MSNBC Analyst: Trump's Alleged Jail Worries Show 'Overwhelming Consciousness of Guilt'

September 23rd, 2023 10:09 PM

Jonathan Capehart Glenn Kirschner MSNBC The Saturday Show With Jonathan Capehart 9-23-23On NBC's Meet the Press last Sunday, new host Kristen Welker threw this question at Donald Trump: "When you go to bed at night, do you worry about going to jail?

Trump denied it: "No, I don’t really. I don’t even think about it. I’m built a little differently I guess, because I have had people come up to me and say, 'How do you do it, sir? How do you do it?' I don’t even think about it."

But on MSNBC on Saturday, host Jonathan Capehart brought up wild speculation (based on anonymous sources) that Trump was shaking in his boots. 

Legal analyst Glenn Kirschner was asked to comment on a report in Rolling Stone (the Fake Rape News magazine) that Trump had wondered to unidentified associates about the conditions of his possible imprisonment, including whether he'd be sent to a relatively comfortable "Club Fed" type prison, or to a "bad" one.

According to Kirschner, Trump's alleged curiosity meant he was "scared to death" and feeling "overwhelming consciousness of guilt."

If he were a former candidate for office facing a criminal trial in a city that had gone 18-1 for his opponent, and where the presiding judge had publicly expressed remorse that he wasn't in prison, the thought of being convicted and sent to prison, fairly or not, would seem natural. The trial on January 6 charges will be held in Washington, DC, where the jury will be drawn from a pool of voters that went for Biden over Trump by an overwhelming 92%/5% margin.

And the case will be presided over by Judge Tanya Chutkan. Trump has sought to have Chutkan recuse herself from the case, alleging her lack of impartiality. 

Among other evidence thereof, Trump's lawyers cited these remarks by Chutkan at a sentencing hearing for J6 defendants:

“The people who mobbed that Capitol were there in fealty, in loyalty, to one man – not to the Constitution. … It’s a blind loyalty to one person who, by the way, remains free to this day.”

Sure sounds like Chutkan was lamenting the fact that Trump has not been locked up -- at least not until she gets a hold of him!

Faced with a trial with that kind of jury, presided over by that kind of judge, anyone would understandably entertain the possibility of being convicted, however fair or unfair that might be, and sent to prison—and wonder what conditions there might be like.

Contrary to Kirschner's claim, Trump's alleged curiosity wouldn't need to reflect consciousness of guilt, let alone "overwhelming consciousness of guilt." It is simply the thought process of any sentient defendant facing what could realistically be seen as a judicial deck stacked against him.

MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner claiming that Donald Trump's curiosity about the conditions of potential imprisonment constitutes "overwhelming consciousness of guilt" was sponsored in part by Sling, Procter & Gamble, maker of Swiffer, Farmers Insurance, Dell, Intel, and Unilever, maker of TRESemme. 

Here's the transcript.

The Saturday Show With Jonathan Capehart
8:34 am EDT

JONATHAN CAPEHART: Glenn, I gotta get you on something else. We have to switch gears a little bit. Get a load of this from Rolling Stone, which reports, quote, "While Trump publicly professes confidence, privately, three sources familiar with his comments say he's been asking lawyers and other people close to him what a prison sentence would look like for a former American president. 

"Would he be sent to a 'club fed style prison—a place that's relatively comfortable, as far as these things go—or a 'bad' prison?

And obviously, this is in relation to the federal cases against him. What does this tell you about Trump's mindset?

GLENN KIRSCHNER: It tells me he's scared to death. It tells me he has overwhelming consciousness of guilt. Because he knows he did wrong and he knows he is about to be held accountable for his crimes.

So, you know, it's not surprising that he is obsessing. If he was confident that he would be completely exonerated, would he have to obsess about what his future time in prison might look like?

And I do think the last refuge for Donald Trump can be seen in a recent post, where he urged the Republicans to defund, essentially, the prosecutions against him. Which, to this old prosecutor, Jonathan, smells a lot like an attempt to obstruct justice.