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Old 01-16-2020, 11:31 PM
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Will Trump go to jail once he leaves office?


I hear this again and again and while I certainly hope he will, I just don't think so. What are they going to get him on? Tax fraud, he'll just pay a fine, just like with the Trump foundation. NY State was looking into his taxes and they didn't bring charges against him or anyone. Violation of the emoluments clause? I really don't see the justice department going after a former President for that. The missing funds from the inauguration? They are never going to be able to tie that directly to Trump personally. Something to do with loans from Russian banks? Cooperation with the Russian mafia at Trump Tower? Sex with underage girls at the Miss Teen USA, or with girls provied by Epstein?

Michael Cohen said that Trump speaks in code. You know what the code is. Trump does not explicitly tell anyone to do something illegal.

Convince me I am wrong.
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:07 AM
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He probably won't go to jail but there are 8 state and local investigations so far.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...tigations.html
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2020, 08:44 AM
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No, he won't go to jail.

He also won't be removed from office, and will probably win again in November.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:18 AM
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No. No chance a US president sees the inside of a jail cell regardless of how deserving. They'll let him run out the clock.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:25 AM
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At the federal level it will be unseemly to prosecute a vanquished political opponent. If Trump isn't impeached and leaves office then there is no chance he will be prosecuted at the Federal level. His current impeachment probably isn't worth a follow on trial but if something worse comes out during the trial that is bad enough he is removed from office then he will likely go to jail as well.

I think it is likely that a state, probably New York, tries to go after him once he is no longer president and it could be some of the fraud and money laundering is bad enough he would do jail time. I would out the odds at less than 25% of that.

The most likely way he goes to jail is if he continues to act as a conduit for foreign money into the US elections process for other candidates after he is not longer president. But that sounds a lot like work so I'd be shocked if he does anything more that rallies about how great he is or just into his new tv network.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:39 AM
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Should he? Fuck yeah. Will he? Probably not. Even if he deserves life behind bars (which I think he does), imprisoning former leaders is behavior that we associate with banana republics and not a stable democracy. But- we have never had a president who is a billionth as corrupt as this one. Is this level of corruption enough to set a precedent of imprisoning former presidents? To me, that's the difficult question. Would jailing a true criminal president lead to future imprisonment of presidents for political reasons? Seeing how he's old and not terribly healthy, the best course might be to vote him out and let him die in disgrace.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
...imprisoning former leaders is behavior that we associate with banana republics and not a stable democracy...
Imprisoning political enemies on fake charges, sure.

But, to the contrary, imprisoning powerful people who have actually committed crimes is surely a sign of a stable democracy where nobody is above the law. I don't see how it can set a bad precedent to do the right thing.

Last edited by Riemann; 01-17-2020 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:00 AM
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Even if he deserves life behind bars (which I think he does), imprisoning former leaders is behavior that we associate with banana republics and not a stable democracy.
Disagree, its actually the opposite. Imprisoning former leaders who break the law is a sign of a healthy democracy with functioning rule of law. South Korea's ex president is currently in a prison for example.

I understand what you're saying about banana republics where the previous leader is assassinated or tortured on fabricated charges. But that isn't the same as a functioning society where rule of law is paramount.

in America we have no problem with imprisoning senators, representatives, governors, judges, etc. when they break the law. We should also be willing to imprison presidents too for the same reason.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:27 AM
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Disagree, its actually the opposite. Imprisoning former leaders who break the law is a sign of a healthy democracy with functioning rule of law. South Korea's ex president is currently in a prison for example.

I understand what you're saying about banana republics where the previous leader is assassinated or tortured on fabricated charges. But that isn't the same as a functioning society where rule of law is paramount.

in America we have no problem with imprisoning senators, representatives, governors, judges, etc. when they break the law. We should also be willing to imprison presidents too for the same reason.
I agree partially. I think in theory we should be able to lock up criminal former presidents. But this might encourage future criminal presidents to lock up their honest predecessors. We're in uncharted territory- we have a crook in the White House, another crook Attorney General, and an enabling stooge heading the Senate. I fear that locking up this crook may have unintended consequences.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:42 AM
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My guess is that Trump will not be jailed for anything he did during his time in office. At this moment, I don't see strong evidence that be broke laws that would lead to that. (I'm NOT saying he has broken no laws, but even his most egregious crime, bribery relating the Ukraine case, is not something that I would expect to be prosecuted.)

However, I would not be shocked if something came to light relating to his behavior BEFORE taking office that would land him in the clink. Like, tax evasion or some Manafort-like dealings with Russia or something.
  #11  
Old 01-17-2020, 12:13 PM
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No, I don't think he will.
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:14 PM
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After Trump leaves office we need to find a way to come back together as a nation, and unless Trump commits acts that are so egregious that even the majority of the Republican party wants him gone, then prosecuting him once he leaves office is just going to make things even worse. Better to do our best to ignore him and leave it up to historians to judge him. If I could have my way I would ideally like to have a truth and reconciliation committee set up to fully expose everything that went down in the Trump campaign and presidency. At this point I don't really want justice or revenge, I just want the Truth laid out bare for everyone to see.


