Trump suggests his political opponents may face prosecution if he’s elected

US

Donald Trump has claimed “it’s very possible” that his political opponents may face prosecution after he became the first former US president to be criminally convicted.

Trump seemed to raise the prospect of it happening if he became president again during an interview with conservative US outlet Newsmax.

The 77-year-old said: “It’s a terrible precedent for our country. Does that mean the next president does it to them? That’s really the question.”

He added: “So, you know, it’s a terrible, terrible path that they’re leading us to, and it’s very possible that it’s going to have to happen to them.”

Trump was found guilty last week of falsifying business records to commit election fraud in a five-week trial in New York.

The former president covered up a $130,000 (£102,000) payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels as part of a “hush money” scheme to bury stories he thought might hurt his presidential campaign in 2016.

He repeatedly made unfounded claims over the criminal proceedings, alleging without evidence that they were rigged against him before the jury found him unanimously guilty of all 34 counts he faced.

New York Times newspapers with the front page story on the verdict in Donald Trump's criminal trial. Pic: Reuters
Image:
Pic: Reuters

Claims of going after his political enemies have been a consistent talking point during Trump’s campaign ahead of the 5 November elections, Sky’s US partner NBC News said, adding he has frequently raised the idea of prosecuting President Joe Biden.

“I will appoint a real special prosecutor to go after the most corrupt president in the history of America, Joe Biden, and go after the Biden crime family,” Trump said in June, just hours after being arraigned at a federal courthouse in Miami on charges related to his handling of classified documents after he left the White House.

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The recent verdict plunges America into unexplored territory ahead of this year’s elections, with Trump and Mr Biden locked in a close race for the White House.

After Trump was found guilty by a jury in New York, something he said he would appeal, he faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

However, others convicted of the same offence often receive shorter sentences, fines or probation.

Meanwhile, Trump faces three more criminal cases.

He is also facing charges in relation to the attack on the US Capitol and over allegations he illegally held on to classified documents after leaving the White House.

Then, in Georgia, he is accused of criminally conspiring to overturn his narrow defeat in the state in the 2020 election.

But none of these cases have trial dates set, making it unlikely they will take place before the November election.


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He has also fought two civil cases.

In May 2023, a civil jury in New York ruled he sexually assaulted writer E Jean Carroll and then defamed her.

He was ordered to make one payment to her of $5m (£3.96m) and a second of $83.3m (£66.12m).

In February this year, he was fined $354.9m (£281.6m) by a judge in New York for inflating his wealth in order to secure easier terms on bank loans.

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