Joe Scarborough likes to gloat that conviction on even one of the many criminal charges against Donald Trump would amount to a life sentence for him. The walls would finally close in.
On today's Morning Joe, George Conway, a show regular and co-founder of the disgraced Lincoln Project, took Scarborough's fond wish a giant step further, flatly predicting:
"I believe [Trump] will spend the rest of his life in prison as a result of the classified documents case, and as a result of the January 6th case . . . Even if he is found guilty of just a few counts in the Florida case, the documents case, he could be sent to jail for 10 or 15 years. And the man's 77, 78 years old almost."
Co-host Mika Brzezinski began the exchange by pretending Letitia James & Co. are nonpartisans. Ahem: James ran for office in 2018 proclaiming it was "fueling my soul" to go after an "illegitimate president."
Mika announced: "The New York State Attorney General's office announced on Friday they plan on calling Trump's oldest children to the stand on separate days this week."
Conway began by explaining that although Trump and his children can take the Fifth when they testify in New York AG Letitia James' case against Trump, unlike in criminal cases, where the jury can't infer guilt when someone takes the Fifth, that inference can be drawn in this case, because it is civil, not criminal.
Conway, like Mika, said "they're being called as hostile witnesses, witnesses who are not cooperating with the plaintiff, the plaintiff here being the State of New York.|"
MSNBC Republican Elise Jordan then kvetched that Trump isn't being punished for what he's saying about the judge, etc., whereas other people doing the same would be "in a huge heap of trouble." She asked Conway if the civil case represented the biggest threat against Trump.
Conway said that the civil case is not the most dangerous for Trump. That, yes, he will lose money, but he'll still have some left. The bigger threats are the Florida documents case and the other criminal cases against him, opined Conway. He then went on to make his prediction that Trump will spend the rest of his life in prison as a result.
The likes of Scarborough and Conway need to be careful what they wish for. The image of Trump behind bars would be sure to spur a huge backlash from his base -- and conceivably elicit sympathy for him even from people who have not been fans.
On Morning Joe, George Conway predicting that Donald Trump will spend the rest of his life in prison as a result of being convicted in the Florida documents case was sponsored in part by Sling, Humana, and Centrum.
Here's the transcript.
6:26 am EDT
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Okay, so this week, several members of the Trump family will be taking the stand in the $250 million civil fraud trial against the former president and his company. The New York State Attorney General's office announced on Friday they plan on calling Trump's oldest children to the stand on separate days this week.
Donald Trump Jr. will testify this Wednesday, followed by Eric Trump on Thursday, and Ivanka Trump on Friday. The former president himself is expected to be called nex tMonday. Prosecutors say they expect Trump will be their final witness.
Meanwhile, Trump has not let up on his attacks against the judge in the case. On his Truth Social page, Trump called Judge Engoron "crazy" and "corrupt." Trump has been already fined twice for breaking a gag order for speaking against the court staff. There is no protection against speaking against the judge or prosecutors.
Just George, couple of -- I mean, there are so many questions here. But procedurally, first of all, can they not show up for some reason, the family members? And if they do, can they plead the Fifth and not answer questions? Or do they have to show up, and do they have to answer questions?
GEORGE CONWAY: They have to show up, but they can take the Fifth Amendment. But they are under subpoena, they're being called as what, in trial terminology, they're being called as hostile witnesses, witnesses who are not cooperating with the plaintiff, the plaintiff here being the State of New York.
And they have to show up because they'll be under court order to show up. And they could be held in contempt and sent to jail [laughs] if they violate that order.
But they can take the Fifth. And that's going to be the interesting question to me. I mean, how do they handle this? Eric Trump, according to the prior papers filed in the case, pleaded the Fifth Amendment 500, over 500 times at his civil deposition in one day, in this case.
MIKA: So what use would this be?
CONWAY: Donald Trump Sr. -- well, it's, the fact of the matter is, because it's a civil case, invocation of the Fifth Amendment can be used to draw a negative inference against the defendant. A court, a trier of fact, judge or jury, can conclude, huh, he's not answering that question. It must be because he committed fraud or he lied previously, or he did something bad.
MIKA: So it is an answer.
CONWAY: You can't do that, you can't make that -- right. You can't, you can't make that inference in a criminal case, but that's one of the reasons why this case is so dangerous to Trump is, that the assertions of the Fifth Amendment, and Donald Trump himself asserted the Fifth Amendment over 440 at his deposition in this case, that can be used against the defendant to infer, to allow the trier of fact, the judge here, to infer that this was a giant fraudulent enterprise, which he essentially has already concluded on the summary judgment, based on the papers which included those assertions.
MIKA: Right, this is a case, Elise, that in some ways, part of it is already over. The judge has made his decision. We're forgetting that.
ELISE JORDAN: Well, that's what I wonder about. We all have so much fatigue with Donald Trump committing -- doing something that, if anyone else did it, just like, the way he talks about judges, violating gag orders, they would be in a huge heap of trouble, and yet, Donald Trump doesn't get in trouble.
And so, George, that's what I'd ask you. What if, say, Donald Trump doesn't really get punished in this trial? What does he have down the pipeline? Do you think this current predicament is his most risky, most risky trial? Or do you think that, say, going forward, the classified documents, any of the plethora of legal issues that he has, how do you see the legal landscape unfolding?
CONWAY: Well, I think the other cases are much more dangerous, in the sense that, I mean, this case just takes away his money. He'll always have something. He's not going to be penniless. He may have to liquidate his properties because he can no longer operate them and do business in the State of New York, or as a New York corporation elsewhere.
But the other cases, he can spend -- he'll end up spending, and I believe he will spend the rest of his life in prison as a result of the classified documents case, and as a result of the January 6th case.
Together, I think he is going to be found guilty in both cases. And I think that -- even if he is found guilty of just a few counts in the Florida case, the documents case, that could, that could, you know, he could be sent to jail for 10 or 15 years. And the man's 77, 78 years old almost.