How Much Prison Time Does Former President Trump Face?


Using federal guidelines is the key to knowing what Trump faces. Max sentences are rarely given out these days as we’ve seen in the J6 riots. Prosecutors there have asked for 14 years for violent defendants, and those same defendants have been getting downward departures of over half off or more. Those prosecutors who have asked for 14 years based on guidelines have ended up with a paltry 4 years in prison handed down despite their hard-core criminality of attacking police. Judges have gone soft on them, and over the years have gone soft on everyone else that is white and Republican.

In the case of Trump, it’s very doubtful he will do any time at all more than home confinement. That is if it even gets to trial with Judge Cannon back at it again giving Trump every little break he can get on the case prior.


A person could theorize that Trump could in fact plead guilty at arraignment and ask for an immediate sentence, and the Judge, being an appointee by him, could just give him 30 days home detention and the case would be over.

Granted pre-trial has to make recommendations and that takes a lot of time etc. But in Trump’s case they could rush it right through. He could in fact plea out without prosecutors even being involved in the deal. He and the friendly Judge could in fact cook up a deal whereby Trump just pleads no contest to the charges and claim he believed (plays to intent) that he owned those documents and could do what he wanted with them. And he could plead no contest to having them and ask for an immediate sentence or as quick as one could be had. The Judge of course is under no obligation to prosecutors to sentence Trump to prison. Trump could in fact be given whatever the Judge wants to sentence him to no matter what prosecutors say. And there would be next to nothing they could do about it either.

This is why I think it’s quite possible that the documents case is a weak case under Judge Cannon. It’s strong on evidence and the rule of law. But this is not any ordinary court. This is a young Judge who has no experience, and one that was appointed to the federal bench by Trump and has already shown that she is in his corner all the way. With that being the case, and the lawless getting away with all manner of crimes these days, it’s a surefire bet that there will be some malfeasance coming that many are not expecting.


Yes, legally she should recuse, but she doesn’t have to recuse if she doesn’t want to, and there is the beginning of the appeals just on that point alone, which will take this case to levels that will take a lot of time to decide on and adjudicate. This case is meant to go way beyond the election before it comes to a trial setting. And despite what Jack Smith says in taking only a month to finish it, this case will take over a year before it ever comes to getting started with Jury selection. And why pick a jury when Trump could ask for a Judge only?


The glitter of the case finally coming to an indictment stage was all fun for a minute, but the fix being in was shown to those that are paying attention to the way the courts deal with Trump. They give him every break there is, allowing him to delay and appeal and shut things down until nothing is left of a case but a fine which he never pays. The loser rubes who donate to his cause are the ones that pay instead, while Trump laughs all the way to the bank.

That is why I believe that Trump has this option in play. We all surmise that Judge Cannon is a bad apple. I saw it the second I read the assignment. Others like Palmer Report were out trying to calm everyone down by saying Cannon will not have this case yada yada. But those people tend to play to their own base while being wrong almost 99 percent of the time. Palmer Report was wrong on this count right out of the gate.

This is the problem with reading things from the “we got him now or we will get him soon” feeds. They are there to give people hope that things will be done according to the rules and laws everyone has to abide by. But the reality is that has never been the case. In only rare circumstances has this happened. And when it does, it’s much like the casino in Vegas. You pass by and see someone winning a million dollars on a slot machine and think hey, I can do it too as long as I put my money in. Often, it’s just the front office coming down with the code to the machine and waiting until a crowd is present before it hits. That keeps you believing that you too can win if only you keep playing.

Same situation in politics. You start to lose hope that justice will be meted out, and then someone comes down from the front office and indicts someone on large charges and they are toast. That keeps you believing in the bullshit that justice is blind, and no one is above the law. Fact is that 99 percent of the wealthy class buy their way out by paying fines for their criminality and not admitting guilt or by being too big to jail or too big to fail. In those too big to fail instances no one is at fault and taxpayers’ foot the bill for the criminals. In too big to jail, those guys worked at the front office and got caught, but because they run the show, they are deemed too big to jail. Thus, they get away with it and you never hear about them again.


