Trump Will Appeal NY Conviction ‘All the Way’ to Supreme Court, Lawyer Says

‘I don’t think President Trump is going to end up being subject to any sentence whatsoever,’ he says.
Trump Will Appeal NY Conviction ‘All the Way’ to Supreme Court, Lawyer Says
Former President Donald Trump holds a press conference following the verdict in his New York trial at Trump Tower in New York City on May 31, 2024. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

A lawyer for former President Donald Trump on Sunday said that his client is preparing to take their appeal of last week’s felony conviction “all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court” and also doesn’t believe the former president will be sentenced.

Late last week, a jury in Manhattan convicted President Trump for falsifying business records after a six-week trial. The former president said in a news conference on May 31 that he would appeal the verdict, while the judge overseeing the case said his sentencing date is July 11.

“We look forward to getting this case ... into the next court and taking this again all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary to vindicate President Trump’s rights,” Trump attorney Will Scharf told ABC News on Sunday morning.

He added that the Trump team will “vigorously challenge” this case on appeal, saying, “I don’t think President Trump is going to end up being subject to any sentence whatsoever.”

Possibly previewing his lawyers’ arguments during the appeals process, Mr. Scharf made reference to the jury instructions that were handed down by Justice Juan Merchan last week. He also took issue with some of the judge’s decisions on what evidence could be included or what could be asked of witnesses.

“I think when you look at the jury instructions here, Judge Merchan essentially ... certainly steered the jury toward the verdict that he clearly wanted,” he claimed in the interview.

“Some of Judge Merchan’s evidentiary decisions really throughout the conduct of this trial were, frankly, astounding,” Mr. Scharf stated. He also made mention of the judge’s decision to not allow a former Federal Election Commission official, Brad Smith, to testify about certain aspects of the case.

“This is one of the world’s leading experts on federal election law,” he claimed, referring to Mr. Smith. “Severely limiting the scope of examination of Robert Costello, who I believe had absolutely damning information about the prosecution’s case. On decision after decision after decision, Judge Merchan, I think, departed from normal courtroom procedure, normal courtroom practice, to essentially stack the deck against President Trump.”

Regarding the appeal, Mr. Scharf said that his team would again challenge Justice Merchan’s move not to recuse himself. At the onset of the trial, the judge declined to step down from the case, while the New York Court of Appeals later rejected an attempt to have the judge recuse himself.

In mid-April, the judge ruled from the bench and said that President Trump’s lawyers “failed to provide” evidence that would suggest he has a conflict of interest and said their arguments were based on “innuendos” and “inferences.”

“There is no agenda here,” Justice Merchan said at the time before rejecting President Trump’s recusal motion. “We want to follow the law.”

President Trump, 77, was found guilty of falsifying payments to allegedly cover up former lawyer Michael Cohen’s $130,000 payment to a woman who claimed to have had an affair with him in 2006. The former president said that the affair never happened and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Prosecutors alleged that the hush money payment was part of a broader scheme in violation of campaign finance and tax laws to pay off people with potentially negative information about President Trump during the 2016 election.

The maximum sentence for falsification of business records is four years imprisonment. Some legal analysts have said that it’s rare for people without any criminal past such as President Trump to face prison time for being convicted of falsification of business records in New York.

Defendants convicted of falsifying business records who get sentenced to time behind bars typically serve a year or less, and even in those cases most were convicted of other crimes such as fraud or grand larceny—unlike President Trump.

If punished beyond a fine, the former president could be placed under home confinement or subject to a curfew rather than imprisoned. As a former president, he has a lifetime Secret Service detail, and the logistics of keeping him safe behind bars could become complicated.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Secret Service on Friday told The Epoch Times that the agency’s mission to protect current and former presidents has not changed in light of the conviction.

The trial’s “outcome has no bearing on the manner in which the United States Secret Service carries out its protective mission,” the agency said, before adding that “our security measures will proceed unchanged.”

In a press conference after the verdict, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who brought the charges, declined to say whether his office would seek a prison sentence.

Reuters contributed to this report.
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: