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Sending me to prison could be ‘breaking point’ for my supporters — Trump

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Donald Trump has suggested that sending him to prison could prove a “breaking point” for his supporters — a warning that will fuel concerns of political violence around the US presidential election on November 5.

In an interview aired Sunday on Fox News, the former president and current Republican White House hopeful acknowledged the possibility of jail time or house arrest following his historic criminal conviction in a hush money trial.

“I’m ok with it,” Trump said, but added he was “not sure the public would stand for it.”

“I think it would be tough for the public to take. You know at a certain point there’s a breaking point,” he said.

The warning will resonate in a country already concerned about the prospect of civil unrest and political harassment in the run-up to the November election.

Trump will now be running as a felon, and he has repeatedly refused to commit to accepting the result should he lose to President Joe Biden.

A New York jury on Thursday convicted Trump on all 34 felony charges of falsifying business records late in the 2016 presidential campaign to cover up a sex scandal involving adult film star Stormy Daniels.

It was the first criminal conviction of a former president in US history, and sentencing has been set for July 11 — days before the Republican National Convention that will formally anoint Trump as the party’s presidential nominee.

“They’re turning Donald Trump into a martyr,” Trump’s son Eric told Fox News.

Although each charge carries a possible four-year jail term, experts say it is extremely unlikely the judge will hand down a custodial sentence.

Nevertheless Trump himself joined the stark call by fellow Republicans, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, for the US Supreme Court to somehow intervene in favor of the ex-president.

A “Local Judge, appointed by the Democrats, who is HIGHLY CONFLICTED, will make a decision which will determine the future of our Nation?” Trump said on his Truth Social media platform. “The United States Supreme Court MUST DECIDE!”

Trump has said his legal team will appeal the hush money verdict. Since it is a New York case, it would have to go through state appellate courts before it reaches the US Supreme Court.

Trump faces three other criminal trials, including one related to efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election he lost to Biden.

The 77-year-old’s supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 after he delivered a fiery speech urging the crowd to “fight like hell.”

Democratic congressman Adam Schiff, a member of the House of Representatives committee that investigated the Capitol attack, said Trump’s strategy was clear.

“This is essentially his threat that, if he gets jail time, that he’s going to encourage his supporters to rise up,” Schiff said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

“And we saw the very deadly results of that on January 6.”

 

AFP

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