A Thursday report from Raw Story included conversations with multiple experts that touched on the possibility of Donald Trump going to jail after he leaves office and suggested that there is a “real chance” that he could be put behind bars in New York.
“The state has jurisdiction over most of his properties and operations relating to his 2016 presidential campaign,” the report read. “Crucially, states also are not subject to the U.S. Department of Justice’s rule that a sitting president may not be prosecuted for federal crimes.”
According to the publication, the state could indict Trump, and Attorney General William Barr would have no authority to stop it.
Trump biographer David Cay Johnston claims that it is “absolutely” possible for the American leader to go to prison in New York, although he suggested the likelihood of such an outcome is difficult to predict.
Duncan Levin, a former senior staff member under Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., hinted that whether Trump goes to prison will hinge on politics. Vance is behind the state’s efforts to subpoena Trump’s financial records.
“It’s inconceivable that Trump didn’t know about the hush money payments,” Levin said, referring to the payments Michael Cohen made to two women who accused the real estate mogul of having extramarital relations with them.
“But it’s highly unlikely that he’d be arrested on misdemeanor charges. They would have to be very serious felonies.”
According to Raw Story, false statements to financial institutions — which Johnston said the president has a “well-documented history” of engaging in — would fall into this category.
As noted by The Guardian, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who is currently leading Trump in many recent polls, said he would not use his possible presidency to pardon the U.S. leader of any crimes he is convicted of after leaving office. The publication claimed that Trump could face prison for any number of charges for his purported crimes, including obstruction of justice, soliciting campaign donations for foreign nationals, and illegally withholding military aid via bribery.
Johnston previously claimed that Trump needs to be put in jail. During an appearance on Sirius XM’s The Dean Obeidallah Show, the journalist paralleled the real estate mogul with former President Richard Nixon and noted that Nixon — unlike the current U.S. leader — held patriotism for the United States and ultimately resigned in the face of impeachment for the good of the country. Conversely, the biographer pointed out that Trump at the time did not express willingness to do the same — and ultimately did not.