What Happens Now That Trump Is Not Guilty? Asked WSJ Renew

What Happens Now That Trump Is Not Guilty Asked WSJ Renew firstamericannews

WSJ Renew reported that the indictment kicks off the legal case in earnest, which could culminate in a criminal trial.

At some point in coming months, a trial date will be set. However, such a date could get pushed further out depending on the pace of the pretrial activity. Lawyers and legal specialists have said the trial could get pushed out a year or more, putting it squarely in campaign season for the next presidential election.

What will the pretrial activity look like?

The prosecution is legally obligated soon after arraignment to turn over to the defense all of the evidence that it gathered as part of its initial investigation.

This information, which typically consists of a host of material, including grand jury exhibits, transcripts of witness testimony and evidence gathered via subpoena, is typically not made public, but gives the defense a clear and full picture so it can properly prepare its case.

What happens after that?

Before and after the information exchange, the Trump team will likely size up its best legal arguments and prepare pretrial motions.

Mr. Trump and his attorneys could move to dismiss the indictment, possibly on a host of grounds, including that Mr. Bragg brought the case too late, or that the underlying legal theory doesn’t hold water WSJ Renew has said.

who is well-known for his aggressive approaches to litigation, could make a range of other motions as well, including a request to move the case out of Manhattan. Mr. Trump has complained publicly that he is unlikely to be treated fairly in a Manhattan courtroom, and suggested that the case be moved to Staten Island, which is more Republican-leaning than other parts of New York City.

Motions requesting this kind of relief—dismissing a case entirely or shifting it out of its current venue—are rarely granted. But judges typically take them seriously, and processing them can eat up weeks or months of time.

Leading up to trial, lawyers would likely file legal briefs and argue over what evidence jurors would be allowed to hear.

Is a verdict in a trial the only possible conclusion to this case?

No. The judge in the case, Justice Juan Merchan, could toss the case in advance of a trial. Mr. Trump could also choose to change his not-guilty plea to guilty at some point, though he has pledged to take this case all the way through trial.

Would Mr. Trump spend any time in jail?

Probably not, say former prosecutors. The charges he faces are relatively low-level offenses, so even if convicted, Mr. Trump, as a first-time offender, would be unlikely to face prison time, lawyers said.

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