LOS ANGELES — Even if he secretly pardoned himself, which may or may not be constitutional, Donald Trump will likely still face criminal charges in New York state, where attorneys have been salivating for years at the prospect of indicting him for something after he becomes a private citizen.
It would not be surprising if the remaining members of his battle-weary legal team abandon ship rather than further sully their resumes by defending a former president who is allegedly guilty of inciting sedition. Private Citizen Trump might have to settle for less prestigious counsel, a humiliating prospect for a man of his imaginary wealth and fictional stature.
Rather than face the prospect of adding an orange jumpsuit to his wardrobe, Trump may opt for the only reasonable alternative — to pack his bags and escape to a country with no extradition treaty with the United States.
Although there are 75 countries that fall into the no-extradition category, many may not welcome him to their shores. For starters, he can forget about moving to any nation that he once insulted with a term that involves a slang word for excrement.
After four years of trashing China, Citizen Trump will probably not receive sanctuary from President Xi Jinping. Forget Russia — Vladimir Putin has no further use for a puppet that can’t even fix an election. As for North Korea — Private Citizen Trump may think he and Kim Jong Un are besties, but he may also suspect that Kim is mercurial and possibly nuts, so why take the risk of being forced to work in a rice paddy for chump change should he fall out of favor?
Setting up household in Ukraine is a definite negative, although President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who was once a comedian, might appreciate the irony.
Any country that is currently having a war, such as Afghanistan, Syria or Yemen, are out of the question — a helmet would flatten the ex-presidential coif. Kuwait, Brunei and Libya would be off the list primarily for fashion reasons. Apart from Trump’s vocal disdain for Muslims, Melania, should she wish to accompany him (doubtful), or Ivanka (less doubtful) would not be caught dead in head scarves or, God forbid, burqas, unless they were designed by Rodarte and cost $3,000.
Although Don Jr. gets a … ahem … bang out of hunting endangered animals, South Sudan, Niger, Namibia, Togo, Botswana and all other African countries without extradition treaties might not be too enthusiastic about admitting an unrepentant poacher.
It’s difficult to picture Mr. Trump and his clan choosing to reside in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan or Azerbaijan. Not a good fit. Impossible to spell. His nonexistent knowledge of geography is such that he might think Georgia (the one near the Black Sea) is actually the state that borders South Carolina.
Even Pope Francis might not be able to find it in his heart to admit the Trumps, in spite of the Vatican’s no-extradition treaty status. You can’t get a decent cheeseburger in Vatican City, anyway, and Jared might find it weird, so forget it.
But all is not lost. There is one nonextradition country that might fit the bill, or at least come close enough to making the Trump family’s lives bearable — Samoa. It resembles Hawaii, boasts beautiful beaches and features several gorgeous golf courses. Hair stylists abound and are generally skilled, although the ex-presidential hairdo might be a challenge. Moreover, our 45th president has thus far not been vocal about his feelings regarding Polynesians, so he may pass the racial acceptability test.
So bon voyage to you and your clan, Private Citizen Trump! Send us a postcard, but don’t write, “Weather’s fine, wish you were here.” Nobody I know has any plans to visit .
John Blumenthal has been an editorial staffer at Esquire and an editor/columnist at Playboy. His work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, (New York) Daily News, Chicago Sun-Times and other publications. This was written for The Plain Dealer.