RNC Seeks to Prevent Trump Announcing Early By Cutting Off Legal Assistance – Former President Donald Trump has a big decision to make about his rumored 2024 presidential run. While the former commander in chief recently told New York Magazine that he has “already made that decision,” what he hasn’t decided is precisely when he plans to make his announcement.
Trump is presumably in two minds about his announcement.
Launching his third presidential campaign before the November midterms would be unconventional but would reaffirm his dominance in the GOP as the party heads into the midterm elections. It would give the former president bragging rights in the event that the Republicans take back control of the House or the Senate and could prove to Republican primary voters that he’s the right man to take the party into the next presidential election.
It could, however, backfire.
Not only would announcing his presidential bid early mean that he faces new restrictions on how he spends his $120 million war chest of PAC money, but it would also open him up to some vulnerability in the Republican primaries if the GOP doesn’t perform as well as expected. And to top it all off, the Republican National Committee this week threatened to stop paying for the former president’s legal bills if he announced his third presidential run too early.
The move is undoubtedly an effort to prevent the former president from putting off other candidates from joining the race, and potentially even to help other candidates have a fair shot at the candidacy should Trump decide to go for the top job once again.
What Did the RNC Say?
Speaking to ABC News this week, one RNC official said that the party intends to maintain their “neutrality policy” – which means not taking sides in primary races across the country – by stopping any financial assistance to the former president’s legal defense if he announces his campaign too early.
It echoes a statement made by RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel in January.
“The party has to stay neutral,” McDaniel said. “I’m not telling anybody to run or not to run in 2024.”
At present, the RNC is providing some financial assistance to the former president in the many legal battles he faces in the wake of the 2020 presidential election. Since October of 2021, the RNC has reportedly paid almost $2 million in fees to law firms representing the former president. In October and November last year alone, almost $720,000 was spent on law firms representing Trump in multiple legal challenges, including politically-charged criminal investigations into his business activities.
Deciding when to announce what will almost certainly be another presidential run just got harder for the former president – unless, of course, he’s willing to fork out millions of dollars in future legal fees for as long as Democrats maintain their extensive lawfare efforts designed to prevent him from running (and winning) again in two years.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.