Could Donald Trump Be Wearing an Ankle Monitor at First Presidential Debate if Found Guilty in New York Trial?

Jeenah Moon/Pool Photo via AP

There was an unexpected development in the 2024 presidential election on Wednesday when – seemingly out of nowhere – Joe Biden and Donald Trump agreed to not one but two debates. Both have already been scheduled, and the first is right around the corner.

The presumptive Democrat and Republican nominees will square off in a debate hosted by CNN on June 27, which aligns with the schedule proposed by the Biden campaign. So, why did Trump agree to the terms?

On Wednesday’s show, Megyn was joined by attorneys Marcia Clark and Mark Geragos to theorize about the timing of the CNN debate and discuss whether or not Trump will end up in jail if convicted in his New York criminal trial.

What’s Behind the Timing?

It is no secret that Trump has been chomping at the bit to debate Biden and has basically offered to do so any time and anywhere, but Megyn said she was still a bit surprised by the fact that the former president okayed CNN as the moderator. 

“CNN, in general, has been absolutely disgusting to Donald Trump and I do wonder about whether there is going to be some head-scratching on the right about why he would agree to these networks in particular,” she said. “There is not going to be a Trump-friendly moderator among them.”

Geragos said the “cynic” in him has a theory on why Trump may have agreed. “This is three dimensional chess, and he knows he is most likely going to get convicted,” he explained. “In most state courts – New York included – if you get convicted of multiple felonies, most judges will remand you immediately into custody pending sentencing.”

Scheduling a debate could be, in Geragos’ view, a way around this. “He is forestalling. He is going to dare this judge, ‘You put me in custody, I’ve got a presidential debate. You have definitely interfered with the election,’” he said. “I think that is exactly what is happening.”

The Post-Verdict Possibilities

While Megyn admitted she had not even considered that as a possibility, the timeline bears out. “If they wrap both cases by Monday or Tuesday, they have closing arguments maybe on Thursday because they are off on Wednesdays, the jury gets the case, and we have a verdict potentially within two weeks from now,” she estimated. “You’re telling me the judge, if he’s convicted, could immediately [send] him to jail?”

The answer, Clark and Geragos agreed, is yes. “Ask Marcia if she can name 10 cases where somebody has been convicted of multiple felonies while being cited for contempt during the trial and the judge has not remanded that person pending sentencing,” Geragos said. “It’s virtually unheard of.”

The majority of the time, Clark said that is how a situation like this would go in state court. “It is very true and with all that [Trump] has got going on… because a judge looks at the entire picture… and there is a lot of cases, and there is a lot of jeopardy, and he has also been cited for contempt a million times, and he has shown that he has no regard for the law,” she explained. “Someone like that, if you don’t remand them, you are incompetent.”

While she has “never seen a case” where a defendant has not been taken into custody pending sentencing following a conviction under such circumstances, Clark believes this case is unique. “This would be the one where it doesn’t happen because it is Trump,” she said. “I think the judge will probably not remand.”

That doesn’t mean there won’t be penalties though. “He may take his passport and do the kind of interim things you can do to control someone’s movements and prevent them from leaving town,” Clark added. “He may even give him an ankle monitor, but I don’t think that he is going to get remanded.”

Megyn said the visual of the latter would truly be something. “Oh my God, we could have a presidential debate with one of the presidential candidates wearing an ankle monitor,” she concluded. “I’m dead. I died. I am done. I can’t.”

You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Clark and Geragos by tuning in to episode 792 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.