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Donald Trump Trials: Background, Updates, and Betting Odds from Cloudbet

Introduction

The legal challenges facing former President Donald Trump have captivated the US. From allegations of financial misconduct to accusations of obstructing justice, these trials carry significant interest, not least in their potential to influence the 2024 presidential race.

This blog post explores the background, the latest updates, and the unique aspect of betting on the outcomes of these trials through platforms like Cloudbet. The twists, turns, and permutations of the news cycle related to the different trials the ex-Commander in Chief is facing offer a swathe of opportunities in which to open betting markets.

Background of the Donald Trump trials

Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States, has been embroiled in numerous legal battles before, during, and after his presidency. These cases range from civil lawsuits to criminal inquiries, covering various aspects of his personal, business, and political lives. Understanding the origins of these legal challenges is crucial for grasping the potential consequences they might hold for Trump and the broader political landscape.

What is Trump on trial for?

Trump has been embroiled in four criminal cases and one civil case. The case currently being heard, and which has currently captured the attention of the general public as well as betting markets, is the New York “hush money” case. Cloudbet has opened markets on the “hush money” trial, allowing users to wager on whether the former president will be found guilty on any of the charges he faces. 

New York “Hush Money” case

Trump was indicted in New York City on March 30, 2023, on charges involving a scheme to bury allegations of extramarital affairs that arose during his first White House campaign in 2016. Brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the indictment made Trump the first ex-president ever to face criminal charges.

The core of the indictment alleges that Trump manipulated internal documents within his company to obscure the true purpose of payments made to his then-personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Cohen was instrumental in concealing Trump’s alleged extramarital affairs.

The case specifically involves alleged payoffs to two women, adult film actress Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, both of whom claim to have had extramarital encounters with Trump. Additionally, the indictment mentions payments made to a Trump Tower doorman who purportedly had information about a child Trump allegedly fathered outside of his marriage.

Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records, each a felony charge that could lead to a sentence of up to four years in prison. He has denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty.

Latest developments: Witness testimony in the trial has ended, with the prosecution and defense both resting their cases after 20 days. Trump did not take the stand. The jury will return on May 28, 2024, to hear closing arguments and begin deliberations.

Betting odds on Trump trial outcomes

Betting markets emerged on the “hush money” trial as it progressed, underscoring the growing intersection between online gambling and politics. 

Cloudbet’s market offering on the case currently favor Trump to be convicted on at least one charge, with odds of 1.13 (-770) as of May 22, 2024. The odds of an acquittal on all charges sit at 9.00 (+800), while any other outcome is at 11.5 (+1050).

While wagering on elections has a long history in the United States, the rise of crypto casinos has made it easier than ever for global audiences to bet on the outcomes of American political and legal dramas.

In setting these odds, Cloudbet takes into account public opinion polls, expert analysis, and proprietary algorithms. A recent USA Today/Suffolk University survey found that 65 percent of respondents expect a guilty verdict on at least some charges, with 86 percent of President Biden’s supporters anticipating at least some convictions. Only 23 percent of those surveyed, comprised disproportionately of Mr. Trump’s supporters, predict a complete acquittal.

Cloudbet plans to continuously update its markets as the trial unfolds and public opinion evolves. Markets are not open yet for the other cases, though as trial dates are set and hearings commence, Cloudbet plans to offer prices on their outcomes.

What else is Trump on trial for?

Georgia election case

In August 2023, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis charged Donald Trump and 18 others with engaging in an illegal endeavor to overturn his slim defeat in Georgia to Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential election race. This group includes Trump’s former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York and Trump’s attorney.

The charges allege a complex scheme that encompasses a series of actions including a phone call in January 2021 to Georgia’s Secretary of State, an attempt to substitute Georgia’s Democratic presidential electors with ones favoring Trump, the harassment of a Fulton County election worker, and the unauthorized duplication of data and software from election equipment.

All 19 defendants are charged under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), a serious statute that can lead to a prison sentence ranging from five to 20 years. Additionally, Trump faces nine other criminal counts, including the filing of false documents, making false statements and writings, and various conspiracy charges.

Trump has repeatedly insisted he has done nothing wrong, while his attorney Steve Sadow has said the ex-president is “innocent of all the charges brought against him.”

No trial date has been set.

Latest developments: For a change, it’s the prosecution in this case that has courted controversy. News of a romance between Fulton DA Willis and a lawyer she had hired to manage the prosecution surfaced in January 2023, prompting Trump’s lawyers to ask the presiding judge to remove her from the case, citing an untenable conflict of interest. 

In mid-March, Judge Scott McAfee ruled that she could stay on the Trump case if the subordinate stepped down, which he quickly did. In May 2023, the Georgia Court of Appeals agreed to review the judge’s decision.

Federal election case

In August 2023, Special Counsel Jack Smith charged Trump for allegedly conspiring to reverse his electoral defeat to President Joe Biden, leading up to the January 6, 2021 riot in the U.S. Capitol. 

