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News + PoliticsOpinionHere's how Trump can really take advantage of the legal system and...

Here’s how Trump can really take advantage of the legal system and raise money

All he has to do is take my free advice—and go to jail. Why wait?


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I won’t be attending the June 6 San Francisco fundraiser for Donald Trump.  As reported in 48hills, the event, sponsored by a few local benefactors, asks for donations of $50,000, higher amounts from those who can afford it. 

My reservations about attending arise not just because the funds will support re-election of a convicted felon who has three other trials pending, a man who promises to be a dictator on his first day in office, and has already been impeached twice.

Jail to the Chief could be a cash bonanza for a candidate who is always looking for the next scam.

I want to contribute to Trump’s future life in a different manner, and ask his local hosts to share my modest proposal with the candidate during his San Francisco visit. Tell him the money will flood his campaign headquarters if he follows my plan. Trump ought to know a good fundraising scheme when he hears it.

Here’s how it will work. 

We already know (or have heard) that the former president’s conviction on 34 felony counts aided his re-election campaign financially, enabling him to raise $53 million from supporters overnight after his conviction was announced. 

If Trump could raise tens of millions by getting himself convicted for illegal financial transactions, imagine how much more he’ll raise if he goes to prison. 

He could be sentenced to prison at his July 11 courtroom appearance related to 34 felony convictions. But why wait? 

Trump can get himself locked up almost overnight by immediately plea bargaining in one or more of his pending cases. Federal judges in charge of his trials for inciting insurrection and stealing classified documents would probably be willing to make a deal with Trump. (He is author of The Art of the Deal, after all.) He could accept a short prison sentence of say, four to eight years, in exchange for a promise of time off for good behavior. (No, on second thought, maybe not, “good behavior” may not be one of his gifts.) In any case, the money will flood Trump’s campaign headquarters as soon as his prison sentence is announced. The Biden campaign will fall far behind in the fundraising competition, if not in the presidential race.

Whether American voters will still re-elect Trump once he starts serving time is difficult to predict. They wouldn’t elect Eugene Debs when he ran from a prison cell more than a century ago. Trump will have to deny he is a socialist, like Debs, for comparisons are sure to be made. 

There are some risks in his following my plan; he could end up in prison for a long stretch. Or he could still be elected by a sympathy landslide.  

But the man who once owned a casino in Atlantic City knows a lot about gambling. Yes, his Taj Mahal casino went bankrupt, but he remains a gambler and claims he’s not a loser. This would be a chance to prove it.  

It’s time for Donald Trump to move on to his next sensational, scene-stealing, headline-winning action. He has to commit SELF-CONVICTION. He should confess his crimes and go to prison. It would certainly help him raise campaign funds.  And I wouldn’t be surprised if Joe Biden quickly pardons Trump, so Biden can keep his own name in the headlines.

To his San Francisco hosts all I want to say is: I won’t pay the $50,000, but I’m offering advice that could be much more valuable to the candidate. Without delay, for his own benefit and the nation’s, Donald Trump should go to jail.

 Joel Schechter is the author of several books about satire and theatre.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram


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