Former President Donald Trump is confronting a legal maelstrom with four separate indictments, spanning both state and federal jurisdictions. According to experts, it is Trump’s third indictment which presents the greatest challenge for the former president, which accuses Trump of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election.
Those focused on the former president’s involvement in the case believe it’s clear his actions disrupted congressional proceedings and the alleged infringement upon every American’s right to vote and have their votes counted.
While a judge may find this to be the case, it is exceedingly unlikely Trump will face time in prison. In fact, federal white collar crime specialist Sam Mangel says Trump’s underlings will likely serve time while Trump will not:
“Due to Trump’s level of security and his complicated secret service detail, he will not serve time in a jail cell, but others in this case, if found guilty, will surely be sentenced to serve time in a minimum security federal camp,” Mangel predicts, adding “The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is not capable of properly securing him.”
As a former president, Trump is entitled to a lifetime of Secret Service protection. That means that the former president requires 24-hour protection from up to a dozen or more agents even while in a prison camp. Given the environment, that presents an incredible challenge to the BOP, one which is likely impossible to accommodate.
Federal prison camps are communal, minimum-security environments where individuals live in dormitory-style housing with small rooms shared with between two and four people. All shows and bathrooms are openly available to the full population, just one of the many reasons that Mangel says “It’s physically impossible to separate (Trump) from the other inmates. The overall burden that it would place on the Bureau of Prisons is just too substantial and could put other inmates at risk.”
Instead, if Trump is found guilty and convicted, he will likely be sentenced to a non-custodial sentence. It is possible the former president will be placed on home confinement or asked to do community service, both significant options made available to the court.
Trump’s six co-conspirators may not benefit from the same considerations, as they are primarily consultants, lawyers, and former politicians who do not have secret service protection and do not have such a high-profile.
Sam Mangel should know: he possesses a unique combination of personal experience and intimate knowledge of the federal prison system. Mangel is widely recognized as a leading prison expert with an in-depth understanding of the judicial process, mitigation techniques, pre-sentencing, sentencing preparation, and post-sentencing programs.
The trial for Trump’s third indictment, related to attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, is scheduled to begin March 4, 2024 in the United States Court for the District of Columbia. The charge with the longest sentence carries a maximum of 20 years in prison.
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