The prosecution alleges that Trump and his collaborators deliberately promoted falsehoods about election fraud to coerce state officials into overturning Biden’s victory, orchestrated efforts to appoint fraudulent electors in key battleground states, and exerted pressure on Vice President Mike Pence to obstruct the ceremonial count of electoral votes. 

Additionally, it is alleged that they attempted to leverage the assault on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob to persuade Congress to further delay the certification of Biden’s win.

Trump faces multiple charges under this indictment: 

  • Obstruction of an official proceeding
  • Conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding
  • Conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and 
  • Conspiracy to prevent others from exercising their constitutional rights.

The trial was initially set for March 4, 2023, in Washington’s federal court but proceedings were paused to allow Trump to appeal in higher courts on the grounds of presidential immunity. A new date has yet to be set.

Trump maintains his innocence, denouncing the charges as a ploy to undermine his potential 2024 presidential campaign. His legal team argues that Trump is immune from prosecution for actions they claim were conducted in his official capacity as president.

Latest developments: The Supreme Court will rule on Trump’s argument that a former president cannot be prosecuted like any other citizen. Justices heard the case on April 25, 2024, and will decide by June. The challenge increases the chances that this trial may not happen before November’s election.

Classified documents case

Special Counsel Jack Smith also figures in this case, charging Trump in June 2023 with illegally retaining classified documents taken from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago estate after he left office in January 2021. He is also charged with obstructing government demands to return them.

A month later, additional charges were laid of conspiring to ask a staffer to delete surveillance video at the property and also possessing a document prosecutors have described as a Pentagon “plan of attack,” which he allegedly showed visitors to his golf club in New Jersey.

Trump faces 40 felony counts including:

  • Willful retention of national defense information; 
  • Conspiracy to obstruct justice
  • False statements and representations 

Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He has repeatedly claimed that he declassified the documents found at Mar-a-Lago.

The trial was originally scheduled for May 2024 but the judge overseeing it has put it on indefinite hold, meaning it probably won’t be heard until after the November election.

Latest developments: Court filings unsealed on May 21, 2024 revealed that Special Counsel Smith appeared to have suspected additional efforts by Trump to obstruct the government’s investigation into the classified documents. The new filings, consisting of hundreds of pages, also include new photos of a Trump aide allegedly moving boxes that the government claims contained the classified materials.

Civil fraud case

In a major blow to Trump’s image as a successful businessman – a key qualifier of his suitability as a presidential candidate – a judge ruled in September 2023 that he had committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that vaulted him to fame and the White House.

Judge Arthur Engoron ordered some of the ex-president’s companies removed from his control and dissolved. Ruling in a civil lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, Engoron found that Trump and his company deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing loans.

James’ office estimated that Trump exaggerated his wealth by as much as $3.6 billion. Engoron found that Trump’s inflated financial statements allowed him to get lower insurance premiums and save at least $168 million by obtaining lower loan interest rates.

Engoron ordered that some of Trump’s business licenses be rescinded as punishment, making it difficult or impossible for them to do business in New York, and said he would continue to have an independent monitor oversee Trump Organization operations.

Trump is appealing the decision and denies any wrongdoing. If he’s unsuccessful, the order would strip Trump of his authority to make strategic and financial decisions over some of his key properties in the state.

In addition to his four criminal indictments, Engoron ordered Trump to pay a $454 million penalty. Because it is a civil case, there is no possibility of prison time.

Latest development: In April 2024, Trump was able to post a $175 million bond in his New York civil fraud case to stave off asset seizures by the state. Posting bond means New York’s attorney general cannot enforce the penalty, by freezing bank accounts or taking property, until his appeals are heard.

How to bet on Trump trials at Cloudbet

Betting on Trump’s trial outcomes at Cloudbet is a straightforward process. Here’s how to get started, if you’re new to the site.

    1. Create an account: Sign up at Cloudbet by providing your details. You will need to verify your account to ensure security and comply with regulatory requirements.
    2. Deposit funds: Once your account is set up, deposit your funds using Bitcoin, Ethereum, or USDT. Cloudbet supports a variety of cryptocurrencies, making it flexible and accessible.
    3. Claim your bonus: New members can avail themselves of a welcome bonus of up to 5 BTC. Make sure to read the terms and conditions to understand how to qualify for and use the bonus effectively.
    4. Find the Trump trial markets: Navigate to “2024 Presidential Election” under the “Politics” section in the Cloudbet sportsbook. You will find markets related to the Trump trials here, including the “hush money” outcomes, who the next US president will be, and the winning party.
  • Stay up to date with trial news: Changes in betting odds owing to swings in the trial news cycle offer opportunities to find value or to profit from closing out existing wagers.

Conclusion

The Donald Trump trials are more than just legal proceedings; they are events that could redefine aspects of American politics and law. Whether one is following these trials out of civic interest, political engagement, or even through the lens of betting markets like those offered by Cloudbet, they undeniably provide a window into the complexities of justice and accountability in the public sphere.

For those interested in the betting aspect, Cloudbet continues to update its markets, providing a dynamic platform for engaging with these historical events. As the trials progress, the outcomes may yet bring significant changes, not only to Donald Trump’s life but also to the broader political landscape of the United States.

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