The problems facing Trump
The problems facing Trump are myriad. Here’s a rundown.
First, the House just made criminal referrals to the Department of Justice, recommending that Attorney General Merrick Garland charge Trump with insurrection (among other things). If Garland were to bring charges against Trump it would mark the first time in US history a former president had been charged criminally (Richard Nixon was pardoned for his involvement in Watergate).
Second, Trump is being investigated for mishandling sensitive documents. Specifically, Trump took CLASSIFIED documents with him to Mar-a-Lago, when he left the White House in January of 2021.
The FBI raided Mar-a-Lago and recovered some of the documents. Trump could be charged criminally for his involvement in the document mishap, too.
Three, recent disclosures reveal that Trump claimed business losses to keep his tax rate at or barely above zero dollars for most of the time he was in office. The IRS is going to take a closer look at Trump’s taxes and see if anything illegal is afoot.
Four, Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, is being sued in the State of New York for overinflating its own value to secure more favorable loan rates. Trump has countersued New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Five, Trump is still playing down his dinner guests from Thanksgiving week: Kanye West and Nick Fuentes, two antisemites who joined Trump for a meal at Mar-a-Lago. The result was a “political nightmare.”
Six, Trump is facing electability questions. Naturally. Trump lost the 2020 election (by seven million votes). More recently, Trump backed a slew of controversial candidates, nearly all of whom lost contested races. Accordingly, the mainstream GOP is considering a move away from Trump for the sake of simple pragmatism. Trump loses elections, mathematically speaking. So, running Trump is likely to end in a loss.
Seven, Ron DeSantis.
So, will Trump bow out, in the face of such diverse and significant problems? Not a chance.
Trump will stay in the race
To the chagrin of moderates and liberals everywhere, Trump is going to stay in the 2024 race as long as he can. Only if Trump were charged and convicted of insurrection, which would preclude Trump from seeking public office, would Trump not run for 2024. But if left to Trump’s own volition, Trump’s going to run.
Why? First of all, stepping out of the race could be construed as an implicit acknowledgment of wrongdoing. Trump isn’t the type to acknowledge fault or accept blame. Trump will stay in the race if for no other reason than to state he did nothing wrong. Second of all, Trump, for all his faults, is no quitter. Heck, that’s the source of half his problems: exploring possibilities to stay in office after Biden won the 2020 election. Withdrawing from the 2024 race would be a hard quit, and that’s not Trump’s style.
I’d say that a situation that is more likely than Trump withdrawing from the 2024 race, is Trump losing the GOP primary to one of the several viable contenders he’s likely to face, and then mounting a third party run as an independent.
Trump has plenty of reasons not to run for president again – but he’s unlikely to be compelled by any of them. Trump will run the 2024 race to the end.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken.