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Former president and 2024 candidate Donald Trump is preparing his supporters for a potential guilty verdict in the ongoing hush money trial in New York. Trump’s attacks on the trial are aimed at persuading voters to disregard a guilty verdict, as he faces accusations of improperly influencing the 2016 presidential election by paying hush money to women. While Trump occasionally expresses public optimism about the trial, he has spent more time claiming political bias by the judge, prosecutors, and the jury pool.

Trump’s efforts to brace supporters for potentially bad legal news will be highlighted at a campaign rally in Wildwood, N.J. where he plans to discuss the ongoing trial. By equating the hush money trial to civil cases he has previously lost, Trump is preparing his base for a possible guilty verdict. Trump has also cited legal analysts who agree with his criticisms of the trial, claiming that the judge is orchestrating his conviction. Despite the ongoing attacks on the trial, Trump has been found in violation of the gag order multiple times for criticizing witnesses and court personnel.

In the past, Trump has braced his supporters for the likelihood of indictments, seeking to taint the investigations as politically motivated. He currently faces indictment in four separate criminal cases, including the New York hush money case and charges of mishandling classified information and attempting to steal the 2020 election. Trump is seeking to delay three of the trials to beyond Election Day on Nov. 5, leaving the New York case as his only trial during the campaign. The indictments may have helped Trump with hardcore Republican voters, but have generated skepticism from moderate and independent voters.

As Trump awaits an actual verdict in the New York case, the political impact remains unknown. Jonathan Turley, a law professor often cited by Trump, believes that Trump has a good chance to have the case reversed on appeal, even if convicted. However, legal analyst Bradley P. Moss believes that a guilty verdict would not benefit Trump politically and questions how much damage it may do to his campaign. Trump’s base is likely to stick with him regardless of the outcome, but attracting moderate and independent voters remains a challenge for the former president.

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