George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said that there were “substantial constitutional questions” to be worked out if former President Donald Trump were to win the White House in 2024.
Trump turned himself in at the Fulton County Jail to be booked Aug. 24 after a grand jury handed down indictments the night of Aug. 14, charging Trump and other associates, including former Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York City and attorneys Jenna Ellis, John Eastman and Sidney Powell.
Trump is also facing two federal indictments from special counsel Jack Smith relating to efforts to contest the 2020 election and allegations surrounding classified documents and an indictment secured by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in a case centered around a $130,000 payout to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016.
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“President Trump, could indeed pardon himself for federal crimes. For the state crimes, it could create some serious complications,” Turley told Fox News host Jesse Watters.
“The court would first have to sentence him to jail. But then federal courts may get involved and to the extent that that would interfere with presidential functions, we obviously have not been down that road but we have to look towards it. And it is going to be a messy situation the courts are going to have to deal with it.”
“It is still not clear what trials could occur before the election,” Turley said. “It is also not clear if convictions that were secured would be upheld when they’re challenged. It probably is going to be difficult to bring all of these threshold challenges to the court of appeals before trial. Judges tend to say that you should get a verdict first and then appeal, but there are substantial constitutional questions to be worked out.”
Turley noted there were a number of other outcomes besides a conviction of Trump.
“Trump could be acquitted. You could have a hung jury. The cases could be thrown out on constitutional grounds,” Turley said. “All of those, at least are options worth mentioning for appearances’ sake, if you are a nation committed to the rule of law.”
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