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Legal Predictions

Post #49, Bob McKnight's Subscription Commentary

If the Charges Against Trump Look Threatening, He May Resign With the Understanding President Pence Will Pardon Him.

We have been subject to almost daily predictions by the media on Donald Trump's legal troubles over the last 2 years. It has been quite a bit for a layperson to absorb, especially since they include venues in both Federal and State Courts. Clearly the most serious legal action would be Impeachment, and although the House might pass a Bill of Impeachment, the current Republican Senate would not convict him. But, since the Justice Department Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller seems to be bringing his report in for a landing very soon, it might be interesting to look at the most serious potential charges and my predictions of what will happen to them (potential penalties show in parenthesis).

Federal Court: Conspiracy Against the United States (Fine and up to 5 years in prison) This and potential collusion are the centerpiece of the Independent Counsel's work, and it's success is highly contingent upon the testimony of questionable witnesses. Since this is largely untested legal ground, I predict that Trump will not be successfully prosecuted for this crime, at least during his current term.

Obstruction of Justice (Up to 10 years in prison). President Trump appeared to commit this crime for all to see, in a national TV in an interview with NBC Anchor Lester Holt. He also appeared to commit this crime repeatedly in multiple communications, all recorded. I believe Trump will be charged with this crime and maybe tried after he leaves office, if it is determined the trial will affect his job as President.

State Court: Violation of the Constitution Emoluments Clause (Reimburse government and fine). Several states are suing Trump's family over continuing to profit from public service, an apparent violation of our Constitution. His business and family will be charged and convicted of this crime.

Trump Foundation (Reimburse government and fine). Trump used other people's money funneled to this charity for his own personal, business and political expenses. His Foundation, Business, and family will be charged and convicted of this crime.

We should keep in mind that Special Counsel Mueller is not the only Federal threat for Trump. The acting U.S. Attorney in the Southern District Court of New York can also bring separate charges, and is expected to do so.

Pardons by Trump for his family and friends will only be admissible in Federal Court. And I predict that if the charges rendered against President Trump look serious, he may resign and ask President Pence to pardon him.

It is expected that some states will now require candidates to fully disclose personal finances before being qualified to run for President in 2020. These restrictions will curtail some of Trump's planned re-election activities going forward.

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