Jun 5, 2024 - Politics & Policy

How Trump's guilty verdict could impact his travel

Illustration of Donald Trump behind bars made from the American flag.

Photo illustration: Maura Losch/Axios. Photo: Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images.

As the first-ever former or sitting U.S. president to be a convicted felon, former President Trump faces many unprecedented questions — including whether he is barred from traveling.

The big picture: Trump is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11, and the result may determine if he's allowed to leave the U.S. and enter other countries as a convicted felon.

  • Trump has indicated he will appeal the verdict, which can only happen after sentencing.
  • Even while the case is on appeal, the jury's verdict will stand and he'll be considered a convicted felon.

Why it matters: The outcome will be particularly consequential if Trump is reelected in November, making traveling abroad for the potential U.S. president somewhat unpredictable.

State of play: There is no blanket legal restriction on the ability of convicted felons to travel, unless instated by court order.

  • That could happen if, for example, the individual is considered a flight risk.
  • "I would find it very unlikely that the former president's travel will be restricted to the United States by way of the sentence in New York state court," criminal defense attorney Keith B. Johnson told Axios in a phone interview on Wednesday evening.
  • "It is a financial crime and what we would consider to be a white collar crime, not a crime of violence," Johnson said.
  • Trump is a very recognizable figure, which reduced the concern of him going off the radar, he added.

Zoom out: 37 countries have laws prohibiting people convicted of felonies from entering their borders, though not all of them actively screen travelers' criminal records.

  • The countries include Canada, China, Israel and the United Kingdom.

Between the lines: Foreign leaders could make exceptions for Trump, especially is he's elected president.

  • "If he is re-elected president, I don't think that those countries would dare not allow a sitting U.S. president to visit on a diplomatic basis," Johnson said.
  • "So the fact that he's a convicted felon would technically still apply to him in his capacity as a private citizen," Johnson added. "But he wouldn't be going to China as a private citizen. He'd be going as the U.S. president."

Catch up quick: Trump was found guilty on all counts last week in his New York hush money trial.

  • He was charged with 34 felony counts in the first degree of falsifying business records in connection with a $130,000 hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels over an alleged sexual encounter.
  • The former president faces three other criminal cases, though none are expected to conclude before the November election.

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