When the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York as well as Russia investigation special counsel Robert Mueller each filed court documents on Friday pointing to a variety of misdeeds by Trump associates and connecting Trump to at least some of those misdeeds, the 72-year-old Trump was faced with a terrifying possibility. According to New York Observer columnist and former National Security Agency analyst John R. Schindler, there is a very real possibility that he may “go to jail for the rest of his life.”
“Donald J. Trump is 72 years old. His conviction on serious felonies could be tantamount to a death sentence,” Schindler later emphasized on his Twitter account. Schindler added that Trump would need to “rapidly come to some sort of agreement” with Mueller that would not include the possibility of prison time in order to avoid his seemingly grim fate.
Trump’s former personal lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty to felony campaign finance crimes in connection with hush money payments to two women — adult film star Stormy Daniels and Playboy centerfold model Karen McDougal — that were made to “influence the election,” according to the SDNY sentencing memorandum. Prosecutors asked that Cohen serves between four and five years in federal prison on those.
But Cohen also told prosecutors that Trump himself ordered the felonious payments, and the SDNY — according to what even Trump ally and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said, as quoted by Newsweek — appears to have additional evidence to prove that Cohen is telling the truth about Trump’s involvement.
Due to a controversial Justice Department policy preventing indictments of sitting presidents, Trump would likely not be charged with this crimes until leaving office, making his 2020 campaign — as New York Magazine put it — “a campaign to stay out of prison.” In other words, if Trump fails to win reelection, he could immediately face prosecution.
But Trump will then be 74-years-old — likely 75 by the time any charges were filed and prosecutions occurred — and facing a sentence that if it equaled Cohen’s could keep him in prison to the age of 80. But the campaign finance violations may not be the only charges Trump could face. As The New Yorker reported, Mueller also submitted a sentencing memo for Cohen that included significant new information about collusion between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign, including contact with the campaign by a “trusted person” in Russia who offered “political synergy” between the campaign and the Russian government.
“Our president has most likely committed crimes, above all conspiring with a hostile power to boost his 2016 campaign (including seeking financial gain from that unfriendly foreign country), which none of his predecessors did, so it’s increasingly likely that Trump will accrue punishments never visited on any American president,” Schindler wrote in his Observer column.
As the Inquisitr reported on Sunday, Democratic House member Adam Schiff, incoming chair of the House Intelligence Committee, also said in an interview, “There’s a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict him. He may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time.”