For legal analysts across the nation, there has been absolutely no news other than Trump news for a long time. His indictments have been the basis of nearly all reporting since his court travails began.
Now the conversation has taken a new twist.
As a political analyst myself, a lot of my friends ask me to distill what’s going on in the news for them, to help them understand it in layman’s terms. That’s sort of difficult because there are so many layers to what’s happening. There are cases in which Trump is more or less likely to be found guilty on all counts, and there’s at least one case in which jail — unless he violates the terms of the trial orders — is off the table.
That’s the civil fraud trial in New York. A civil trial almost never results in jail time, barring infractions of very specific orders by the presiding judge. For example, Judge Arthur Engoron can and has imposed a gag order on Donald Trump, and violating it may wind him up in jail — but that would have nothing to do with the merits of the actual case.
Just Trump ignoring the judge, as usual.
But most of us, since jail is not likely in the New York case, would like to see him get the worst of whatever could happen to him in Engoron’s courtroom. And that means being fined as much as possible. Attorney General James already set the “ask” at $250 million, but the judge could rule that Trump owes even MORE in restitution due to the fallout to other people and companies from his illegal behavior.
So when MSNBC analyst Lisa Rubin and Law360 reporter Frank Runyeon each took to social media to speculate that Trump may be trying to steer the case toward a settlement, it felt a little bittersweet. Not only would he get out of actual incarceration, but he’d almost be able to set the terms of his own punishment, by coming to an agreement with the judge over what he would owe.
Remember: Habba is not just outside counsel to Trump in this case; she is, as her Instagram bio reflects, the legal spokesperson for and general counsel of Save America. pic.twitter.com/E7886UV1Oh 
— Lisa Rubin (@lawofruby) November 14, 2023 
New: Very curious. Sitting here & 25 min late on our planned return.
Trump atty Habba walked out from chambers, alone. Then, AG’s attorneys head in.
Recently, Trump complained about a low-ball settlement offer…
Settlement bid afoot?
They return. We continue. Who knows.
— Frank G. Runyeon (@frankrunyeon) November 14, 2023 
Yes, it would be him admitting guilt, but that doesn’t seem like enough.
But at least one analyst, Jose Pagliery of the Daily Beast, posted the he thought it would be a “cold day in hell” before Trump and AG James came to a settlement in the case.
“The judge might drown Trump in fines ranging from $250 million to a gazillion dollars. And the entire Trump Org could end up in receivership soon,” said Pagliery. “What would the Trumps [Donald, Eric, and Junior] counteroffer?”
That makes me feel a little better, knowing they really don’t have a leg to stand on. Donald Trump has prided himself on being able to claim “I wasn’t convicted” every time he reaches a settlement in the hundreds of court cases he’s faced.
This time, I hope the offer’s not even on the table.