For some time now, Palmer Report has been pointing out that Donald Trump is going to prison. We consider this important, because it appears to be at least partly driving some of his increasingly frantic moves. To ignore Trump’s future status as an inmate is to ignore a piece of what’s driving him. Yet we keep facing pushback whenever we point out that Trump is headed to prison. So here’s an explanation of why it’s a given.
Some observers live in a fantasy world where Donald Trump can just magically stay in office after 2020 even if he loses, or magically stay in office beyond two terms, or whatever the narrative might be on any given day. But these are mere hallucinations on the part of observers who don’t grasp how laughably impossible it would be for Trump to pull this off. Trump repeatedly threatens to do this in semi-joking fashion, in the hope of using the empty threat to paralyze those who stand against him. But back in the real world, that’s not a real thing, and at some point Trump will cease being President of the United States.
The minute that happens, New York State will indict Donald Trump. In fact, the sealed indictments against him on state charges are likely already piling up as we speak. We already saw New York drop a comprehensive indictment on Paul Manafort just a few minutes after his federal trial ended, which means the case had been built beforehand. So when Trump gets out of office, he’ll be arrested. No future president can pardon state level charges. That authority falls solely to the Governor of New York, and it’s a safe bet that Andrew Cuomo won’t be pardoning Trump any time soon.
At least some of the criminal charges against Donald Trump in New York will be of the cut-and-dry financial variety, where the records prove the crime, and no jury will have any difficulty convicting him. That doesn’t mean he’ll be convicted on all of the New York charges, but at his age, only some convictions will be required in order to send him to prison for life. Again, we saw this with Manafort.
So whether or not the next iteration of the Department of Justice decides to bring federal obstruction of justice charges against Donald Trump, whether or not he’s convicted on those charges, whether or not any future president tries to pardon Trump, he’s still going to prison for the rest of his life on state level charges. That’s already a done deal. Even Trump seems to know it. Why do you think he’s been acting the way he’s been acting? Imagine trying to run for reelection, knowing that if you lose, you’ll spend every day of the rest of your life in a cage. It’s time for the pundits to stop ignoring the fact that Trump is going to prison; it’s a huge part of the 2020 story.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report