As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trial starts and coalition maneuvering goes into high gear, questions are swirling on whether he could avoid jail time even if he is not acquitted of the severe bribery charge.Though many scenarios seem half-fanciful, there are a plethora of ways Netanyahu could avoid jail time and possibly even hold onto power.An immediate right-wing coalition looks unlikely at this point (though one can never count out Netanyahu’s wheeling and dealing abilities), which would eliminate his chance for passing a law for long-term immunity, a “French law” with temporary immunity, or firing Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit. But there are many other paths to avoiding jail time and maybe remaining prime minister.If the country goes to a fifth election, Netanyahu will still have somewhat of an upper hand regarding appointing a successor for President Reuben Rivlin in July.Whoever this successor is could pardon Netanyahu from receiving jail time.Another possibility is that Netanyahu himself could become president. Unlike the prime minister, the Basic Law: The President of the State (1964) bars any criminal proceedings against a president. Legal scholars are split on whether this law would help Netanyahu now that his trial has already started. The power of the law may only allow blocking a criminal proceeding from starting against someone who entered the presidency with clean hands or with no pending case. The law does not say that proceedings must stop if someone became president with a criminal trial in progress. Undoubtedly, the issue would go to the High Court of Justice.Though the High Court green-lighted Netanyahu to continue fulfilling the role as prime minister even amid a trial, the underlying premise was that the trial would continue. It would be a much longer reach to convince the High Court that it should halt a trial in the middle of the proceedings.Other scenarios include plea bargains struck with newly appointed legal officials.Netanyahu has blocked the appointment of a permanent state attorney since December 2019, presumably with hopes of installing someone favorable to him. Similarly, he would also likely choose a new favorable attorney-general in February 2022, when Mandelblit’s six-year term ends.It would appear to be too late for either a new state attorney or a new attorney-general to end the trial. But with Netanyahu’s trial expected to last one to three years, all he needs is either his handpicked attorney-general or state attorney or both in place by April 2022 at the earliest, or by whenever the trial gets close to a verdict.As long as no verdict is pronounced, any new Netanyahu pick for the two top roles could reach a lenient plea bargain with him, including something along the lines of retiring as prime minister in exchange for no jail time.In an even more extreme case, there could be a Sara Netanyahu-style plea deal that would drop jail time and let him remain in power as long as he takes public responsibility for a minor criminal charge.There is also a potentially wild hybrid scenario wherein Netanyahu cuts a plea bargain to end the trial but receives a pardon from the new president or possibly from an acting president of his choice before any court ruling prevents him from remaining prime minister. Some observers have made reference to instances in which former Knesset speaker Dalia Itzik issued pardons while she functioned temporarily as acting president.If the Knesset becomes deadlocked on selecting Rivlin’s replacement, Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin might become acting president and be able to pardon Netanyahu.However, Itzik had a higher status granted by the attorney-general due to the circumstances that led former president Moshe Katsav to resign suddenly under pressure from criminal charges. It is unlikely that Mandelblit would grant this status to Levin.Underlying many of these hypothetical scenarios is the idea that it may behoove even some of Netanyahu’s strongest opponents to potentially look the other way if there was a way to half-gracefully extract him from the prime minister’s chair.The calling of witnesses crosses a new dangerous threshold for Netanyahu.But as long as he sits in the Prime Minister’s Office – even if just as a transitional post and he wields a united right-wing bloc – he will have options to extricate himself.