The former President Donald Trump responded to critics that are hoping he’d drop out of the presidential race by declaring, “I’ll never leave.”
That assertion includes staying in the fight even if he’s convicted.
“I’ll never leave,” Trump told Politico. “Look, if I would have left, I would have left prior to the original race in 2016. That was a rough one. In theory that was not doable.”
The landscape has changed dramatically for the Republican frontrunner since 2016 when he was a relatively unknown political commodity.
Trump added that his current legal issues are a weak attempt by political opposition to stop him from regaining control of the White House.
“These are thugs and degenerates who are after me,” he said.
Former President Trump also addressed the possibility of issuing a pardon for himself, should he win the 2024 election.
“I don’t think I’ll ever have to,” Trump said. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Let’s cut to the chase. The latest indictment is a major problem for Trump, whether he wants to acknowledge it or not. The entire witch hunt might be unfair, but unless his lawyers run the board and get not-guilty verdicts on every single count – he’s got some problems.
Trump should have pardoned himself before he left office in January 2021.
In his latest interview, Trump went on to admit that the latest indictment is not a good thing, even as donations to his campaign have skyrocketed since the news got out.
“Nobody wants to be indicted,” he said. “I don’t care that my poll numbers went up by a lot. I don’t want to be indicted. I’ve never been indicted.”
“I went through my whole life, now I get indicted every two months,” he added. “It’s been political.”
Trump was charged Thursday following Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into alleged improper handling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home. The charges include willfully retaining national defense secrets in violation of the Espionage Act, making false statements, and a conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Trump could face an absurd 400 years in prison and over $9 million in fines if convicted on all counts.
It is, without a doubt, a politically motivated attempt to stop Trump from running and winning again in 2024. Hillary Clinton, President Joe Biden, and former Vice President Mike Pence all had classified documents on their person. Only Trump has been charged.
In a separate case, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged the GOP frontrunner with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. While these are low-level felonies in New York State, they also carry potentially a 4-year prison sentence each.
Trump’s vow to “never leave” the 2024 presidential race will come as bad news to those who have been hoping all along that these dogged pursuits of the former President will prevent him from getting back in the White House.
That is, after all, the end game for an administration attempting to jail their main political rival like a dime store Fidel Castro.
Even MSNBC host Rachel Maddow gave away the game in a commentary last week.
In an interview with Lawrence O’Donnell, Maddow speculated that the Justice Department might consider a deal that would involve Trump leaving the 2024 race for President.
“You have to wonder if the Justice Department is considering whether there is some political solution to this criminal problem,” Maddow said.
“Whether part of the issue here is not just that Trump has committed crimes, but that Trump has committed crimes and plans on being back in the White House. Do they consider, as part of a potential plea offer, something that would … proscribe him from running for office again?”
Over 400 years of charges seem substantial. To be able to potentially toss them in the hopes that President Biden can be re-elected seems absurd. But then, we live in absurd times.
There is nothing legally prohibiting Trump from running for President from prison or as a convicted felon.