Earlier today, respected White House reporter April Ryan asked Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders if Donald Trump is considering resigning in the wake of the FBI raiding his attorney’s office. Sanders’ answer was an emphatic “no” because there was no other way to answer the question. But as Palmer Report explained, this has officially put the question on the table, meaning Trump will continue to get asked it, and the media will continue to prompt the public to focus on it. This has led to instant reader questions about whether Trump would really ever resign, and what that might look like in terms of the ongoing criminal investigations. So let’s talk about what Trump’s resignation will truly look like.
Donald Trump has strategically declared bankruptcy six times (or seven times, depending on whether you count the most recent one in Toronto as being directly connected to him). This tells us that when Trump realizes he’s going to lose, he does consistently look for a way to lose in the least painful way possible.
In other words, if Trump concludes he’s going to lose the presidency, he’ll seek a deal. He’ll offer to resign in exchange for something in return. My best guess is that he’ll ask for immunity from all federal charges, and he’ll be willing to take his chances when it comes to New York State charges. There is no reason to believe that Robert Mueller or Congress would be willing to give him this, and it’s not even clear that they could legally give him this. But it’s a likely starting point as far as what Trump would want.
In the movies, as things close in on the villain, he always escalates his behavior and fights to the bitter end. But that’s because movies require a big ending. Real life villains, even unhinged ones, often cut their losses and fold once they conclude they really have lost. We’ll see what Donald Trump does. But he’s going to keep getting hit with the resignation question, and it may force the issue one way or the other.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report