Trump Could Preempt ‘Bogus Findings’ of January 6 Hearing by Announcing 2024 Bid Early, Pundit Says
15:29 GMT 04.07.2022 (Updated: 18:01 GMT 04.07.2022)
Since leaving office in 2021, Donald Trump has repeatedly hinted at his intention to run again in 2024, with these hints growing louder and louder during the former president’s travels across the country to endorse GOP candidates for the 2022 midterms. Last month, Trump said he couldn’t think of “anything” that could stop him from running again.
Reports that Donald Trump may formally announce his intention to run again in 2024 as soon as some time later this month carry with them both risks and opportunities, conservative commentators and GOP donors have told Sputnik.
On Friday, The New York Times reported
that the former president could announce a bid for reelection in the near future to preempt the January 6 Committee’s investigation and possible recommendations of criminal charges against him, and to steal the limelight from potential contenders, chief among them Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
“I think if Trump announced his candidacy now, he would take some of the pressure off of the January 6 hearings…put his opponents on notice and get a very large head start,” Dan Eberhart, an Arizona-based oil executive and major GOP donor, says.
The January 6 hearings, which Trump has decried as a partisan “witch hunt” aimed at
stopping him in 2024 after two failed impeachments and the collapse of the Russiagate probe, are nevertheless “damaging to Trump’s reputation,” and could “persuade centrists not to vote for him,” Eberhart thinks.
“The January 6 Select Committee is a political charade, the goal of which has already been determined,” Marc Little, a conservative political commentator, pastor, and California-based lawyer, says of the House investigation.
“The FBI reported there is no connection between the breach of the Capitol and President Trump. Accordingly, this partisan committee was formed with the sole intent [of being] a ‘third’ impeachment hearing against a man who proved them to be ineffective, useless politicians... Trump is a threat to the Establishment’s agenda to undermine America’s founding principles and the scam they have all played on the American people,” Little said.
Eberhart urges the Trump team to be cautious, saying an announcement too early could prove a “distraction for Republicans” campaigning in the midterms, hamper Trump’s fundraising opportunities, and tighten Federal Election Commission finance reporting requirements.
The donor recognizes, however, that an early announcement would also rally Trump's base, and “allow him to amass all the campaign consultants and political operatives he needs to keep those away from his opponents somewhat, principally Governor DeSantis”.
“I think Trump is always trying to stay in the news and be relevant. But I think that if he announces too hurriedly, it will actually limit his chances to be reelected and distract voters from the midterm elections, which are really more important for the Republicans right now,” Eberhart stresses.
Mr. Little isn’t as worried, suggesting that “to the most discerning eyes,” Trump “is already running,” and if he makes a formal announcement, it could "preempt" “the soon-to-be [released] bogus findings of the January 6 Select Committee, who doesn’t seem discouraged by using hearsay and fabricated testimony to make its case against the former president.”
Little is confident that an early announcement on Trump’s part would have “no impact on” the coming red wave in the 2022 midterms, given that “the domestic and international failures of the Biden administration” have become “too great for the Democrats to overcome.”
Furthermore, Little says, an early announcement could undermine the January 6 Committee’s possible push for criminal charges against the ex-president, particularly “if the [Department of Justice’s] tradition of not indicting a presidential candidate applies to former president Trump as it did to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.”
In the summer of 2016, the DoJ closed its criminal probe into Mrs. Clinton over her potentially illegal use of a private server during her tenure as Barack Obama’s secretary of state, with the FBI similarly recommending no criminal charges and slapping Mrs. Clinton on the wrist by accusing her of being “extremely careless” by using the server. The FBI reopened its probe after discovering new emails in October 2016, but no criminal charges were issues. In 2019, a State Department probe concluded that 38 people were “culpable” of mishandling classified information by sending it to Clinton’s server, but no punishments were meted out.
“It is important for the former president to use his clout to strengthen the party and its chances to regain a majority in both the House and Senate,” Little believes. “Trump has extraordinary support among Americans. His support wanes among politicians in his own party and among the big donor class who prefer a statesman and an even-tempered leader. Those who hold such thoughts and desires don’t fully appreciate the signs of the times and the intentional rot of American exceptionalism by the left in America and by those abroad. President Trump is the only proven obstacle to these pernicious forces,” the observer concludes.
President Biden’s approval ratings have hit unprecedented lows comparable only to those of George W. Bush in recent weeks amid growing concerns about inflation, food and gas prices, international crises, and recession fears.
Last week, a Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey found
that some 71 percent of Americans don’t want Biden to seek a second term, citing his record and age. The same poll found that 61 percent don’t want to see Trump attempt a return to the White House in 2024, with critics characterizing him as "too erratic", divisive, or responsible for the January 6, 2021 Capitol mayhem.
Last month, a Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that Trump had secured a slim lead
over Biden in a hypothetical 2024 matchup, with 44 percent of registered voters ready to cast their ballots for the business mogul compared with 42 percent who said they would vote for Biden against Trump.