It’s probably more important to go after Trump’s henchmen than Trump himself. Send the message that being part of his mafia does not pay.
Beyond that, if you want to really hit Trump where it hurts, go after his enterprise and expose it for the fraud that it is. He’ll be forced to declare bankruptcy, and once that’s exposed, he’s of little value.
He could start his own entertainment brand, of course - Trump TV. But we already know that he really doesn’t know how to do business. Once you have a federal criminal justice system that is committed to upholding the rule of law, he’d be forced to do business legitimately, which he is utterly incapable of doing.
It’s not at all necessary to imprison Trump, and it might do more harm than good in trying. Go after the source of his power, which is his ability to con people with impunity. Take that away, and he’s fucked for life, and so is his family. People don’t love the Trumps; they only love what they can do for them.
It seems likely that Trump’s response to losing will depend heavily upon how the typically pro-Trump media are responding to his loss. He has always been dependent on them to do his “thinking.”
It also will depend on whichever of his sycophantic ass-lickers (including Barr) are going to stick it out with him, and continue telling him what to do. They’ve been gambling on a second term, and will probably be cutting their loses. Trump himself is not guided by any core principles other than self-aggrandizement and self-enrichment, and he lacks the ability to figure out the complexities of this situation on his own, so whoever is willing to stay with him, will have an even larger influence.
Fear of extradition might. The United States has always refused to hand former government officials over to international or foreign courts. And they would probably protect Trump as a matter of consistency.
Trump can’t count on getting that protection from another country. If he flees to Russia or Saudi Arabia, he might end up facing a tribunal in Iran.
But Trump didn’t plan this out very well (no surprise). He’s also broken a lot of American laws - and these are state laws he can’t pardon himself out of. (My guess is Trump didn’t understand that his Presidential pardoning power only applies to federal laws.) So if he stays in the United States to avoid being put on trial in a foreign country, he might end up being put on trial here.
I don’t think there’s anything that can be done to prevent such pardons, but at the same time, I don’t think there’s anything stopping the new President from charging these people with new crimes.
It would seem to me that a Trump Pardon would make a great de facto case for bribery or some other such charge. There’s no reason to pre-suppose that pardons from a president who is himself a criminal are anything other than the result of further criminal activity.
It’s the Presidential equivalent of jailing Al Capone for tax evasion.
The US intelligence services already consider Dumpster-Fire a foreign asset due to his repeat disclosures of classified information, revelations of US assets overseas; one example was they had to pull out a source directly tied to Putin’s inner circle, and granting of security clearances/access to his crony family members. Whether he is a willing or unwilling dupe is not relevant. His disdain for intelligence briefs is well known (not enough Donald, too long, not enough colors or charts). I strongly believe he’s only being giving barebones information that he can’t process. Taking anything of value with him is highly doubtful.
The law doesn’t work that way. If you get pardoned for all past crimes, you can’t just be arbitrarily charged with new crimes. You have to actually go out and commit some new crimes that take place after the period your pardon applied to.
I think blanket pardons have been established as constitutionally sound. The precedent President Ford reviewed before pardoning Nixon was Burdick v. United States. In that case, President Wilson tried to pardon a newspaper editor in order to remove his Fifth Amendment protection against testifying against himself.
“President Woodrow Wilson had issued him a blanket pardon for all offenses Burdick “has committed, or may have committed, or taken part in” regarding not only the published articles, but any others the grand jury might ask about.”
The decision wasn’t directly about blanket pardons; it was about whether a pardon represented an admission of guilt and had to be accepted. However, the court accepted the legality of the blanket pardon that Wilson issued. Ford then issued a blanket pardon for Nixon:
“granting “a full, free and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he…has committed or may have committed or taken part in” during his five and a half years as president.”
President Carter also issued a blanket pardon for Vietnam War draft evaders, establishing the principal that a pardonee didn’t have to be named. However, I believe they do need to declare they are taking advantaging of the pardon before it becomes binding on the individual. Nevertheless, it does prevent a futile prosecution.
