The wheels of justice turn so gradually, particularly when taking down a criminal politician, it’s easy to fall into the pessimism trap of thinking that Donald Trump will never have to answer for his crimes, even after he’s ousted for them. However, the facts and circumstances of the situation make clear that there is no chance of Trump avoiding prison. In fact he’s going to spend the rest of his life there. Allow me to explain.
Take a look at the various criminal charges that Paul Manafort is facing: conspiracy against the United States, money laundering, wire fraud, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice, among others. This is more or less the template for the criminal charges that Donald Trump will face. Manafort is looking at 300 years in prison, and legal experts almost unanimously expect him to be found guilty.
So we know what Trump will be looking at once he’s indicted and charged. But he’s going to magically pardon himself before he’s ousted, right? No. Even if he tries, it’ll almost certainly be struck down by the Supreme Court for being unconstitional. But Mike Pence will just pardon him, right? Doubtful. Pence would destroy his presidency right out of the gate by pardoning Trump, and Pence is neither that selfless nor that stupid. Even if Trump were pardoned, it wouldn’t matter much.
If Donald Trump were somehow pardoned on all federal charges, which is extraordinarily unlikely to begin with, he’ll still face parallel state level charges in New York. Those can’t be pardoned on a federal level. So when Trump is found guilty in New York on charges that carry hundreds of years in prison, he’ll spend the rest of his life in prison. It’s as simple as that. The only way Trump won’t die in a cell is if he dies of natural causes before his arrest.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report