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Trump’s NY criminal trial to mark milestone in American politics

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The trial raises the prospect that Trump could become a convicted felon before a single vote is cast.
Donald Trump is poised to become the first former U.S. president to face a criminal trial, a watershed moment for American democracy as the Republican nominee fights a divisive battle to retake the White House.
The New York trial starting Monday over the alleged falsification of business records to conceal a sex scandal during Trump’s 2016 campaign is one of four criminal cases against the former president, but it’s the only one set to go to trial before his November rematch against President Joe Biden.
The trial marks an extraordinary moment even for Trump, raising the prospect that he could become a convicted felon before a single vote is cast. It also risks further inflaming tensions between Americans who see Trump as a serial offender and those who agree with his assertion that he’s a victim of a Democratic “witch hunt.”
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case is focused on “hush money” payments to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep voters in the dark about alleged affairs before the 2016 election. It is widely seen as the least consequential of Trump’s four criminal prosecutions, but a guilty verdict would nevertheless put his freedom at risk and raise doubts about his ability to lead the nation.
The 77-year-old former president has pleaded not guilty to the charges and faces as many as four years behind bars. The charges don’t bar him from running for or becoming president. Yet the prospect that he could be convicted and sentenced to jail could trigger a political crisis.
A conviction would also force the U.S. legal system to wrestle with unprecedented questions, including whether Trump could be sentenced to jail while he’s campaigning, and, if he wins, when exactly he’d serve his time.
A spokesperson for Trump’s campaign said the trial represents a “failing election interference strategy” by Democrats “to try and keep President Trump away from campaigning by confining him to a courtroom.”Campaigning in court
Trump is required by law to attend the trial each day in a Lower Manhattan state court.

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