Now the drama has morphed into the pundits and legal community saying Judge Cannon should recuse etc. etc. But she doesn’t have to recuse. The case was supposedly randomly assigned to her despite the fact that the last time she got involved there was a hidden investigation on how she got the case in the first place. No one ever disclosed the shenanigans going on back then that were found about how she ended up with the documents case. But there was enough of it to call into question the entire clerk’s staff and their office as to how she was given the case. And now here we are again, it was just randomly assigned to her, and everyone just has to accept it as if there is nothing that can be done. It was random they say, just routine court business.

The issue with Jack Smith or even Merrick Garland not knowing that filing a case in Florida was going to be risky as in how she might end up with the case is now showing how inept or actually corrupt Garland is, as well as Jack Smith playing the subservient role here. Any schoolyard 1st day on the job law grad could have plucked that tree and said no, we aren’t filing there at all, too risky etc, rather we are going to file in D.C. where the documents left from and the lawless could be held to a stricter standard of justice. You could file in Florida later if the venue was challenged. But apparently this was just an oversight on their part, like the search warrant oversight.

Look, Jim Trusty and the other Trump attorney were at Garlands doorstep at DOJ days before the indictment was handed down. Jack Smith was also in attendance, and they all had a nice round of talks. I’m sure that venue was discussed, and they probably allowed the case to get filed in Florida where it would be randomly assigned to Judge Cannon so Trump could catch a few breaks here and there.

This all seems too pat, too planned, too much bullshit. Any other Judge in D.C. would have had strict bail conditions and no horsing around in the court with supporters being called to action and arms. But no, that didn’t happen. Now we have what amounts to a circus atmosphere, where Trump and allies are calling on the entire base to show up at the courthouse. If that were to happen it would be nothing more than a huge circus for Trump and the media and his supporters, and nothing short of just letting Trump go would be the result they wanted. In other words, a HUGE drama play.


Granted the base doesn’t have their army anymore because most of them are in jail. What’s left are the left-over flea market puppets which don’t really do anything other than drive around with flags on their cars and trucks, and wearing flag or Trump forever clothing and selling their wares before they pack up and head to the next rally. There just isn’t enough of them left to show much armed support. But hey its Florida, whereby anything can happen.

Kari Lake was recently at a rally whereby she told the cheering crowds that to get to Trump you’d have to go through her and her NRA supporting buddies.

Rep Clay Higgens has sent out a bunch of code worded dog whistles asking for people to hold but be ready.

There are busses being called into action to pick up supporters as well, which was a percussor to what happened on J6.

Trump supporters are making specific threats too. In one post on The Donald titled, “A little bit about Merrick Garland, his wife, his daughters,” a user shared a link to an article about the attorney general’s children. Under the post, another user replied: “His children are fair game as far as I’m concerned.”In a post about the special counsel conducting the probe, one user on The Donald wrote: “Jack Smith should be arrested the minute he steps foot in the red state of Florida.”

And of course, the list goes on and on about more violence to come.

“Perhaps it’s time for that Civil War that the damn DemoKKKrats have been trying to start for years now,” a member of The Donald wrote. Another, referencing former President Barack Obama and former secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said: “FACT: OUR FOREFATHERS WOULD HAVE HUNG THESE TWO FOR TREASON…”

This happened prior to J6, and after all the violence of that day happened, Chris Wray, head of the FBI, testified he was given no intelligence on any violent action planned for that day. He knew nothing, he heard nothing, he saw nothing. You can bet the same will be said here if something breaks out in Florida. We knew nothing, we saw nothing, we heard nothing, it was all a surprise to us that it happened.


The reality is that no matter what the guidelines say, no matter the amount of time at stake here or elsewhere, Trump won’t do a day inside a prison. Not with this Judge, and not with this circus atmosphere controlling it. Trump knows that all he needs to do is play the victim here. And weak-kneed Attorney General Garland looks like he will play ball while giving the public some red meat to chew on to show that he is trying his level best to hold those in power accountable.

