
President Biden could pardon him, for example, if special counsel Jack Smith brought charges against him in federal court, and convicted him, then President Biden or a subsequent president could pardon those federal crimes or charged crimes. But only a state governor can pardon the state crimes, he explained.
Now that a case against Trump has been filed in New York, it is very likely that charges might be filed against him in many states and even by the federal prosecutors against him in multiple cases, he said.
On a practical level, every time Trump has to be in court, he's not out politicking. So it does have a consequence because it eats up his calendar. Now, if his lawyers are in court and he's not, then it doesn't matter. But if he has to be in court or he has to give depositions, well then he's not able to politic because he's gotta give his proper obedience to the rule of law, he said.
Politically, it is a different matter. But he's got enough on his plate, legal, both criminal and civil, he said.
Responding to a question, Batra said that normal procedures took a back seat during the surrender and arraignment of Trump in a New York court.
The normal procedure here would've been, a person comes in, they do come in handcuffs, that was not followed this time. They normally get a mugshot that was not followed because the actual body of a former president is protected by the Secret Service. So even, New York State law enforcement had to take a step back because they were not allowed to handcuff him, he said.
This is an appropriate respect given to the high office in our land. So this is not improper. It is actually quite proper, Batra said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Apr 05 2023 | 11:32 AM IST

Explore News