Pundits speculate about extreme self-protective measures Donald Trump may take as the Mueller investigation and disclosures of sleazy associates draw the circle of criminal responsibility ever closer. This speculation, however, is hopelessly naïve. Trump has no need to follow through on threats to destroy the Department of Justice, pardon himself or anyone else, or end the Mueller or other investigations. Trump uses such threats simply to distract attention from his serious policy blunders and lack of accomplishments.
Rather, Trump has been planning all along to plead nolo contendere to charges he knows he cannot refute—although what he thinks the words nolo contendere may mean and how he might pronounce them are anyone’s guess. But first he plans to privatize the federal prison system and negotiate with himself to sell it, along with the White House, to the Trump Organization. Then the Donald can happily serve a lengthy sentence in his own properties and isolate himself from the consequences of his acts and omissions even more thoroughly than he now does at Mar-A-Lago or Bedminster.
Since virtually all the President’s close advisors, friends, political appointees and family members will soon end up in federal prison themselves, Trump understands that it will be logistically advantageous to rule autocratically from an adjoining cell. It will also be convenient for soliciting advice and assistance directly from organized crime leaders and convicted fraudsters who now serve only as distant mentors and role models. If figures like John Gotti could reputedly run extensive criminal enterprises from inside maximum security penitentiaries, it should be a simple affair to control whatever parts of the federal government have not been dismantled by executive orders or decimated by mass firings and resignations.
The president will take great comfort in being ensconced behind the tall and massive walls of a state or federal prison like Sing Sing, Dannemora or San Quentin. These walls are already paid for, and it is a sure bet that no Mexican or other swarthy-skinned speaker of Spanish or Portuguese will seek to scale them to get inside. Trump can focus on the huge replicas of the Trump logo which will adorn those walls, along with the motto, “Correctional facilities are for losers. This is a national monument for protection of me and other super high wealth individuals who Elizabeth Warren and the Dems want to make an endangered species.” Being incarcerated will also serve as a ready-made excuse for not attending inconveniences like impeachment hearings or bothering to show up at national emergencies.
Of course, some advisors worry that the Trump plan could be foiled by a lenient parole board or by someone filing a writ of habeas corpus. “Not to worry,” confided Trump to Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “I’ll have Rudy Giuliani file the writ and handle the parole board hearing so there’s no chance we will win. But there will be lots of talk show appearances to keep Rudy occupied and the rest of the world totally confused.”
Speaking of talk show appearances, Kelly Anne Conway makes the case that incarceration will in the long run improve the president’s image. “A conviction won’t mean much to his base,” she declared on a talk show debate to which it was unclear she had been invited. “They don’t care what bad acts the president may commit along as they think he is committing them against someone else. And they may see this as a clever sting operation against the dark state. Who better than the denizens of the criminal underworld to know the secret whereabouts of Hilary’s supposedly missing server?”
Other pundits note that prison policy may also prevent the president from having personal communication devices and therefore issuing embarrassing tweets. Kelly Anne Conway immediately interrupts to report that the president has been studying the movie the Bird Man of Alcatraz to learn how to train pigeons to carry messages to the outside world—a method of official communication Conway dubs the presidential coo as opposed to the harsher presidential tweet. The other pundits respond that the number of infantile outbursts that can be reliably communicated to the outside world by homing pigeon will be limited in comparison to Facebook and that the Donald has chiefly devoted his efforts to finding pigeons that know the way to Moscow and can coo the praises of Vladimir Putin.
“But remember,” interjects Kelly Anne Conway, who simply talks ever more loudly as questions are asked of others, “the president’s portrait will not only continue to hang in whatever federal facilities are still standing, but until he is arrested, his mug shot will also adorn police stations and post offices across America. And finally,” concludes Conway before being administered oxygen as she at last runs out of breath, “a prison barber may do wonders for the presidential hair style. I think Donald might even begin to look a little bit like Burt Lancaster.”
What will be the end result of presidential self-incarceration? Deterrence of future crime, societal retribution, opportunity for a malefactor to reform, protection of the public from continued depredations? All worthy and necessary goals for a lawless despot with no moral compass. But only one outcome is certain: a new reality TV show titled “High Crimes and Misdemeanors: How to Succeed in Doing Things to America That Are Truly Criminal Without Even Trying.”