Donald Trump will not go to prison.
That is not to say that he should not go to prison. Many people believe he should, but the system does not work in a way that would facilitate Donald Trump ending up in prison.
Just reading those words in anger inducing, isn’t it?
Be angry about the fact that in America wealthy white men rarely face the consequences of their actions, and then begin to accept the fact that the impeached lame-duck president probably will never set foot in federal prison, not even the Club Med type of federal prisons reserved for the wealthy.
There is no doubt that Donald Trump has broken many laws over the years as a resident of New York City, and Attorney General Latitia James is pursuing Trump, his family, and his organization for various crimes, including tax evasion that could and should result in jail time.
Many people point to Trump’s Russian connections as obvious reasons to charge and imprison him for betraying his oath to the country.
Then there there’s also the Emoluments Clause that *should have prevented him from profiting from renting his hotels to government departments, including his Secret Service agents, and foreign entities looking for favorable deals from the Federal government.
Finally, there is Trump’s controversial relationship with Deutsche Bank – the only bank that was still routinely loaning Trump and his assorted companies hundreds of millions of dollars for various construction projects. This despite Trump having consistently defaulted on so many Deutsche loans that the bank apparently channeled all of his loans to Justin Kennedy – son of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy – the same justice who abruptly retired soon after Trump’s election and paving the way for notable right-wing star Brett Kavanaugh to take his place. These actions may or may not be connected but they are at the least very curious and if not illegal.
The general consensus is that Trump’s legal problems boil down to: money-laundering, kickbacks, and State and Federal tax evasion.
It is safe to say that were Donald Trump anyone other than a wealthy white man, he would already be in prison, he would never have been selected president, and he would never have been allowed to damage so many American institutions.
In a fair and just America, Trump would have been rejected by 2016 voters simply because he was unqualified for President – for all the reasons we all know: birther racism, mocking disabled people, refusing to release his tax returns, having no platform, and for being unable to articulate any real platform.
But the America we live in gave him 70m votes as the electorate rushed to join what the mainstream media titled “populist” and which Black people correctly called racist.
And if there’s one negative attribute that is profitable in America it is racism. Trump rode that simple American fact all the way to the White House.
So of course Trump was emboldened and set about being exactly who he has been and always will be: A man who sees himself above the law and out of reach of regulators, lawyers, and judges.
And he has been proven correct time and time again. And his privilege luck has extended to his sons, daughter, and son-in-law, all of whom have been involved in sometimes sketchy and probably illegal business dealings both domestically and abroad.
But despite the fact that Trump was impeached he largely escaped accountability for working with Russia and the Ukraine, and he has successfully kept the law at a safe distance from himself and his family.
His impeachment can tell us many things, primary among them is the simple fact that not a single Republican voted to impeach him. A few spoke out but when it came time to vote for/against, they all voted against impeachment.
And it is instructive to know that despite evidence of so many illegal acts – including betraying his oath and America, Republicans would not vote against Trump.
Donald Trump is above the law and Republicans will make certain he remains there even after he is no longer in office. And if given the chance, Democrats will negotiate an ending that does not result in prison time for Trump.
Because at the end of the day, the American political apparatus is designed by white men to protect and advance the causes of white men. There is nothing that will make the U.S. Government arrest a former U.S. President and have him perp-walked for all the world to see.
That scene will never play out.
They will not allow a U.S. President to stand before a judge and be read a sentence that sends him to prison.
The myth of American superiority, of the strength of our institutions, and of the honor or our leaders, are critical to our military, technological, and financial interests around the world. Imprisoning a former President would severely damage America in ways that would reverberate into the future.
And it will not happen.
Donald Trump tested the moral courage of his party and his followers and they willingly declared their devotion to him over the United States.
Proud Boys, Militias, White Nationalists, Klan, police, military, and Border Patrol, all chose Donald Trump over the law, over decency, over the U.S. Government and its citizens.
They, like their Confederate forefathers who split the country during the Civil War and were rewarded with land, money, segregation, Jim Crow, and hundreds of years of systemic racism designed to keep them above Black people.
Trump’s followers pledged their fealty to him and many loudly proclaimed they would fight and die for him.
They targeted and harassed citizens and received protection from the police, secret service, and even the U.S. Military. They plotted to kidnap and behead the governor of Michigan. They marched in cities fully armed and often received support and assistance from local police.
If those groups didn’t get arrested, prosecuted, and jailed, then there is no way their leader – Donald Trump – will end up in prison.
The fear of a social uprising led by millions of racist followers of Donald Trump is enough to deter the “System” from prosecuting Trump to the fullest extent of the law that leads to prison.
He may, at best, pay fines or back taxes, and that would be the most the government will muster. And even then, he will ask his followers to pay and they will gladly do so, as we have seen them raise more than $300 million since he lost the election.
On January 20th, 2021, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be inaugurated and Donald Trump will finally be out of office once and for all. He will face charges but he will remain free.
But to him to have lost to a man he called senile and to a woman who he is afraid of, will be a different type of prison that he will not escape: the prison is his mind that constantly reminds him that he was thoroughly rejected by an overwhelming vote total that flipped five states, and gave his opponents 306 electoral college votes.
The only prison Trump will be sentenced to is the loser prison in his mind, one that he has spent his life running from but which has finally caught up to him.
That is the one prison he cannot escape.
© 2020 by Myron J. Clifton. All Rights Reserved.
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