President Donald Trump could wage a brutal battle for survival in 2020 if he is facing the prospect of needing to win re-election to avoid prison time, MSNBC explained on Tuesday.
“Now to the indictment threat looming over Donald Trump and the epic political clash it could produce,” MSNBC anchor Yasmin Vossoughian said. “Trump may also have committed a felony, but Justice Department guidance maintains sitting presidents cannot be indicted, leading some to speculate the indictment will come after trump leaves office.”
Vossoughian cited a column by New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg.
“There’s simply no way around it — as long as Individual-1 is on the ticket, the 2020 election is set to be a banana republic-style death match,” Goldberg wrote.
“Banana republic-style death match?” Vossoughian asked.
“Right,” Goldberg replied. “Granted, I think it was probably going to be something close to that, regardless.”
“So Donald Trump in 2020 could be facing a situation where he either wins re-election, or goes to jail,” she noted.
“So we have this crazy situation where the president has — again, according to his own Justice Department — committed a felony, he can’t be prosecuted as long as he’s president, if he stops being president, that immunity runs out,” Goldberg explained. “If he wins re-election, he can run out the clock on the statute of limitations.”
“Just imagine, as lawless and unconstrained as this president has been, imagine what he would do when the stakes for him are that high,” she added.
Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman noted that “there’s one way the Department of Justice could get around that, and that is by filing a sealed indictment within the statute of limitations.”
“Now, that doesn’t mean that this would necessarily be announced to the public, sealed indictments normally are not announced,” Ackerman noted.
“We wouldn’t even know if it was going on?” Vossoughian asked.
“That’s right,” Ackerman replied.
Since Trump also might not know if there’s a sealed indictment, it’s possible such a filing would have no impact on Trump’s motivations in the 2020 campaign.
So there could be a Banana republic-style death match created by Trump assuming he has to win re-election to avoid prison.