Former Manhattan district attorney says there will be ‘strong appeals’ to Trump verdict

Former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said there will be “strong appeals” to the hush money jury’s verdict that found former President Trump guilty last week.

A jury found Trump guilty on Thursday of 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection to a reimbursement made to his ex-fixer Michael Cohen for a payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels to stay quiet about an alleged affair that the former president denies. Vance was asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” whether the prosecution’s hush money case against the former president would be able to withstand an appeal.

“Well, certainly there will be strong appeals, and there are going to be issues that will be carefully considered by the appellate courts,” he said.

Trump’s team has signaled that they would likely be appealing the guilty verdict. Vance said that an issue has been brought up about some of the charges in the case not being identified when asked what the best grounds were for appeal.

“But I want to address that, if I can, Peter, you know, that’s not — that’s not necessarily totally unusual New York law, you commit burglary in New York, burglary of a dwelling, where you enter a person’s home with intent to commit a crime therein. The jury is not required to find beyond a reasonable doubt what that crime is,” he said.

“But so, so my point is that in other areas of law, this has been sustained, and I think that will be informative and perhaps decisive to the appellate courts as they look at the president’s appeal,” he added.

To secure a felony conviction in the case, the prosecutors had to convince jurors beyond a reasonable doubt that the hush money cover-up was to conceal or further some other crime. The prosecution did not need to prove that the other crime was committed, aided or concealed.

Vance also said that he did not think Trump would be sentenced to jail.

“If you ask me do I think the court will impose jail in this case, as I said to you I think yesterday, I think not. But ultimately, that’s [Judge Juan Merchan’s] decision,” he said.

“The president has made this a little more complicated by having been found in contempt 10 times during the court, but I think that with the proximity of the Republican convention four days after his sentencing, and then if he is the candidate for the Republican Party, the proximity of the election, I would be surprised that he would be sentenced to any imprisonment,” he added.

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