Sorry, Donald Trump, that’s not going to work

Palmer Report articles are all 100% free to read, with no forced subscriptions and nothing hidden behind paywalls. If you value our content, you're welcome to pay for it:
Pay $5 to Palmer Report:
Pay $25 to Palmer Report:
Pay $75 to Palmer Report:

Sign up for the Palmer Report Mailing List.

Now that the January 6th public hearings have made clear that Donald Trump is far more likely to be in prison by 2024 than another presidential race, and the DOJ is requesting testimony transcripts from the committee so it can move forward with its own escalating criminal prosecutions, you’d think we could drop the whole doomsday fantasy about Trump ever somehow being President again.

But the sad truth is that the mainstream media (on the left, right, and center) doesn’t want to let go of the Trump 2024 narrative yet, because while it’s obviously not a real storyline, it’s still a ratings-friendly narrative. Accordingly, Trump is now trying to play into the fictional storyline by promising to pardon all January 6th defendants once he somehow magically becomes President again.

The pundit class is already informing us that this means the DOJ’s January 6th criminal prosecutions are all doomed. But back in the real world, this isn’t going to have that impact at all. For one thing, even if Trump were to become President again – which won’t happen anyway – it wouldn’t be until January of 2025.

By that time, the January 6th defendants facing shorter prison sentences will have already had to serve their full sentence anyway. So the promise of a future Trump pardon would not keep them out of prison, and thus isn’t going to motivate them to refuse to cut a deal.

On top of that, even if Trump’s top henchmen are given lengthy prison sentences on charges like seditious conspiracy, the more elderly ones like Rudy Giuliani and Roger Stone likely wouldn’t make it in prison until until 2025. So the promise of a future pardon wouldn’t really motivate them to remain loyal to Trump in the face of prison.

For that matter, multiple Oath Keepers and Proud Boys leaders (including Roger Stone’s driver) have already cut cooperating plea deals and provided their evidence and testimony to the DOJ. So they’re not going to be able to just back out of these deals now, even if they’re dumb enough to think that Trump is actually going to be able to pardon them someday.


Donald Trump’s sudden promise to pardon everyone two and a half years from now is as predictable as it is a non-story. All it means is that Trump can see he really is totally screwed, and that he knows some of his own top people are going to end up flipping on him in order to save themselves. This is a panic move by Trump, and a transparent one, and the media should be treating it as nothing more. Trump knows damn well he’s never going to somehow become President. But as his life continues to be dismantled, it’s just the delusion he has left to cling to.

Palmer Report articles are all 100% free to read, with no forced subscriptions and nothing hidden behind paywalls. If you value our content, you're welcome to pay for it:
Pay $5 to Palmer Report:
Pay $25 to Palmer Report:
Pay $75 to Palmer Report:

Sign up for the Palmer Report Mailing List.
Write for the Palmer Report Community Section.