Is the pro-crypto presidential candidate at risk?

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The final verdict of Donald Trump has found the Republican presidential candidate unanimously guilty of all 34 counts of falsifying records to cover up a sex scandal. The case endangered his 2016 presidential campaign and could threaten his subsequent campaign for the upcoming U.S. election on Nov. 5, 2024. 

May 2024 has been a relevant month for crypto advocates as there seems to have been a significant political shift in U.S. policy toward crypto regulation. Trump has taken his chance to capitalize on potential votes from crypto advocates, introducing himself as the pro-crypto U.S. presidential candidate.

Joe Biden’s threat to veto the Congressional Review Act (CRA) H.J.Res. 109, which asked to review and remove the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 121 (SAB 121), ignited a political shake-up.

The U.S. Congress passed H.J.Res. 109 successfully with 60 to 38 votes, an exceptional bipartisan vote rate for a divided Congress. The co-author of Resistance Money and Bitcoin Policy Institute fellow Craig Warmke told Cointelegraph that “Trump smelled blood,” and rightfully, he has gone for his prey. 

On July 12, 2019, Trump declared in X that he was “not a fan of Bitcoin.” However, as the Senate shifted toward a friendlier approach to crypto regulation, so did the Republican candidate for the U.S. presidency. 

Trump’s sudden change in stance toward U.S. crypto regulation resulted in some open promises, such as claiming that the U.S. should be the world’s leader in the crypto field, supporting the right to self-custody, accepting crypto for his campaign, blocking the creation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) or even boasting he would “keep Elizabeth Warren and her goons away from your Bitcoin.”

The crypto community’s hope for a U-turn in U.S. crypto policy grew exponentially, gaining attention from pro-crypto voters. As a May 7 poll from the Digital Currency Group (DCG) revealed, Trump’s new posture could force Biden to reevaluate his anti-crypto stance, as U.S. elections are close and crypto voters may become a relevant group in the swing states.

As Trump is now a convicted criminal, could his presidential candidacy be at stake? And could the positive shift in U.S. crypto policy go up in smoke?

What are Trump’s probabilities of ending up in jail?

After the conviction, Trump awaits the final sentence on July 11, 2024, which could lead to jailing. The date for the sentence is transcendental for Trump as it is just a week before the Republican Party Convention, at which the former president will be nominated as the candidate for the upcoming elections.

However, Trump may appeal it, meaning his final sentence could be postponed until 2025. By then, there is a possibility that Trump could already be in the White House.

Trump leads slightly the voting polls with 41.3% by May 31, 2024
Who’s ahead in national polls? Source: ABC News

Trump may end up serving time in jail; however, this is unlikely as the offenses for which he has been convicted are not usually punishable by imprisonment in New York.

Dan Horwitz, a lawyer who previously handled white-collar cases for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, told CBS News that “very few people” end up behind bars in cases similar to those of the Republican candidate. Horwitz stated that house arrest might be a feasible option.

Additionally, his age (77 years old), his status and the fact that this is the first time he has committed this crime are factors that play in Trump’s favor to avoid jail time.

Could Donald Trump technically serve as President if convicted?

Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution stipulates only three requirements for serving as President. The conditions are to be a natural-born U.S. citizen, at least 35 years old and a U.S. resident for at least 14 years. 

There is no mention of demanding a clean criminal record. Even in the worst-case scenario, where Trump was to be sentenced to jail, he could technically continue as President.

Richard L. Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, told CNN that the Constitution “does not bar anyone indicted, or convicted, or even serving jail time, from running for president and winning the presidency.”

Pro-crypto policies are not guaranteed to continue if Trump is removed

Even if the law does not block Trump’s will to become president, social pressure or the Republican party may push him to withdraw his presidential candidacy. If Trump were to leave, would his pro-crypto stance toward a friendlier U.S. crypto policy find support in the Republican party?

Dennis Porter, CEO of Satoshi Action Fund, which works with lawmakers and regulators advocating for Bitcoin, told Cointelegraph that he believes that if Trump were to be removed, the pro-crypto policies may “vanish.”

Florida governor Ron DeSantis was one of Trump’s biggest rivals for the Republican candidacy. DeSantis has called out Biden’s administration for warring on cryptocurrency and has openly spoken about his position against a dollar CBDC. However, he hasn’t directly committed to embracing crypto in the same manner that Trump did.

Source: macdegods

The crypto community is desensitized to volatilty, even regarding politics. Trump’s conviction adds more uncertainty to a market used to constant shake-ups.

Magazine: Crypto exposes sudden rift among Democrats months ahead of election