Where can Trump go to escape the law? Russia?

Where can he go?

The thought of losing the election is rumbling around in Donald Trump’s mind.

If he loses, where indeed can he go to escape the reach of American Law and Justice?


Colby Itkowitz, “Cat videos, ‘Hamilton’ and a threat from Trump to leave the country,” Washington Post, October 17, 2020.

Itkowitz qiotes Trump as follows:

“Could you imagine if I lose? My whole life, what am I going to do?” Trump said at a campaign rally in Georgia. “I’m not going to feel so good. Maybe I’ll have to leave the country, I don’t know.”

Trump has good reason to think about leaving the country if he loses the election.

Where can he go? What factors should determine his choice?

First, he needs to pick a country that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the United States.

That rules out Canada, the U.K., the remaining 27 members of the European Union, and even countries like Turkey and Costa Rica.

Jair Bolsonaro would seem to offer a hospitable environment for Trump in Brazil. Problem: Extradition Treaty.

What about neighboring Bolivia? Problem: Extradition Treaty.

Moreover, Trump must also bear in mind that even a country without an extradition treaty with the U.S. can extradite him to the U.S. in accordance with its own internal law. Problem: Extradition is Possible Without a Treaty

A Trump Tower “Non-extradition Community” in a non-extradition country?

If Trump plans his escape carefully, he might actually make a lot of money by moving with a large group of his collaborators to a non-extradition country, where he could build a new Trump Tower for his friends and collaborators. After his own suite, the star attraction might be the William P. Barr Justice Suite.

Given the amount of money he and his collaborators are likely to bring with them, Trump might be able to negotiate a great deal with, e.g., Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong-Un. If he chooses Russia, he can use his existing plans from 2016, though with Putin on the top floor Barr would be downgraded to the third most opulent suite.

Of course, fiscal considerations will need to be taken into account. He will need protection from his creditors.

Panama might be an ideal jurisdiction for secretly transferring and hiding money. Problem: Extradition Treaty.

Where to go to escape the law is not a novel question.


Offshore Citizen, “Non-extradition Countries- The Best Place To Run To,” The list of countries and advantages of each are listed here.

Trump can reach out for help from Offshore Citizen by sending in a form or calling them here.

The question of where can Trump go is a hot news story, more important even than Joe Biden’s hypothetical decision on whether to pack the Supreme Court.

CNN, MSNBC, and even FOX should be all over this story until Trump chooses a country to escape to.

Timing will be critical. Trump would be well advised to resign, get his pardon from Mike Pence, and depart the country before January 20, 2021.

He wouldn’t want to get arrested on the way to the airport.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.