‘Nervous’ Donald Trump facing up to four years in prison as jury deliberates

It could be the most consequential verdict in American criminal history.

Despite being the leading polling candidate to take the keys to the White House ahead of the November election, Donald Trump faces the prospect of running – possibly from behind bars – as a convicted felon. Tonight a jury of seven men and five women continue to deliberate whether the former president was guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records.

At the heart of the case sits an alleged one-stand with porn star Stormy Daniels which Trump, so desperate to stop from becoming public knowledge ahead of his 2016 election victory, is accused of orchestrating a hush money payment scheme to silence her.

If found guilty, the businessman – although some argue unlikely – faces up to four years in prison. Such a verdict would not prevent Trump from running for office nor would him being sent behind bars.

The former president arrived for his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday

The former president arrived for his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday
Getty Images)

The Founding Fathers set only three eligibility requirements for persons wanting America’s top job. Under the US Constitution, a president must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, at least 35 years old, and have resided in the US for at least 14 years.

Nowhere does it say that a convicted criminal cannot run for or become president. Yesterday, Trump, who has pleaded not guilty, was in uncharted waters as the jury deliberated in private.

Insiders have told the Mirror how, inside the New York courthouse, he has been left “angry, nervous and irrational” as, for the first time in his life, he has no control over the fate he now faces. “Trump is all about control,” a court source said.

“Nothing in his life is left to chance, nor is it left in someone else’s hands. As the jury deliberates, he has become increasingly angry, nervous and irrational.”

If found guilty, Trump will become the first president in US history to become a felon

If found guilty, Trump will become the first president in US history to become a felon
POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

If Trump is found guilty, he will become the first president in US history to become a felon. He already had achieved the distinction of being the only American leader ever to be brought before a criminal judge.

No one could have predicted how, while his wife Melania was recovering from the birth of her four-month-old son at home in New York in 2006, the then Apprentice star’s brief time with Daniels could become so monumental. Riding high from the fame of the hit reality show, Trump had flown from his Fifth Avenue home to attend the American Century Celebrity Golf Tournament in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

The larger-than-life real estate mogul and a host of famous faces had been invited in July 2006 to the event in the picturesque setting, framed by crystal clear waters and snow-capped mountains. But rather than share his golf buggy with his playing partner, the millionaire put thoughts of par and birdies out of mind instead sharing his cart with Daniels.

She and other adult actresses had joined the celebrities touring the course during a practice round and mingling in the gift room on behalf of the X-rated studio Wicked Pictures. But what should have been simply a few rounds of golf has led to a myriad of rounds in New York courts, which now threaten to see the former president jailed for up to four years, possibly derailing his third presidential bid.

The 77-year-old is already the only American leader ever to be brought before a criminal judge

The 77-year-old is already the only American leader ever to be brought before a criminal judge
Getty Images)

At the heart of the controversy was Trump’s inability to stay away from attractive women, many of whom were mingling in the golf course’s gift shop. “He was introduced to everybody,” Daniels would recall. “He kept looking at me, and then we ended up riding to another hole on the same golf cart together, and he’s like, ‘I want to come talk to you later.’”

However, Trump’s actions spoke far louder than words. Nearly two decades later, the incident at the Edgewood Tahoe golf course -involving what Daniels described as “the worst 90 seconds of my life” resurfaced to haunt him.

No one could have foreseen that a seemingly innocuous day at a celebrity golf day would become the precursor to one of the future president’s pivotal legal battles during a critical election year. According to Daniels, the night that led to his current predicament started after Trump allegedly made advances towards her, promising her opportunities and favours in exchange for her silence about their alleged affair.

After being invited by him to join him at dinner at the end of a day’s play, she cancelled her original plans after her publicist told her it was too good an opportunity to miss. Once inside his Harrah’s Hotel suite, she described how the conversation went after he showed her a magazine with his picture on it.

“It started off all about him just talking about himself. And he’s like, ‘Have you seen my new magazine?’” Daniels recalled. “Does this normally work for you?” she asked. “And he looked very taken back, like he didn’t really understand what I was saying. “Like, I was, ‘does, just, you know, talking about yourself normally work?’ And I was like, ‘Someone should take that magazine and spank you with it.’ And I’ll never forget the look on his face.

Trump has appeared 'angry, nervous and irrational' in court

Trump has appeared ‘angry, nervous and irrational’ in court
POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“I don’t think anyone’s ever spoken to him like that, especially a young woman who looked like me. And I said, you know, ‘Give me that,’ and I just remember him going, ‘You wouldn’t.’ She told him: “Hand it over, so he did, and I was like, ‘turn around, drop ‘em.’ So he turned around and pulled his pants down a little, you know, had underwear on and stuff, and I just gave him a couple swats.”

Daniels then told how Trump then turned on the charm. “He was like, ‘Wow, you are special. You remind me of my daughter,’” she said. “You know, he was like, ‘You’re smart and beautiful and a woman to be reckoned with, and I like you. I like you.’ And he goes, ‘Got an idea, honeybunch. Would you ever consider going on and–and being a contestant?’

“And I laughed and said, “NBC’s never gonna let, you know, an adult film star be on. ‘No, no,’ he goes. That’s why I want you. You’re gonna shock a lotta people. You’re smart, and they won’t know what to expect.”

Daniels then said she asked about his postpartum wife, Melania. She said: “He brushed it aside, said, ‘Oh yeah, yeah, you know, don’t worry about that. We don’t even sleep together. We have separate rooms and stuff.’”

After talking for two hours, Daniels said she went to his bathroom. She said she washed her hands, touched up her lipstick, and noticed someone had used the bathroom. She said a leather-looking toiletry bag with products was on the counter. “I did look, and I am not proud of it,” she said. “The items were Old Spice.”

Daniels said that after she left the bathroom, she returned and was “startled” to find Trump sitting on his bed in only boxer shorts. It was “like a jump scare,” she said. “And that’s when I had that moment where I felt like the room spun in slow motion,” she said, describing her thinking:

“Great, I’ve put myself in this bad situation.” “He didn’t come at me, he didn’t rush at me, he didn’t put his hands on me, nothing like that,” she continued. But she said he told her that if she ever wanted to leave the trailer park, he could help her. “I thought you were serious about what you wanted,” she said Trump told her.

The two, Daniels alleges, then had sex before she left. Multiple women would later allege getting close to Trump during that weekend, a detail which sources have said has shone an embarrassing spotlight on his marriage.

Jessica Drake, another adult film actress, has asserted that the reality TV tycoon flirted with her while on the golf course and kissed her without her consent. According to Drake, she and two other women visited Trump’s room, where he was clad in pyjamas.

She recounted: “He embraced each of us tightly in a hug and kissed each one of us without asking permission” and proceeded to interrogate her about her involvement in the adult entertainment industry. Trump purportedly contacted Drake later, offering her $10,000 for sexual favours – a claim he refutes.

Their rendezvous was primarily a business decision for Daniels, who was 27 years old then. “Whether you’re a fan of his or not, which I never really was, you gotta admit he’s pretty fascinating,” she continued.

The Lake Tahoe tournament, in what should have been a fleeting moment of fun and camaraderie, has now become a pivotal chapter in American history, forever altering the trajectory of Trump’s presidency and legacy. As the tournament details have now emerged in a criminal court, his “90-second tryst” may deal a fatal blow to his bid to become president again.

But for Daniels, she believes Trump still revels in the night they allegedly shared. “It may have been the least impressive sex I’d ever had, but clearly, he didn’t share that opinion.” Given the jury’s verdict, he may no longer revel in their encounter.


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