Legal Expert Tells Us Trump's Legal Fate Likely Won't Impact Biden Debate

Former president Donald Trump's first criminal trial is nearing its end, and pretty soon, we will know whether he will be found guilty or innocent in the hush money case involving Stormy Daniels. How will this affect his presidential campaign, and specifically, his debate with President Joe Biden? According to Neama Rahmani, former federal prosecutor and president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, Trump's verdict might not have as big of an impact as you may think.

In mid-May 2024, it was announced that Trump and Biden agreed to debate in June 2024. A sense of eagerness awaits the debate, as it will be a rematch of the 2020 presidential election, with only one problem — Trump could be convicted before the debate. His criminal trial regarding the hush money payments is expected to hear closing arguments the week of May 28, 2024. From that point, it will be up to the jury to decide Trump's fate, and while it can take long, many expect the decision to come before the debate. But even if he is convicted, Rahmani exclusively told Elasq he doesn't see this being a problem for the former president.

"I don't think the Trump trial will affect the debate. Even if Trump is convicted of the most serious charges, they are just class E felonies," he explained. Class E felonies are the lowest felony class, so Trump's repercussions may not be as bad as you think. Rahmani even told Elasq, "I don't think Judge Merchan will sentence Trump to prison."

Legal expert explains Donald Trump's possible future

When Donald Trump's hush money case kicked off in April 2024, he became the first former president in U.S. history to ever face a criminal trial. Now, he could become the first former president to ever be convicted in a criminal trial, but if that happens, legal expert Neama Rahmani doesn't think this will affect his upcoming debate with President Joe Biden or his ability to become president.

While Rahmani exclusively told Elasq he doesn't think Trump will face jail time, he still thinks that he will be hit with some sort of probation. But even probation won't have that much of an effect on his upcoming political events. "Trump is likely looking at a sentence of probation regardless of whether he is convicted of misdemeanors or felonies and there is nothing prohibiting a convicted felon from participating in a presidential debate," Rahmani said. Just like there is no rule against a convicted felon from participating in a presidential debate, there is also no restriction should he be sentenced to prison time. "He could theoretically be president from prison," Rahmani said. If Trump goes to prison, he will even receive his presidential perk of having Secret Service protection.

Still, while it may seem like there won't be any serious repercussions against Trump should he, or should he not be convicted, it will still be interesting to see how everything plays out, as this is a first for the country.