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Donald Trump: Does He Want to Lose in 2024?

What is Donald Trump doing? He does not seem really excited about his 2024 run and is doing very little to increase his support. What is really going on here? 

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Former President Donald Trump remains the only major figure to announce his or her candidacy for the 2024 presidential election.

Yet, instead of using the early declaration to gain some sort of head start over the competition, the Trump campaign hasn’t really done much; Trump has not made a single public appearance outside of his Mar-a-Lago estate since declaring his candidacy on November 18th.

As for upcoming events?

The Trump campaign has just one upcoming event; Trump’s calendar remains wide open, prompting the question: what exactly is the Trump campaign doing?

Is Donald Trump staffing up?

One of Trump’s primary advisers for 2024, Steven Cheung, has suggested that Trump announced his campaign early not to get out on the road and start whipping up support from town to town, but rather to staff up properly – so that the campaign’s infrastructure was soundly in place before either President Joe Biden or Florida Governor Ron DeSantis even declare their candidacy. 

“We’re doing structure, and we’re doing people. We’ve hired some great people, who will be announced,” Trump said in an interview with New York magazine. “A lot of money is coming in.”

Yet, a slew of Trump campaign and/or administration alumnus have said they are unwilling to rejoin the Trump team for 2024. One former Trump alum said that Trump may have to run his upcoming election using “the B or C or even F team, let’s be honest.”

Is Trump hiding from legal problems?

Christian Datoc, the Washington Examiner’s White House reporter, suggested that “Trump’s nonexistent public persona is likely a factor of the looming threat of indictments from the Department of Justice.”

Maybe. Trump is certainly facing a variety of troubles, some of which, especially the DOJ’s investigation into Trump’s behavior in relation to the January 6th riot, appears to be legally significant. As one former Trump official said: “this isn’t some cockamie play trial run by Liz Cheney and the Democrats.”

No, Liz Cheney, a lame duck Representative, is not running the DOJ’s investigation – Merrick Garland, the Attorney General, is. And if Garland chooses to bring criminal charges against Trump, it will represent the first time in US history a former president had been charged criminally. The House of Representatives, specifically their January 6th committee, recently made a criminal referral to the DOJ that Trump be prosecuted for insurrection (amongst other charges). Granted, the House’s criminal referral has no legal teeth, but the House has never before made a criminal referral regarding a former president before.

The DOJ investigation into Trump’s January 6th related behavior is not Trump’s only legal woe. Trump is also being investigated for mishandling sensitive documents. The FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in August, recovering several CLASSIFIED documents that were not supposed to be in Trump’s possession.

Trump’s taxes are being examined, too. After several years of trying to obtain Trump’s taxes, Democrats were finally able to recover the former president’s financial statements. If anything is amiss, Trump will likely be held to account.

Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, is also in hot water. New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing the Trump Organization for fraud – namely, for overvaluing company assets so that the company was able to secure more favorable loan rates.

In all, Trump’s 2024 campaign has not been off to a smooth start.

Seemingly, Trump is squandering his head start over political rivals who will begin declaring their campaigns in the next few months – political rivals who will actually campaign once they’ve declared.

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.

Written By

Harrison Kass is a Senior Defense Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison has degrees from Lake Forest College, the University of Oregon School of Law, and New York University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He lives in Oregon and regularly listens to Dokken.