Legal experts detail possible grounds for appeal of Trump conviction: 'no crime here'

"He had no opportunity to defend himself," Davis said.

Published: May 30, 2024 8:19pm

Updated: May 30, 2024 8:54pm

Legal experts Mike Davis, Hans von Spakovsky and Harmeet Dhillon said Thursday that former President Donald Trump's conviction in the New York hush money trial does have grounds for an appeal. 

"I would say the first one is there is no crime here," Davis said on the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show. "They waited until after this multi-week trial to even tell the criminal defendant what the legal allegations he was supposed to defend himself in that prior trial. He had no opportunity to defend himself."

A New York jury found Trump guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records during his 2016 presidential bid to conceal a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet an alleged sexual encounter.

Trump, who is also the 2024 presumptive GOP presidential nominee, now becomes the first former U.S. president to be found guilty of felony crimes.

"One of the biggest errors the judge made was here he is talking about, [and] the prosecution is claiming, that this should have been listed as a campaign related expense," von Spakovsky said on the show. "Yet, they wouldn't allow testimony by one of the leading, if not the leading expert in the country on federal campaign finance law."

He said that he believes the judge made a deliberate mistake in doing that. 

Dhillon highlighted the potential that the appeals court could rule against Trump, as they have in the past.

"You cannot predict how appeals are going to go in this type of a situation," Dhillon said regarding the Trump verdict. "But in this particular case, one issue already went up on appeal, and that is whether the judge should have recused himself and the New York intermediate appellate court did not grant relief on that issue."

Trump had twice demanded Judge Juan Merchan be recused from his criminal trial, arguing that Merchan has a conflict of interest because his daughter worked for a Democratic consulting group and has represented politicians such as Vice President Kamala Harris.

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook

Unlock unlimited access

  • No Ads Within Stories
  • No Autoplay Videos
  • VIP access to exclusive Just the News newsmaker events hosted by John Solomon and his team.
  • Support the investigative reporting and honest news presentation you've come to enjoy from Just the News.
  • Just the News Spotlight

    Support Just the News