Donald Trump Declares He’s Running For President In 2024
When Donald Trump formally declares his 2024 candidacy, he won’t just be running for another term in the White House. He’ll be running away from legal troubles, possible criminal charges, and even the specter of prison time.
In recent months, Trump has made clear to associates that the legal protections of occupying the Oval Office are front-of-mind for him, four people with knowledge of the situation tell Rolling Stone.
Trump has “spoken about how when you are the president of the United States, it is tough for politically motivated prosecutors to ‘get to you,” says one of the sources, who has discussed the issue with Trump this summer.
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“He says when [not if] he is president again, a new Republican administration will put a stop to the [Justice Department] investigation that he views as the Biden administration working to hit him with criminal charges — or even put him and his people in prison.”
Presidential immunity and picking his own attorney general aren’t Trump’s only reasons for running again. And as he works on another run, Trump is in a tug-of-war with leaders and operatives of his own party about when to announce, according to multiple people with knowledge of the matter. The former president is motivated to announce early — even before Election Day 2022 — in the hopes of clearing the field of primary rivals. But GOP leaders, including some of Trump’s closest advisors, don’t want him to declare his intentions until after the midterm elections.
The GOP wants to keep voters focused on President Joe Biden, rather than transforming the contest into a referendum on Trump. In recent months, Trump has reluctantly agreed to hold off, only to return shortly thereafter with threats to make an early announcement, either out of self-interest, spite, or some combination of the two.
But as Trump talks about running, the four sources say, he’s leaving confidants with the impression that, as his criminal exposure has increased, so has his focus on the legal protections of the executive branch.
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