Even if he was convicted of a jailable offense, given the security considerations, and overall optics of the situation, I think he would probably be allowed to stay in Mar Largo or one of his other properties under house arrest.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 01-17-2020 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:19 PM
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If nobody was able to put him in jail before he got into office, the possibility of putting him in jail after he leaves office is nil.
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Old 01-17-2020, 05:17 PM
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And if he continues his (alleged) money laundering, (alleged) financial fraud, and other (alleged) crimes, are we supposed to ignore those as well?
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:13 PM
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He doesn't have long enough even if they went after him.
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
I agree partially. I think in theory we should be able to lock up criminal former presidents. But this might encourage future criminal presidents to lock up their honest predecessors. We're in uncharted territory- we have a crook in the White House, another crook Attorney General, and an enabling stooge heading the Senate. I fear that locking up this crook may have unintended consequences.
The GOP has spent years trying to lock up Hillary Clinton on trumped up charges. Saying we shouldn't prosecute republicans on legitimate criminal charges because they'll try to prosecute democrats on fabricated charges isn't really a good argument since the GOP does that anyway.

The modern GOP is basically a cluster B personality disorder and neofascism all rolled into one. The only thing they respect is consequences.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 01-17-2020 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:06 PM
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If nobody was able to put him in jail before he got into office, the possibility of putting him in jail after he leaves office is nil.
He wasn't as big of a target before he took office. The government is notoriously lenient on white collar crime.
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:40 PM
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No. No chance a US president sees the inside of a jail cell regardless of how deserving. They'll let him run out the clock.
I agree that this is normally true. But this presidency isn't normal.

Trump is almost certainly committing more crimes than any previous President. And he's very incompetent at covering up his crimes.

So I won't call it a sure thing. But Trump has a much higher chance of going to prison than any previous ex-President has had.

It might actually be worse for Trump if he completes his term. If he resigns or is impeached in the next year, he has some hope that Pence might pardon him in order to "heal the nation". His chances with a different President, probably a Democrat, would be worse.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:43 PM
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He wasn't as big of a target before he took office. The government is notoriously lenient on white collar crime.
Trump also, I suspect, worked as an FBI informant. Other crooks were worth more than he was.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:51 PM
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He would probably get house arrest or a short sentence in a club fed prison.

If he is really facing a prison stay he will hop on his jet and hang out with his buddy Vlad or some other place with no US extradition treaty such as Saudi Arabia. List here of places with no treaty with the US:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extrad..._United_States
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:09 PM
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I was thinking about this and I think I'd be happier with lots and lots of hours of community service. Jail's too good for him. I want to see him in an orange jumpsuit picking up trash by the side of the highway. (This presumes that he doesn't actually shoot someone on Fifth Avenue.)
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:38 PM
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Other countries have sent former leaders to prison. List here and it's not a short list:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ter_imprisoned
  #23  
Old 01-17-2020, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by E-DUB View Post
I was thinking about this and I think I'd be happier with lots and lots of hours of community service. Jail's too good for him. I want to see him in an orange jumpsuit picking up trash by the side of the highway. (This presumes that he doesn't actually shoot someone on Fifth Avenue.)
John Edwards (who was the democratic VP candidate in 2004) was facing 30 years in prison for using campaign funds to pay off a mistress.

Thats just one of the many crimes Trump is accused of (he used campaign funds to pay off porn stars he slept with, his attorney Michael Cohen is currently in prison for doing this with him).

He deserves much worse than community service.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 01-17-2020 at 11:26 PM.
  #24  
Old 01-18-2020, 12:23 PM
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I would be happy just to see him do a perp walk in handcuffs. That's not likely though, he would probably turn himself in with a lawyer and post bond and go home.
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:37 AM
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What I wrote yesterday in the GQ thread about politicians going to jail seems to fit in this thread too:

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In the United States, we seem to have a strong ethic of not throwing prior or opposing political leaders in jail because in the United States, we just don't do things that way.

OTOH, that also implies that we don't imprison or even prosecute prior or opposing political leaders no matter how much it might appear warranted, because we don't want to create even the appearance of throwing prior or opposing political leaders in jail just because of politics.

Big precedent from fairly recent history was Gerald Ford's pardon of Nixon (which was widely considered to have cost Ford the following election).

It seems quite plausible that Trump will be treated likewise.
That was Post #7 there. Several other posters posted responses, if you're interested.
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Old 01-19-2020, 05:28 AM
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After Trump leaves office we need to find a way to come back together as a nation, and unless Trump commits acts that are so egregious that even the majority of the Republican party wants him gone, then prosecuting him once he leaves office is just going to make things even worse. Better to do our best to ignore him and leave it up to historians to judge him. If I could have my way I would ideally like to have a truth and reconciliation committee set up to fully expose everything that went down in the Trump campaign and presidency. At this point I don't really want justice or revenge, I just want the Truth laid out bare for everyone to see.


Even if he was convicted of a jailable offense, given the security considerations, and overall optics of the situation, I think he would probably be allowed to stay in Mar Largo or one of his other properties under house arrest.
The Secret Service protection alone would be a nightmare to coordinate. He'd still be eligible for the bodyguards, right?

No chance he goes to anything more than a federal country club, and that's a stretch. Home incarceration.
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Old 01-20-2020, 06:23 PM
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All that said, however, I've seen it predicted that Trump will, at the very least, spend the rest of his natural life fighting legal battles.

Apparently, though, he thoroughly enjoys doing just that.
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Old 01-20-2020, 06:27 PM
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All that said, however, I've seen it predicted that Trump will, at the very least, spend the rest of his natural life fighting legal battles.

Apparently, though, he thoroughly enjoys doing just that.
It's the old "wrestling with a pig" scenario.

"I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it."

- GB Shaw
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  #29  
Old 01-21-2020, 09:34 AM
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If he wasn't rich and connected, he'd spend the rest of his life in prison. As it is, though, his lawyers will run out the clock. He'll die before having to pay any consequences- he is not a healthy man.
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