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London Economist Laments Difficulties in Jailing Trump

Donald Trump. Credit: C-SPAN

London’s The Economist has published an article lamenting that efforts to jail Trump before the election are unlikely to succeed.

Although the civil judgments for defamation ($88 million to E. Jean Carroll) and misrepresenting the value of some of his properties ($355 million plus some $100 million and growing in interest) have already hit Trump hard, the upcoming criminal cases look less likely to succeed, warns the London publication.

In Manhattan, Trump faces 34 felony charges over paying $130,000 to a porn star. In order to elevate the case to a felony, District Attorney Alvin Bragg has had to claim that the offenses were related to other crimes—in this case, as campaign finance violations or tax violations. “Even if Mr. Trump is convicted,” concludes The Economist, “there seems to be little chance that the judge would sentence him to prison on such novel charges involving the manipulation of records.”

Then there is the Washington, D.C. trial, based on charges brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith. The charges are related to Trump’s actions with respect to the 2020 election. Two of the four charges relate to “obstruction of an official proceeding”—an offense added to the books in the wake of Enron’s destruction of records in the face of congressional investigations. The Supreme Court will be hearing from Jan. 6, 2021 defendants who are challenging the application of this statute to their behavior. If convicted, Trump would be sentenced by Judge Tanya Chutkan, who has required prison time for every convicted Jan. 6, 2021 defendant brought before her.

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