Most of the damage and coruption that Trump might engage in after the election he could do just as easily before the election. The only difference is that he doesn’t have to be clandestine about it.
There is nothing that can be done about the pardons, but in general that is pretty small potatoes.
If Trump loses the election he will be the lamest of lame ducks. The next election won’t be for another two years by which time the Trumpist voters will probably be focused on some other issue or standard bearer. So the distancing from Trump by the GOP will begin almost immediately. So they won’t support any obvious moves on his part to enrich himself.
While there might be some danger of Trump actively trying to damage the nation before his successor takes office, just out of spite. Doing so would require actual work effort and planning on Trumps side. The other members of his administration have no reason to be loyal to him at that point, they are all out of a job come January anyway. So anything he does he is going to have to do himself. I personally doubt that he has the competence or industriousness that would be required to do serious damage.
This demonstrates the issue that “blanket pardon” is not a legal term. Carter’s blanket pardon of draft evaders was different from Ford’s blanket pardon of Nixon.
Ford pardoned a specifically identified individual for unspecified crimes. Carter pardoned an unspecified group of people for a specific crime. Draft dodgers were only pardoned for violations of the Military Selective Service Act. The pardon did not cover them for violations of any other federal laws they may have broken.
Carter did not establish a precedent by pardoning unnamed people. That goes all the way back to Jefferson, who issued a blanket pardon to all individuals who had violated the Sedition Act of 1798.
If the Democrats take control of the Senate, they might have a meeting with Trump to point out that there is still a short period between seating of the new Congress and the inauguration when he could be quickly impeached, so he should be very careful not to give them any reason to do so. Possibly point this out to others in the administration as well.
I think it’s highly unlikely that the Democrats will win twenty out of the twenty-three seats currently held by Republicans that are up for re-election. Which is what they would need to get the two thirds vote needed to remove Trump from office.
I think it’s also highly unlikely that the first order of business these incoming Senators would take up would be the impeachment of a President who will only have seventeen days left in office at that point.
Trumpforce One (yes, that’s what they call it) a 757 200 has a range of 3,900 miles. He’ll have to refuel in Iceland or London. Not a pilot, but London seems to be a bit of a stretch.
But him running would not surprise me at all. Well nothing at this point would surprise me at all. He’ll probably hole up at Mar-a-Lago. He still will have plenty of morons that will pay to hear him ‘speak’ and pay inflated prices to stay at that resort.
I have no problem what so ever if he continues fleecing his rubes. I just don’t think he’ll have very many left to fleece given that his utility to them will be greatly diminished. The most influential among them will abandon him and put their financial backing into prospects that are more likely to realize their agendas. Trump was never more than a tool (pun intended) for their goals.
Also, there is no amount of Trump Mar-a-Lago bunker mentality that will keep SDNY and various other investigative bodies from dragging him out from the cellar to face trial. (Saddam Hussein imagery intended).
I just hope Biden doesn’t pull a Gerald Ford and pardon Trump in an effort to ‘unite a divided country’.
I suggested elsewhere that President Biden’s very first presidential act should be to order Trump’s passport frozen or canceled. ETA: He should do this while his oath of office is still ringing in our ears, faster than Trump can get himself to the nearest airport.
OTOH, in that thread about the possibility of Trump quitting, the prospect was mentioned of him resigning, turning the office over to Pence, who would them pull a Ford and pardon him of all sins ever committed in the history of the universe. It occurs to me, this has the added bonus that Trump can get himself the hell out of the country before anyone would cancel his passport.
Will he? He was only able to get six thousand people to show up for him in Tulsa and those tickets were free.
As for people playing for luxury suites at Mar-a-Lago or other Trump properties, those days will stop next January (or, God forbid, January 2025). People were only willing to pay those prices because they were bribing the President of the United States. Nobody’s going to spend money to bribe an ex-president. (Even Trump understands this. He raised the rates on all his properties as soon as he was elected.)
I feel Trump will also be shut out of one traditional source of income for ex-presidents; membership on corporate boards. Corporations are not going to want to deal with the controversy they would get from linking their company with Trump.