But real accountability would have been for them to file in D.C. and everyone knows it. People are mystified by all this drama and why they do the things they do. Why do people that should be accountable never face any real accountability? And this plays into countless conspiracy theories and launches more and more splinter groups who think that they were allowed to foment violent rhetoric and sedition and insurrection and do little to no time at all. Then all they have to do is say Trump told them to do it and nothing will be done to them but slaps on the wrist. It also gives media more ratings, and gives social media influencers more power, and it just plays on and on and on, and where it stops nobody knows.

The fact is: this really boils down to it’s all a rigged game, and there have always been two sets of books in the Justice system. Those average everyday people who have to abide by those rules and laws put there by those rich elites that made the laws — and that are now supposedly facing Justice — or face heavy fines and ruination for minor crimes or even traffic tickets or unpaid bills. And the other half, which are those rich elites that never pay anything and only use other people’s money to live. Those books, when opened as they are now, show that they are truly above the law. Because they created the law in the first place. Only thing is, those laws were created for the little people to follow, and not them.

Story below:

Now that the public has seen the current list of federal charges against former President Donald Trump, there is a long road ahead. If the defendant is ultimately convicted, that road will lead to sentencing. The Espionage Act charges the defendant faces carry a maximum prison sentence of ten years.  The Tampering (and related Conspiracy) and Concealment charges each carry a maximum prison sentence of twenty years.  The Scheme to Conceal and False Statements  charges each carry a maximum prison sentence of 5 years.  Of course, in any criminal case, numerous factors affect the sentence, and focusing on the statutory maximums can be misleading. Federal law, specifically 18 U.S.C. § 3553, directs courts to impose a sentence based on a list of considerations. The U.S. Sentencing Commission issues Sentencing Guidelines to assist courts and promote consistent application of criminal law. Sentencing trends in similar cases can provide reference points, but only if similar cases exist. This quick note gives an idea of how a sentence would be calculated, with the caveat that issues such as sentencing on multiple counts of conviction, related conduct, and new factual developments could arise.

General Framework

Section 3553 directs courts to examine “the nature and circumstances of the offense” and the defendant’s characteristics. It also requires courts to consider the purposes of criminal sentences, specifically the need to:

  • Impose a sentence consistent with the seriousness of the offense
  • Promote respect for the law 
  • Provide just punishment
  • Deter future criminal conduct
  • Protect the public from the defendant’s potential future criminal conduct
  • Provide rehabilitation in the form of training, medical care, and other treatment
  • Avoid undue disparities among similarly situated defendants who engaged in similar conduct

The statute also mandates application of the Sentencing Guidelines. The Guidelines are advisory, not mandatory, but the Supreme Court has held that a sentencing judge “must give serious consideration to the extent of any departure from the Guidelines” and must explain her reasoning if she imposes an unusually lenient or harsh sentence.

The Guidelines themselves set out general principles, then list specific base offense levels for specific crimes. They provide adjustments based on factors related to victims, a defendant’s role in the offense, any obstruction or related conduct, the treatment of multiple counts, and a defendant’s acceptance of responsibility. Each of these factors adds or subtracts a specified number of points. The total value can then be compared to a chart that provides sentencing ranges based on a defendant’s criminal history.

Application to the Special Counsel’s Charges

The base level for willfully retaining national defense information in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 793(e) is 24 — but increases to 29 if the information at issue was classified Top Secret, as alleged in the Trump indictment (§2M3.3). A defendant’s leadership role in a crime could add 4 points if the defendant was an “organizer or leader” of criminal conduct that involved at least five people or was “otherwise extensive” (for example, conduct that relied on the assistance of unwitting outsiders), or 2 points if the defendant organized or led criminal activity that involved fewer people and was not as extensive (§3B1.1).  The Indictment alleges the defendant was the organizer or leader of criminal conduct that involved at least five other people, whether or not all were witting (Waltine Nauta, Employee 2, and Attorneys 1-3), so the defendant’s attorneys will consider calculations based on the 4-point increase.  Conversely, point deductions are available if a defendant had a minimal or minor role (§3B1.2).  

