Morning Joe devoted its opening segment today to arguing that Donald Trump is “boxed in” by prosecutors surrounding him and should seek a plea deal in the various criminal cases against him, with Joe Scarborough saying Trump would be “quite dumb” not to do so.
When Democrats indict you, the “smart” strategy is to give in, just offer no resistance. How convenient is that for Democrats?
The theory that Scarborough and Jonathan Lemire propounded was that, in contrast with Trump’s ability to flout norms in his political and business life, he will face a harsher reality in the criminal cases against him. And that conviction on even one of the charges would amount to a “life sentence” for the 77-year-old Trump.
Scarborough might be on to something . . . if Trump could obtain a sweetheart deal of the sort that David Weiss, the US attorney in Delaware newly named “Special Counsel,” offered Hunter Biden: a slap on the wrist with no jail time, and a waiver of the right to prosecute him on an array of unrelated matters.
But it’s hard to imagine the likes of aggressive prosecutors like Jack Smith or Alvin Bragg or Fani Willis — all empowered by Democrats — being as kindly inclined toward Trump as David Weiss was to Hunter.
Scarborough also broke out a variation on his false-modesty shtick of calling himself a “simple country lawyer.” This morning, he described himself as a “lowly country lawyer that happened to fall off a turnip truck in front of 30 Rock and got a TV show for a couple of years.”
So self-effacing, that Scarborough!
Note the usual chyron in the screencap: “The Indictment of Donald Trump.” MSNBC thinks these indictments are not just great for democracy, they’re made-for-TV spectacles that will bring in the ka-ching.
Here’s the transcript.
6:03 am EDT
JOE SCARBOROUGH: You’ve been in the position of Vaughn Hillyard, getting shouted down by the President of the United States here, the former president calling him a wise guy for suggesting what every attorney, criminal attorney, I’ve talked to has said what Donald Trump needs to do. And that is, do a plea deal. He’s boxed in.
He’s boxed in because he has so many charges against him. As his own supporters have said, one conviction on one of those 77, 78 charges, basically amounts to a life sentence.
So yes, if he, if he’s not talking about a possible plea deal right now, he’s not a wise guy at all. In fact, he’s quite dumb.
He can’t BS his way out of this, which is of course what he’s done since ’74, ’75. And it’s almost like he’s thinking that he’s fighting against the New York Post in 1977. This is so much different. And it is so deeper. And he’s not going to be able to BS his way out of this.
JONATHAN LEMIRE: But you make a good point. This is Donald Trump throughout most of his life. He uses bravado, and bluffing, and just flat out lying to escape trouble. He, as a New York real estate developer he became a celebrity. He became wealthy, he got a TV show. And then, of course, he ventured into politics and became president.
And after hitting, of course an administration dogged by scandal after scandal, he suffered very few consequences. Until, of course, he lost the election and was impeached twice. his life. But even then, he returned to his gilded life. He is still, he lives in Mar-a-Lago, he lives in Bedminster, he is someone who is still in demand at political rallies. He’s still famous and rich. All of these things.
But this time, the consequences are different. And it’s important to have this conversation with these charges in Georgia looming. Because he’s facing these federal cases, and look, his bank-shot strategy here to win is to be elected and to make those go away. To self-pardon or to tell his attorney general to squash those investigations.
He can’t do that in Georgia. And there may be, it’s a state case, he can’t pardon himself. And he is now, his usual tactics aren’t going to work. And he is simply unable to adjust, facing potentially a contempt charge in the federal case in D.C. because he keeps posting about the judge, and about witnesses. And he is someone who is, for the first time, may actually face consequences that will change his life.
. . .
SCARBOROUGH: Donald Trump, again, thinks that he’s fighting a fight against the New York Post in 1977. He thinks he’s fighting against Marco Rubio in the 2016 primary election.
He thinks, he thinks he’s fighting against clueless people like you and me on, on news, that they can set up as — you know, set up strawmen and knock ’em down.
I guarantee you, you can say what you want about a lowly country lawyer that happens to fall off a turnip truck outside of 30 Rock and get a TV show for a couple of years. You can not do that to a federal judge!