Despite the mounting legal pressures and a 37 count federal indictment, former President Donald Trump affirmed his 2024 presidential run.
Trump’s Bold Presidential Aspiration
Donald Trump made a daring promise on Saturday, declaring he would continue his presidential run even if he were convicted under the weighty 37-count federal felony indictment brought against him that week.
“I’ll never leave,” said Trump during an interview on his plane.
Potential Prison Term
Trump explained that if he were to quit, it would have happened before his original 2016 campaign.
He emphasized that he wasn’t legally barred from running for president even as a convicted felon or from prison, despite the significant strain such a situation would put on the country’s political and legal systems.
Targeting Special Counsel Smith
The former president vehemently criticized Special Counsel Jack Smith, asserting the case against him was both politically motivated and unsubstantial.
Trump went as far as to label his opponents as “thugs and degenerates”.
No Plea Deal
He expressed confidence in his innocence, stating that he didn’t anticipate needing to take a plea deal.
However, he did not rule out the possibility of doing so if it involved him receiving some damages.
Trump’s Denial and Anticipation
Trump circumvented questions about the potential need to pardon himself should he win the presidency in 2024, stating that he didn’t believe he would ever need to because he had done nothing wrong.
Poll Numbers Soared
He also mentioned a significant surge in campaign fundraising since the indictment.
However, Trump confessed that being indicted was a distressing situation, saying, “Nobody wants to be indicted. I don’t care that my poll numbers went up by a lot.”
Trump’s Legal Travails Continue
As he journeyed between speeches in Georgia and North Carolina, Trump’s personal valet, Waltine Nauta, who was also charged, accompanied him.
The charges against Trump, revealed by Smith the previous day, included violating the Espionage Act, retention of classified documents, and obstruction of justice.
Trump was scheduled to appear in court in Miami on Tuesday.
More Indictments, Investigations, and GOP Support
In addition to the federal indictment, Trump faced legal issues in New York over allegations of concealing hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, and in Georgia over allegations of pressuring officials to overturn the 2020 vote count.
Capital Riot Investigation
There was also an investigation into Trump’s role in instigating the January 6 Capitol riot.
The effect of the recent indictment on the GOP presidential primary remained unclear, but Trump’s poll numbers and fundraising efforts saw a boost after the New York indictment as Republican voters rallied behind him.
Campaigning Amid Legal Woes
Despite the legal challenges, Trump’s campaign was keen to duplicate the success following the New York indictment, with his team sending appeals to supporters to gather small-dollar contributions.
Supporters Got His Back
Meanwhile, signs that Trump’s most loyal backers were unperturbed by the news were evident.
Supporters lined up along the side of the highway next to the airport in Columbus, Georgia, many waving flags and eagerly awaiting Trump’s arrival.
Trump’s firm grip on his supporters was evident at the Georgia state party convention, with crowds donning “Make America Great Again” hats and some members expressing their love for the former president.
Following the convention, Trump was mobbed by loyal fans during a visit to a Waffle House restaurant.
Back on the campaign trail, Trump was accompanied by staunch allies, including North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Legal Problems vs Campaign Progress
Although the classified documents case and the detailed indictment that came with it were perceived as more serious than the New York one, Trump’s opponents hoped that his legal problems would distract him from the campaign.
Nothing Will Stop Him
Nevertheless, the ex-president’s audacious pledge of continuing his presidential run, regardless of potential conviction, created a palpable anticipation around his political journey.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Evan El-Amin. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.