Much has been said and written on the topic of what to do about Donald Trump’s Secret Service detail should he be sent to prison. The narrative goes something like this: due to a provision enacted in 1965, all former US presidents are afforded their own Secret Service detail for life. Therefore, because there is no way to gracefully house and maintain Donald Trump’s SS detail in any standard prison, the implication is that he cannot go to prison at all.
Recently The Washington Post asked Chuck Rosenberg, a former top federal prosecutor, if Trump, with his Secret Service detail, could face prison. “Theoretically, yes, and practically, no,” came the reply. “Probation, fines, community service and home confinement are all alternatives.”
What a relief! Gee, that would solve that problem, by golly! I sure am glad that American jurisprudence has taken into account how inconvenient prison can be, and makes allowances for how disruptive it can make our lives, even the lives of former presidents!
Here’s what I have to say about the whole thing: Poppycock! What a crock of complete and utter horsecrap! If a woman convicted of a crime is inconvenienced because she’s the only one taking care of her dying and elderly mother, here’s what the justice system has to say about that: “Too bad!” If a man is taking a night course in accountancy and he’s paid for six more months of schooling, and prison would mean he can’t finish the course, then here’s what a judge would have to say: “Fuhgeddaboudit.” If a parent has a child and that child needs his father/mother, here’s a little advice from the presiding judge at sentencing time: “TS, Eliot.”
Put another way, I don’t give a shit about Donald Trump’s Secret Service detail and neither should the American judicial system. And neither should you or anyone else. Trump can rot in prison without the benefit of his personal bodyguards. Them’s the breaks. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. The taxpayer giveth, the taxpayer taketh away.
The criminal justice system simply doesn’t care how inconvenient prison might be. That’s why they call it prison. That’s why they call it punishment. Being thrown into prison tosses a big, ugly, stupid, disruptive monkey wrench into the middle of your life. If you don’t like it then keep your dumbass eye on the dumbass sparrow.
I don’t know about you but I’m fed up with the presumptive privilege with which Donald Trump is constantly imbued. He’ll be in prison. They’re used to dealing with special case prisoners who might be otherwise endangered. It’s called Solitary Confinement.
Besides, there are places where Trump’s detail doesn’t go already. They don’t follow him into the bathroom, right? They don’t slip under the covers with him at night, right? Then they don’t need to go to prison with him either. Problem solved. Next?
If anybody is really worried about the precedent of such a thing then consider this. Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich became a private citizen again when the Illinois Senate voted to remove him from office. The new Governor, Pat Quinn, cancelled Blagojevich’s security detail. And that was that.
And that’s what should happen with Trump’s detail. Cancel it. So tell me this, MAGA crybabies, how do you like that little piece of “cancel culture,” eh? Too bad. Do you also like apples? Well, we got Trump’s number. How do you like them apples? And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.