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Jun 02, 2024 / 16:57

Historic precedence but not game-changer

It is in no way a game-changer in the ultimate showdown between Trump and Biden.

It was really a politically and judicially historic precedence for the US when former President Donald Trump had to have been in a criminal tribunal in New York for five weeks and got a New York jury’s guilty verdict against himself. 

 US former President Donald Trump at a court in Manhattan on November 6, 2023. Photo: AFP/VNA 

He was found guilty of all 34 counts of falsifying business records to influence the 2016 election. His hush money trial got its deserving place in US politics and judicial history. He was the first former US president who faced criminal trials and was found guilty by a jury. He will appeal his criminal conviction. It is absolutely possible that he would finally get mild sentences. Despite his guilty verdict, he can campaign like incumbent US president Joe Biden for the White House in the coming November presidential election in the US and be elected once again. For Donald Trump, the hush money case is widely considered the least consequential of the four criminal prosecutions Trump is facing, the guilty verdict could have implications for the election, more badly than good for his chances and perspectives to retake the White House.

From now on, it is getting more and more difficult and complicated for Trump to reach swing voters and voters who have still not decided to choose which candidate. Just those voters decide who will be the next US president. Now, because Trump was found guilty, many of them wouldn't vote for Trump wouldn't go to vote, or would give Biden their votes. The difference of only some thousand or even hundreds of votes could seal Trump's fate in this year's presidential election. While most Trump-loyal voters are now, after the New York jury's guilty verdict against Trump, more firmly determined than ever before to help Trump win the election, a certain part of Trump-loyal voters wouldn't be ready anymore to vote for Trump. That would be another bad news for Trump.

The New York jury's guilty verdict against Trump isn't any guarantee that Trump would lose and that Biden would win this year's presidential election. Its outcome is now more uncertain than ever before. It is in no way a game-changer in the ultimate showdown between Trump and Biden. What Trump can and will do in the remaining time until Election Day can only mobilize his supporters and not others.

Joe Biden has theoretically now better cards and trumps than Trump. He would win all voters who now do not want to vote for Trump anymore if he didn't concentrate his campaign on Trump's legal defeat but on pressing concerns of ordinary people in America like the economy, abortion rights, and democracy as well as on clearly demonstrating the contrast between himself and Trump: Joe Biden fighting for America and American while Donald Trump battelling only for himself. In other words, the trial outcome against Trump itself is not a game-changer but has given Biden an opportunity he didn't ever expect until now to create his own game-changer.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by Ambassador Tran Duc Mau are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Hanoi Times.