Donald Trump Juan Merchan

MSNBC Legal Analyst Says It’s “Highly Unlikely” Judge Merchan Will Sentence Trump to Jail so Close to Election

DCNF(DCNF)—A MSNBC legal analyst said that former President Donald Trump probably wouldn’t be sentenced to prison by New York Judge Juan Merchan, citing the upcoming election.

Merchan pushed back the scheduled sentencing of Trump on 34 felony counts of falsification of business records to Sept. 18 following a Monday Supreme Court ruling on presidential immunity. Catherine Christian told MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell that Trump’s status as the presumptive nominee would affect how Merchan approached the sentencing.


“I think it’s highly unlikely that Judge Merchan in September is going to put the leading candidate for one party for president in jail, but his options are a jail sentence, and a jail sentence is really defined as a misdemeanor – not a misdemeanor, one year or less,” Christian said. “So that, in New York that would be Riker’s Island.”

“A prison sentence would be a year or more. So, he can give a maximum of four,” Chrisitan continued. “People who keep talking about 20 years and 100, this is not a consecutive case under the law, of the New York law. He can get probation, he can give additional discharge, he can give a fine. He has a number of options he can do; I do not think one of them will be incarceration.”

Merchan came under fire from Trump supporters and legal experts for a perceived bias against Trump over his handling of the business records case, including imposing an expanded gag order April 1 after Trump criticized the judge’s daughter, Loren, in multiple posts on Truth Social, including posting a link to a New York Post report on how Loren Merchan’s firm helped Democrats raise at least $93 million off the former president’s indictment in the case.

Merchan also made a $15 donation to Biden’s presidential campaign in 2020 and two $10 donations to one group called “Stop Republicans” and one to a “Progressive Turnout Project,” according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records. All the donations were through ActBlue, a fundraising site for Democratic causes.

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