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Report: Trump Literally Wants Every GOP Presidential Candidate to Promise That They’ll Pardon Him

June 18, 2023

Meanwhile, the RNC is reportedly stipulating that any one candidate who wants to be on the debate stage this summer must vow to support the eventual 2024 nominee—which could mean backing a convicted felon…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the last three months, Donald Trump has been:

  • Indicted on 34 felony counts by the Manhattan district attorney’s office over hush money deals he paid in the run-up to the 2016 election;
  • Indicted on 37 felony counts by the Department of Justice for hanging on to classified documents that were not his to keep, and allegedly obstructing a federal investigation;
  • The continued subject of a separate DOJ investigation into his attempt to overturn the 2020 election, which could result in criminal charges;
  • The continued subject of an investigation by the district attorney’s office in Fulton County, Georgia, into his attempt to overturn the election there, which could also result in criminal charges, and possibly very soon at that.

For all of these reasons, the ex-president is obviously in extreme legal peril, as the DOJ’s classified-documents case alone could potentially send him to prison for the rest of his life. Obviously, Trump does not want that, so he’s devised a plan: demand that everyone running for president on the GOP ticket pledge to pardon him upon assuming office, in the event he can’t do it himself.

Yes, Rolling Stone reports the utterly unsurprising news that a man known for speaking like a mob boss has made it clear to all 2024 Republican presidential candidates that they must “promise to pardon the Donald—or else.” As the outlet notes, the demand “advances two goals: The first is to protect himself from legal consequences if he loses both the GOP primary and his federal court case.” The second is to lay “a trap for any Republican who tries to engage with it: either side with Trump and use the occasion to keep him in the campaign spotlight or share some uncomfortable real estate on the side of Joe Biden and the Justice Department.” And one person the ex-president would quite obviously like to set a trap for is his rival from Florida.

“If you’re Ron [DeSantis], you find yourself really in a really tough situation, because if you blast the DOJ and you blast Jack Smith and Biden, you’re essentially defending Trump and admitting Trump was right,” a Republican strategist told Rolling Stone. “If you condemn him, there’s no lane for you running on that. And then silence is an equally bad option because folks notice you not saying anything.” (A Trump spokesperson did not respond to the specific question of pardon demands when Rolling Stone asked for a comment). Last month, when discussing January 6, the Florida governor said it would be a “day one” priority to pardon people who were supposedly the victims of “political targeting,” suggesting that Trump could be one of those people. But he has not said anything about potentially pardoning the ex-president should the former guy be convicted in the documents case. By contrast, GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy had said every 2024 hopeful, regardless of party, should pledge to pardon Trump.

For his part, former vice president Mike Pence said in a recent interview, “I just think it’s premature to have any conversations about [pardons] right now,” while former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley has said she would be “inclined in favor” of a pardon.

In related news, the Republican National Committee has reportedly refused to amend its requirement that GOP candidates pledge to support the eventual nominee in order to qualify for this summer’s debates, despite the fact that one of the candidates is now an accused criminal and could potentially be a convicted criminal in the future. According to Politico, during a call with a staffer from former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson’s campaign, RNC leaders said no changes would be made and told the staffer they are “not dealing with hypotheticals” regarding Trump’s legal future. Speaking to Politico, Hutchinson said, “I’m not going to vote for him if he’s a convicted felon,” which most people would agree is an entirely reasonable position. “‘I’m not going to vote for him if he’s convicted of espionage, and I’m not going to vote for him if he’s [convicted of] other serious crimes. And I’m not going to support him.”

 

Source: Vanity Fair

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