not gonna happen

Let’s just dispense with the fantasy of Comrade Trump being frogmarched out of the White House in handcuffs, put on trial, found guilty, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, and tossed in the hoosegow. It’s not going to happen.

It doesn’t matter if Trump has committed multiple felonies (spoiler alert — we’re like 98% certain that he has; before he ran for office, during his campaign, and after his election), he’s not going to be prosecuted for them while he’s in office. Maybe after he leaves office; that’s a possibility. But unless he’s impeached by the House of Representatives and convicted by two-thirds of the Senate, Trump isn’t going to stand trial — not for money laundering, not for conspiracy, not for obstruction of justice. It’s just not going to happen.

Here’s why: the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel has stated that “a sitting President is constitutionally immune from indictment and criminal prosecution.” They decided that back in 1973 and again in 2000. In 1973, the DOJ stated the following:

A necessity to defend a criminal trial and to attend court in connection with it, however, would interfere with the President’s unique official duties, most of which cannot be performed by anyone else.

Implicit in that line is this fact: If a sitting president can be tried for a crime, they could also be convicted — and if convicted, imprisoned, but they would still be the president. It’s not a part-time job (even if Trump treats it like one). The president is POTUS when they’re asleep, when they’re on vacation, when they’re playing golf, and when they’re in jail. They’d have to conduct the business of the nation and perform all the attendant duties of the office from a prison cell.

Now, you’re probably saying, “But Greg, old sock, Trump doesn’t bother performing most of the duties of his office now; surely he could Tweet from a prison cell.” Yes, it’s true, he could. But here’s the thing: Trump is a uniquely lazy and incompetent POTUS. Sure, locking him up wouldn’t interfere too much with the way he does his job. But in the future we may have a president who is both criminal AND competent, and locking up that president could seriously disrupt the security of the nation.

So the only way Comrade Trump could possibly face incarceration in the foreseeable future is for him to be impeached and convicted first, then prosecuted afterward. The coming House of Representatives might impeach him, but it would require two-thirds of the Senate to convict him and remove him from office. That’s 67 senators. There are only 47 Democrats in the Senate, which means at least 20 Republicans would have to vote to convict. And no matter how guilty Trump is (or might be), the GOP Senate has shown itself to be unwilling to hold Trump accountable for anything.

So no matter how solid the evidence is that Comrade Trump lied, cheated, and/or stole, he’s not really at risk of incarceration — not for the next couple of years.

After 2020, we’ll see.

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11 thoughts on “not gonna happen

    • Good question, Billy. Hillary will be put on trial at some point after she’s been arrested, which will be shortly after she’s been indicted, which will happen when somebody presents meaningful evidence that she’s committed a crime.

      But given that she’s the most investigated woman — probably the most investigated person — in the US, the subject of a quarter of a century of Congressional hearings and investigations with over a hundred hours of testimony under oath before numerous Congressional panels, it seems unlikely any evidence of a crime will surface. So that makes an indictment improbable. Which pretty much means she won’t be put on trial.

      Hope that helps.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. It will be up to the American people to get him (and his ilk) out of office. And that’s been shown to be a remarkably (remarkably!!!) tenuous proposition. Plus, the Dems will need to put up somebody people can get behind. I am hopeful, I guess, if not especially optimistic…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello, Greg, thanks so much for your posts. I appreciate the time, research and thought you put into each offering. I seldom comment, though. I do wonder since your posts are so informative and entertaining, why you don’t have more comments. Is it just me, Billy, Anne and Starfish who follow you?

    Like

    • Hey Irene. Some posts generate comments, some don’t. There are narrative techniques I could use to get more folks to comment, but that feels pretty artificial (although I admit I use those in my real work, because I get paid for that). I mostly just write these blog posts to clarify stuff in my own mind.

      I did just check, though, to see how many people follow the blog. I figured a few hundred. The actual number is just over 5500. I’m not sure if that’s a lot or a pathetic number. Now I rather wish I hadn’t checked. But again, I’m sort of mildly surprised that anybody actually takes the time to read and comment at all.

      Like

  3. I read them all….but rarely comment….why??? Because I get so fired up about the immature clown that is masquerading as POTUS that a civil thought can not emerge from my brain. Some memory of my mother saying “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My old momma, bless her, used to say “If you can’t say anything nice, at least make sure it’s accurate.”

      (Okay, she never actually said that, but it wouldn’t be out of character if she had said it.)

      Like

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