Most (not all) of the media is still acting like there’s some real suspense as to whether Donald Trump will be indicted, as if it were some 50-50 crapshoot. But if you look at where the grand jury process is, and the statistics involved, the odds of Trump being indicted are actually 99%.
First, it’s been confirmed that this grand jury has been empaneled for the specific purpose of bringing indictments. Prosecutors only do this if they 100% intend to indict, and the evidence is such that they fully expect the grand jury to agree.
That’s why, when prosecutors ask a grand jury for an indictment, the grand jury ends up agreeing literally 99% of the time. So when the Manhattan DA asks this grand jury to indict Trump, the odds are 99% that it’ll happen. The math really is that simple.
The doomsday folks are trying to create suspense by suggesting that Trump might not even be the target. Yeah right. The DA didn’t empanel this special grand jury, which puts in three times as many hours per week as a normal grand jury, just to indict some underlings.
The doomsday people are also saying “All it takes is one Trump supporter on the grand jury, and he’ll magically go free.” But this is false. For one thing, those partisan types don’t make it onto grand juries. Even then, the grand jury doesn’t have to be unanimous to indict.
So no matter how much doomsday spin anyone might try to put on it, it doesn’t change the fact that Donald Trump now has a 99% chance of being criminally indicted. This isn’t “optimism.” It’s the facts. Anything else is just doomsday clickbait to scare you for attention.
The doomsday people are also insisting that even if he is indicted, he’ll never be convicted. Again, false. These are the kinds of straightforward financial charges where the proof is on paper and conviction is essentially automatic.
The DA will also likely indict Trump on a very long list of specific felonies. So even if a trial juror is hesitant on a money laundering charge, for instance, that juror will still convict on a much simpler to understand charge like mortgage fraud or tax fraud.
Manafort was indicted on 18 felony counts. Found guilty on 8 counts. Trial jury deadlocked on the other 10. That was a terrible, worst case scenario kind of outcome for prosecutors – and Manafort still went to prison.
But that’s trial stuff. That’s down the road. For now we’re focused on the Trump grand jury. And at this stage of the process, Trump has a 99% chance of being indicted and arrested.
If Trump’s 99% odds of indictment aren’t good enough for you, if that other 1% keeps you up at night, that’s valid. But don’t let the media convince you that it’s a 50-50 crapshoot, or that the odds of indictment are unknowable. That’s just to scare you into staying tuned in.
Aside from Trump’s indictment, which is nearly a given, there is plenty of suspense to watch for from this grand jury. Who will be indicted first? Will Weisselberg flip before he can be indicted? Which if any of Trump’s kids will be indicted, and in what order? We don’t know.
I would urge my friends in the mainstream media to focus on these questions if they want to build legitimate suspense around the Trump grand jury process, instead of pretending there’s some sizable chance Trump will magically evade indictment.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report