Author Malcom Gladwell just told Canadian TV that he thinks Donald Trump will be in jail within a year because of his numerous legal entanglements, especially those related to the Trump University fraud case and his Russian ties. The New York Magazine writer was asked what he thought a Trump presidency would be like, and this was his response:
I think he’ll be in jail within a year. We’ve got the Trump University fraud case, we probably have criminal charges coming out of his charitable donation [to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi], we’ve got all of the Russian ties we don’t know much about. He’s got so many legal problems, I suspect he’ll spend the next few years huddled with his lawyers.
How likely is Gladwell’s conclusion that Trump will be jailed for his crimes to come to pass? In the Trump University case alone, he’s facing civil racketeering charges, which are based upon a criminal law designed to let private people litigate to recover money when they’ve been defrauded.
The Trump University civil trial begins on November 28th – which is incidentally when Trump told his supporters to vote. A conviction based on the preponderance of the evidence means that a criminal trial is very likely to follow.
The interviewer was surprised by Gladwell’s answer about Trump’s likely criminal behaviors. She followed up by noting that the media hasn’t discussed those overarching issues about the Republican nominee’s illegal behavior, and is instead pursuing Hillary Clinton’s email account – which the FBI used to blatantly interfere in the election this week. Gladwell’s response was priceless: “Welcome to the great mystery of the America election of 2016.”
He’s right. It’s mystifying to any rational observer why Trump’s blatantly criminal behavior isn’t topic number one for America’s media industry, which in its rush to “vet” the two candidates Gladwell said that the media has spent more time covering Hillary Clinton’s emails than any other single election issue in 2016. Plainly, America’s media isn’t focused on policy questions outside of email use in this year’s election. Gladwell said that this is a “media problem”:
“The level of extraordinary enthusiasm for continued dissection of this email issue among the American media classes is so baffling to me.”
When asked why Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton faces such harsh criticism when she’s never been even charged with wrongdoing, Gladwell was quick to point out that most of the negative attacks she face have an easy explanation:
“She is being penalized for having a series of traits that people find unacceptable in a woman,” he said, noting the negative perception of Clinton predates her email and Benghazi scandals. “This goes back two decades now. To me, the most disturbing lesson about this election is that the United States is a good deal less open to women in positions of power than it would like to pretend that it is.”
Meanwhile, the Republican candidate openly asks Russia to hack his enemies and repudiates American intelligence agency findings, while he’s being called Putin’s lawyer for backing the Russian dictator’s foreign policy adventurism.
It’s impossible to dispute Gladwell’s conclusion that America’s media has completely missed the most important issues in this year’s election, preferring a detour into Hillary’s emails instead of looking into Donald’s actual, factual crimes.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition