Can A 'Global' Plea Deal Finally Rid America Of Defendant Trump?

Can A 'Global' Plea Deal Finally Rid America Of Defendant Trump?

Former President Donald Trump entering New York courthouse for arraignment

They say that consensus isn’t possible anymore? Well, Defendant Trump’s legal team, his political advisers, some right-wing members of his party, and the Washington punditocracy have come to agreement on one thing: He’s running for president to keep himself out of jail. The problem with that construction, however, is that Defendant Trump will have to win to accomplish his goal. So, what’s he going to do?

He’s a vain man, he’s perpetually angry and resentful, he’s vindictive, he’s amazingly unpleasant, but he’s not stupid. The man who became famous because another man wrote the book, The Art of the Deal for him to put his name on, has to be thinking about the situation he finds himself in. As he wakes up every morning and reaches for his first Diet Coke of the day, he is facing two indictments and trials, and he knows that he is very likely to be indicted again by the federal government and will face another indictment in Georgia – possibly within weeks.

Sure, if he’s elected president, he has already promised to fire Special Counsel Jack Smith. He will be able to cancel the federal prosecution for stealing and mishandling classified documents and the one that’s coming for attempting to overturn the 2020 election results. If one of those prosecutions results in a guilty verdict before November of 2024, he can pardon himself, an unprecedented move that no president has ever tried before, and for which there is no power enumerated in the Constitution. But with the Supreme Court to which he appointed three incredibly conservative justices who serve alongside three more of the same, do you think “his” court would overturn his own pardon?

That leaves the prosecution in New York and the upcoming one in Georgia. He can’t pardon himself if he is convicted of violating state crimes. It’s unlikely, but it’s not out of the question, that if convicted in Georgia, he could be sentenced to jail. There would be an enormous clusterfuck “the likes of which the world has never seen” over that – can a sitting president with Secret Service protection be sentenced to serve a prison term, and if so, can he rule from behind bars? Defendant Trump has to be at least considering that possibility.

But what about this possibility? He has what appears to be a lock on the Republican nomination, but he will have to get more than 81 million votes to beat Joe Biden at the ballot box in 2024. With two more indictments in the pipeline and one trial in federal court next May and another trial in New York City and at least the possibility of another federal case going to court before November of 2024, and all the revelations each of those nightmares will produce, can he win in 2024? And is winning the presidency a guarantee of staying out of prison?

The reason Defendant Trump is facing charges in two jurisdictions and will doubtlessly face charges in two more isn’t because a bunch of law enforcement officials who don’t know each other got together at a Ramada Inn somewhere and decided to try to prevent him from winning another race for the presidency. Defendant Trump is being charged with breaking very serious laws, including laws that protect our national security and the sanctity of functioning of our system of government.

What would a so-called global deal to avoid prosecution for Defendant Trump look like? Legal experts have described a complicated scenario with many lawyers, prosecutors and judges involved, but they say that as difficult as it would be to negotiate, it could be done. What would be in that global deal? Every prosecutor with pending charges against Defendant Trump, state, local and federal, would have to agree to drop the charges, and the judges overseeing cases which have already gone to court would have to approve the deal.

To get all the charges dropped and receive a promise of no jail time for any new charges which might arise in the near or distant future, Defendant Trump would be required to sign a legally binding agreement to cancel his campaign for president and be barred from ever running for federal, state, or local office ever again.

Yes, it sounds farfetched, and yes it has so many moving parts that the possibility of such a thing coming to pass would seem to be slim to none, especially given Defendant Trump’s well-known unwillingness to admit that he has ever, in his entire life, done anything wrong. A global deal letting Defendant Trump off the legal hook would also deprive us as citizens of seeing justice done.

But a blow to his ego of that magnitude might not seem like such a bad thing to him if he gets to continue to play golf every other day or so and hold the inevitable major tournaments that will come to his golf courses in Florida, New Jersey, and in Great Britain now that his good friends the Saudi royal family have taken over the game.

Our judicial system would be compromised – the old saw that no man stands above the law would be dropped, if only temporarily – and we wouldn’t be finished with him politically, as he is now and forever more the King of MAGA. But he didn’t show much touch with his endorsements as the king in 2018 or 2020 or 2022, and it might be that his hold over the base, as political junkies like to refer to his supporters, will turn out to be a good thing for Democrats.

We would still be stuck with his visage and stuck with his voice and stuck with his narcissism and stuck with his racism and all the rest of it. He would never again be able to clasp his little fingers on the levers of federal power, so we would be able to move on to the next fascist the Republican Party will cough up for public consumption. It might be the best thing we could dare to hope for.

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

Please consider subscribing to Lucian Truscott Newsletter, from which this is reprinted with permission.

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