The Guidelines add 2 points for a defendant’s abuse of public or private trust to commit the crime (§3B1.3).  Courts routinely add those extra points in Section 793(e) cases because the defendant usually came into possession of national defense information while in a position of public trust, and indeed by virtue of that position.  Two additional points are added for a defendant’s willful obstruction of the investigation, prosecution, or sentencing of the offense at issue (§3C1.1). (The obstruction points are not applied to violations of statutes that themselves prohibit obstruction except in certain circumstances.) 

A defendant’s acceptance of responsibility, such as by pleading guilty, provides a 2-point reduction in offense level. An additional 1-point reduction is available at the prosecutor’s discretion.

For an individual count of 18 U.S.C. § 793(e), then, a potential offense level could consist of:

Base level with Top Secret: 29
Leadership role: 4
Abuse of trust: 2
Obstruction: 2
Total: 37

For a defendant with no prior criminal convictions, an offense level of 37 yields 210 to 262 months (17 1/2 to almost 22 years). A defendant who accepted responsibility could reduce that range to 151 to 188 months if the prosecution agreed to deduct the third point.

The base levels for the other charges in the Indictment are lower.  Section 2J1.2 applies to “obstruction of justice” charges such as the Tampering and related Conspiracy counts, the Concealment count, and the Scheme to Conceal and False Statements counts. The base level for these crimes begins at 14, but that increases to 17 if the offense “resulted in substantial interference with the administration of justice.” The base further increases to 19 if the court finds that the offense was extensive or involved “any essential or especially probative record,” which the allegations in the Indictment, if proved, would likely support. To account for obstruction of investigations of particularly serious crimes, however, the Guidelines direct the court to apply Section 2X3.1 instead of 2J1.2 if, as alleged in the Indictment, the offense involved obstructing a criminal investigation and Section 2X3.1 would yield a higher offense level. Section 2X3.1 provides a base level of 6 below the underlying offense, which in a Section 793(e) investigation involving Top Secret documents would result in a level of 23.  The “leadership role” and “abuse of trust” increases would still apply, but the obstruction increase does not apply to sentences calculated based on Sections 2J1.2 or 2X3.1.  As a result, for a conviction of one of these counts, a potential offense level could consist of the following (I’ve included alternate calculations based on 2J1.2 to illustrate the difference in guidelines)…

Base level using 2X3.1: 23 (or 19, as alleged, under 2J1.2)
Leadership role: 4
Abuse of trust: 2
Total: 29 (or 25)

For a defendant with no prior criminal convictions, an offense level of 29 yields 87 to 108 months (7 1/4 to 9 years) and an offense level of 25 yields 57 to 71 months (4 3/4 to almost 6 years). A defendant who accepted responsibility could reduce those ranges to either 63 to 78 months or 41 to 51 months if the prosecution agreed to deduct the third point.

The question of whether sentences would run concurrently or consecutively has come up.  The answer will depend on a variety of factors, not least of which include the evidence at trial, the count or counts of conviction, and “grouping” under Section 3D1.2.  Section 5G1.2, which addresses sentencing on multiple counts, provides that if the sentence imposed on the count with the highest statutory maximum is sufficient to implement the total punishment, then the sentences on multiple counts will run concurrently.  But if the sentence on the count with the highest statutory maximum is insufficient, the court can run sentences consecutively to achieve the target sentence.

It is important to reiterate, however, that the Guidelines are advisory and that Section 3553 directs courts to impose sentences that are consistent with other cases that involve defendants who committed similar crimes under similar circumstances. Identifying those cases in any Section 793(e) retention case is a challenge because of the sparsity of cases and the unique factors that each case involves. If the former President is convicted of one or more counts of Section 793(e), both sides will present examples of prior retention and disclosure sentences and reason by analogy, but United States v. Donald J. Trump is an unprecedented case for a variety of reasons that could be relevant to sentencing.


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