US Secret Service Reacts to Trump’s Criminal Conviction

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
June 1, 2024Politics
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US Secret Service Reacts to Trump’s Criminal Conviction
Surrounded by campaign staff and members of the U.S. Secret Service, former President Donald Trump (C) waves to supporters as he visits the Iowa Pork Producers Tent at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, on Aug. 12, 2023. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The U.S. Secret Service on Friday said that the conviction of former President Donald Trump would have “no bearing” on whether the agency would protect him.

In a statement to The Epoch Times, the agency said that “today’s outcome has no bearing on the manner in which the United States Secret Service carries out its protective mission.”

While it did not elaborate or provide more details, the Secret Service added that “our security measures will proceed unchanged.”

The former president was convicted on felony charges for falsifying business records, and it is possible that he could see jail time during his July 11 sentencing date. Prosecutors have not indicated whether they would seek a prison term, while Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg declined to answer questions about the matter during a Thursday news conference.

The judge overseeing the trial, Juan Merchan, has also made no indication of how he will hand down President Trump’s sentence.

Several weeks ago, the Secret Service issued a similar statement to The Epoch Times regarding how it would handle the former president’s security if he were jailed, coming after Judge Merchan warned him that he would be prepared to send him to jail over comments that he said violated his earlier gag order.

On May 8, the agency responded to questions about how the Secret Service would respond if President Trump were jailed, saying that “under federal law, the United States Secret Service must provide protection for current government leaders, former Presidents and First Ladies, visiting heads of state and other individuals designated by the President of the United States.”

That comment also didn’t go into specifics about how it would handle security. At the time, the spokesperson did not respond to a question about whether a Secret Service agent could be stationed in a cell with the former president.

“For all settings around the world, we study locations and develop comprehensive and layered protective models that incorporate state-of-the-art technology, protective intelligence, and advanced security tactics to safeguard our protectees,” the spokesperson said. “Beyond that, we do not comment on specific protective operations.”

The lead attorney for President Trump, Todd Blanche, told CNN that he thinks the former president should not face prison time, in part due to his age. President Trump, 77, also has no prior convictions, he noted.

“There’s a system in place where you rely on precedent, and somebody like President Trump should never, never face a jail sentence based on this conduct,” Mr. Blanche said.

“And it would just kind of confirm what we’ve been saying all along,” he continued. “And a lot of people say that we’re wrong and that we’re missing key pieces. But if other 77-year-old, first-time offenders would never be sent to prison for this conduct.”

The charge he was convicted of, falsifying business records, carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison. Others convicted of that crime often receive shorter sentences, fines, or probation, but the judge in the case said during jury selection that President Trump faces a potential jail sentence.

After the conviction was handed down on Thursday evening, Judge Merchan set the sentencing date for July 11, or four days before the start of the Republican National Convention. President Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee for president.

Incarceration would not prevent President Trump from campaigning or taking office if he were to win during the November election. He also will not be jailed ahead of his sentencing.

After two days of deliberation, a jury of New Yorkers found President Trump guilty of all 34 criminal counts he faced for falsifying documents to cover up payments to Stormy Daniels in the final days of his successful 2016 campaign. The former president pleaded not guilty, denied allegations from Ms. Daniels about an affair, and said the payments were standard legal expenses.

Falsifying business documents is normally a misdemeanor in New York, but prosecutors in District Attorney Bragg’s office elevated the case to a felony on the grounds that President Trump was concealing an illegal campaign contribution.

He still faces three other criminal prosecutions, but the New York verdict could be the only one handed down before Americans vote, as the other cases have been tied up in legal wrangling. President Trump has pleaded not guilty in all four cases, which he says are politically motivated.

“If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone,” he posted on social media, describing the New York trial as “rigged.”

National opinion polls show President Trump locked in a tight race with President Joe Biden, and one in four Republican respondents in an April Reuters-Ipsos poll said they would not vote for him if he were convicted of a felony by a jury.

Allen Zhong and Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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