The former president’s conviction of defamation and battery “probably doesn't do Donald Trump any political damage,” according to a law lecturer.
Yesterday, the former US President was found liable of battery and defamation, after a civil trial jury found he sexually abused writer E Jean Carroll in the 1990s.
The jury rejected the claim that former US President Donald Trump had raped Ms Carroll.
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, University of Galway law lecturer and Journal.ie columnist Larry Donnelly said the conviction will likely not impede Mr Trump’s political career as of now.
“The reality is in the short term, this probably doesn't do Donald Trump any political damage as he seeks the Republican nomination,” he said.
“In the longer term, it's another strike – it's another problem for him in the event that he gets the Republican nomination and has to go to the wider general public.”
‘The presidential run’
Mr Donnelly said he believes Mr Trump can obtain the Republican nomination, but not win the presidential election.
“Something like this is going to damage him among one constituency of voters who are crucial for him, and that is suburban white women,” he said.
“He will need their votes; he will need them to be on-site, especially in battleground states.
“I cannot imagine that this is going to do any good for him with them among other legal issues that he's facing.”
‘Corruption of justice’
US economist and economic advisor to Donald Trump, Stephen Moore, said: “People are pretty stunned about this one – there was no evidence whatsoever.”
“It's just a one woman's claim of sexual misconduct,” he said.
“It seems to be a corruption of justice with no real evidence of wrongdoing by the former president.
“For people who are Trump fans and supporters, including myself … it sort of reinforces this idea that we have a fairly corrupt judicial system in America today and that it's harder all the time to get a fair trial.
“I think people are very divided here in the US about whether there's any truth to these allegations.”
‘Reaction of Trump supporters’
Mr Donnelly said Mr Moore’s response to the conviction “encapsulates the reaction of Trump supporters.”
“I think an awful lot of people on the right wing of American politics, whether they support Donald Trump or not, they will see this as an over-the-top charge,” he said.
“They will see this as heavily, heavily politicised.
“They will cite the fact that it happened in Manhattan, and it was impossible to get an impartial jury and cite what they see as the weaknesses in the case.”
Mr Donnelly said politics in the United States is the result of “the fact that on many levels, American society and the American polity is broken.”
“If all was well in America, neither major party would have a figure like Donald Trump at the top – Donald Trump never would have been elected president,” he said.
Mr Donnelly said that Donald Trump’s unorthodox approach to politics has gained him a loyal fanbase.
“It doesn't seem to matter what he does or what he says, he inspires loyalty in a substantial segment of the electorate that is just unbelievable, to be frank.
“The reality is we're looking into a presidential contest in the United States where it's going to be between two elderly men, in all likelihood, who are deeply, deeply unpopular.
“People are going to be deciding who is it that I can tolerate not who inspires me, whose vision do I like best?”
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