A Trump Second Term: What Happens to All the Legal Drama if Trump Wins?
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WASHINGTON - As Donald Trump predicts his re-election, he's also clearly making his intentions known, especially on immigration. "Within moments of my inauguration, we will begin the largest domestic deportation operation in American history," he recently exclaimed on the campaign trail.
His supporters are banking on it. "We need four more years of Donald Trump to secure our border," Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) told Fox News.
However, there are plenty of critics who believe a second Trump term presents numerous challenges.
To start, as he approaches 80 years old, some have begun to question his mental fitness. The Biden campaign released a campaign ad, capitalizing on a recent incident when Trump mistook Nancy Pelosi for Nikki Haley multiple times when it came to security operations on January 6th.
Overall, Democrats paint a picture of chaos, and so does his only remaining Republican challenger, as Nikki Haley told us in December. "Chaos follows him," Haley told CBN News. "We all know that. chaos follows him...we can't be a country in disarray and a world on fire and make it through four years of chaos. We can't."
Trump's Federal Legal Battles
Some of that chaos could be on the legal front. Former Federal Prosecutor Renato Mariotti believes there's a good chance Trump's multiple trials will not be decided by January's inauguration. "He's going to have to deal with those in one way or another if he becomes president again," Mariotti told CBN News.
The two federal cases, which include the Mar-a-Lago classified documents matter and charges of plotting to overturn the 2020 election, could cause the most commotion.
What happens if both of those legal matters have not fully concluded by the time Trump begins a second presidency? Mariotti thinks that's a very real possibility.
"I would expect the attorney general, who by the way, ultimately is who all those federal prosecutors report to in one way or another, would then instruct those federal prosecutors not to continue their prosecution, which would be I think, very, very controversial, to put it mildly," Mariotti says. "I wouldn't be surprised if that happened."
State Battles Could Continue
The drama could also extend to the state cases. In Georgia, he's charged with election interference, and in New York, with making hush payments to Stormy Daniels.
"The states can't be ordered by the president to stop their prosecutions. But I think there would be a very valid legal challenge that the states aren't able to continue their prosecutions of the sitting president," Mariotti tells CBN News. "You can imagine some real legal fights there. So, I think that'll be a very significant distraction in a second Trump term."
Jail Time for Trump?
There's also the unknown question of whether there could even be the specter of potential jail time for Trump in a second term. A legal argument over separation of powers may ensue that could muddy the legal waters.
"If a judge, for example, is going to try to sentence Trump to a period of incarceration, while he's president of the United States, there are very serious questions about whether she can do so," Mariotti explains. "One thing I will point out is that the judiciary does not enforce their rulings. The executive branch does, which of course, is headed by the president and his attorney general so I think that would be very challenging and problematic. "
All in all, from the former president's predictions of a second term to future legal questions, critics will continue to capitalize on a potential chaotic scenario in an attempt to thwart a second Trump administration.
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