Now that the Democrats have control of the House, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is turning the corner, and Donald Trump has no possible way of surviving this, forward-thinking political analysts are focusing on what Trump’s downfall and ouster will look like. I’m here to tell you that, one way or the other, his demise will involve prison time. It must, and it will.
This past month we’ve heard a number of pundits, some on the left and some on the right, lay out the potential for a Donald Trump resignation deal. Some folks on social media have instinctively rejected this notion, insisting that Trump would never go for it, because he’s “too ____ to resign.” It’s always a different word in the blank, but some folks are absolutely certain he’ll never resign. Of course this ignores the fact that Trump always “resigns” whenever he’s in trouble, usually in the form of bankruptcy or suing his business partners. So yeah, if he figures out he’s toast, he’ll look to cut an exit deal.
Here’s the thing, though. Most of the pundits floating this scenario are imagining that Donald Trump can somehow avoid prison and simply walk away in exchange for his resignation. The odds of this happening are literally zero, because no such deal will ever be offered. Sure, federal prosecutors might be willing to offer him reduced criminal charges in exchange for a guilty plea and resignation, because that’s how plea deals work. But there’s no bigger fish for Trump to flip on (Putin doesn’t count in this context), and so he’s not going to get any shot at a free pass, like Michael Flynn or Maria Butina.
So yeah, look for Donald Trump to eventually try to negotiate a resignation deal in exchange for leniency. He’ll demand full immunity for him and his family, but he won’t get it. The Feds will accept nothing less than reduced felony charges, and they’ll demand that he forfeit signifiant portions of his illegally obtained assets. Even with such a deal in place, New York will arrest Trump the minute he steps out of office, and charge him with various state level crimes that weren’t included in his federal plea deal. Trump will go to prison; it’s just a matter of whether he ever gets out. Sorry, Donald Trump, you do the crime, you do the time.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report