Famous for her own unwillingness to accept defeat in her quest for the Georgia governor's mansion in 2018, Democrat Stacey Abrams is now weighing in on whether former President Donald Trump will face jail time if convicted in his Fulton County election interference case, or if he will benefit from an effective exemption resulting from his high-profile status, as the Washington Examiner reports.
Abrams' comments came during a recent appearance on MSNBC's Inside with Jen Psaki during which the pair discussed the many legal challenges facing Trump.
Asking specifically about the former president's Georgia case, in which he is accused of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in the aftermath of the 2020 election, Psaki sought Abrams' opinion on Trump's prospects of staying out of jail if found guilty.
The failed gubernatorial hopeful opined, “My belief is that there is a stature and a status associated with holding the highest office in the land, but that does not exonerate you or exempt you from having to face punishment.”
“I would argue that, depending on what he is convicted of, if he is convicted, there will certainly be a conversation about how to hold him accountable, and if jail time is appropriate, I believe that the court and the prosecution will negotiate what that looks like,” Abrams added.
Though there is almost certainly no love lost between Abrams and Trump, the Democratic Party darling acknowledged the reality of the former president's stature and how it might impact the penalties she might like to see imposed.
Abrams conceded that it is unlikely “that a former president is going to be treated the same in terms of incarceration” as others convicted of similar crimes might be.
Specific terms of incarceration and protective safeguards would have to be put into place for Trump, she noted, not because he is uniquely deserving of deference, but simply by virtue of his prior position in the government.
“We have to understand that there are threats that come along with having held that job that will have to be taken into account when determining punishment,” she added.
Abrams is no stranger to controversy herself in the realm of electoral disputes, with the Examiner noting separately that she has had historical difficulty accepting ballot outcomes – at least, that is, when she is the losing party.
During a 2022 debate in the run-up to another of her unsuccessful campaigns for the governor's mansion, Abrams was called to account for her refusal to concede defeat in the aftermath of the 2018 election.
The moderator of that event asked Abrams, “you talked of systemic problems with the state's election system. This election, do you commit to accept the outcome of the vote, regardless of what it shows, and do you stand by your use of words like 'rigged' four years ago to describe the state's election system?”
Though she attempted to claim that she had admitted defeat in that race, voluminous evidence and direct quotes from the time proved otherwise, with Abrams stating that she realized that her opponent would be “certified as the victor” but that she was not admitting that he rightfully won.
Considering that Trump will be put on trial for, among other things, expressing very similar concerns about the 2020 election to the ones Abrams claimed deprived her of victory in 2018, it is curious indeed that she now appears to be advocating – even if somewhat obliquely – for the former president to spend time behind bars, in whatever form his notoriety might permit.