Why I believe Trump will be sentenced to prison

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If we’ve learned anything at all about Donald Trump it’s that he always hedges his bets. For those of us acquainted with the type, it’s a familiar symptom of narcissism. For example, according to Trump, every election he’s ever contested has been “rigged,” even the election of 2016, an election he technically won.

The 2016 election was rigged, claims Trump, because at least seven million illegal votes were cast against him, meaning he won by three and half million votes, instead of losing by that very same number. The same illogic applies to the 2020 election. The same bullshit applies to every midterm election Trump has ever presided over as the GOP’s cult leader.

Trump’s proclivity to hedge his bets also extends to situations beside elections. For example, Trump now has his parking lot lawyer, Alina Habba, claiming on TV that the jury should have been sequestered over the Memorial Day weekend. Because they weren’t, Habba claims, they may have been infected by “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” In other words, that will be Trump’s excuse de jure in the event he loses his criminal trial and is found guilty.

To Trump, his criminal trial has been nothing more than a big boring reality TV game show, a game show he’s mostly slept through. Even so, it’s a game he intends to win. But if he should lose, he has a ready-made excuse, and It will also be an element of his appeal.

What Trump doesn’t understand, because he’s completely missed the danger signals, is it’s going to be far worse than that. Let me put it this way: on sentencing day Trump had better bring his toothbrush. He’d better be prepared for a custodial sentence, because I now believe that, in the event the jury returns a guilty verdict, Judge Merchan will sentence Donald Trump to prison.

The reason for my belief is, in part, precisely because of Habba’s claim that the jury was infected by Trump Derangement Syndrome. That claim was clearly directed by Trump himself, and that, friends and neighbors, is a violation of Trump’s gag order. In fact, Trump has violated his gag order a few times already in other ways, about which Judge Merchan has said absolutely nothing.

Why has Merchan said nothing? Because he’s fed up with Donald Trump and he’s through warning him about it. Instead he’s going to use Trump’s continued defiance and contempt of the court as an element of his criminal sentence, and that sentence is going to include prison. The judge will use Trump’s latest gag order violations to overcome his already stated reluctance to send a former president of the United States to jail.

Judge Merchan’s silence isn’t a weakness. It’s a deadly warning, a warning that everyone seems to have missed. Trump should be worried. He should be very worried. Expect a harsh sentence, and any sentence involving prison time is going to be harsh indeed. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

New: Palmer Report is moving to a reader-supported format with a significantly reduced number of ads so we can reach a broader audience at this crucial time for our democracy. Donate to Palmer Report via PayPal (click here) or GoFundMe (click here).