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RNC Making Backup Plans for Presidential Nomination If Trump Is Sentenced to Prison

‘We’re working on that right now,’ RNC chair Michael Whatley said about contingency plans in case President Trump can’t accept the GOP nomination in person.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump is introduced by North Carolina Republican Party chairman Michael Whatley before speaking at the North Carolina GOP convention dinner in Greenville, N.C., on June 5, 2021. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

With former President Donald Trump facing the possibility of being sentenced to prison just days before the Republican National Convention, GOP officials are formulating backup plans in case the former president isn’t able to receive the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in person.

“We’ll be thinking about it, and we’re working on that right now,” Republican National Committee Chair Michael Whatley told Newsmax in an interview on June 4, when asked whether the Republican Party is preparing for the possibility that the former president can’t attend the convention because he’s behind bars.

The convention, which will take place in Milwaukee from July 15 to July 18, is expected to draw thousands, but President Trump might not be one of them, given his recent felony conviction and the possibility that, on July 11, Justice Juan Merchan will sentence him to prison.

President Trump was recently found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records to hide nondisclosure payments, supposedly to prevent bad press and sway the 2016 election in his favor. He maintains his innocence and says he’s the victim of a vindictive political prosecution meant to derail his 2024 comeback bid.

Justice Merchan could sentence President Trump to up to four years on each business records falsification count, with a maximum of 20 years.

The former president said in a June 2 interview on Fox News that he could handle being jailed or imprisoned, while calling the people involved in his conviction “sick” and “evil.”

Trump Nominee No Matter What

The former president and his attorneys have vowed to appeal the conviction, with President Trump even calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to step in before the sentencing date and overturn the guilty verdict.

“We expect that Donald Trump is going to be in Milwaukee and he’s going to be able to accept that nomination,” Mr. Whatley said. “And if not, we will make whatever contingency planning we need to make for it.”

Although Mr. Whatley didn’t provide specifics about the contingency plans, he said the RNC will “certainly” have a plan in place to make sure President Trump receives the nomination no matter what.

“We want to have a show that is going to roll out Donald Trump and his vision for America, which is going to set up this election cycle,” Mr. Whatley said while expressing confidence that President Trump will become the 47th president when the Election Day dust settles in November.

In response to Mr. Whatley’s preparing for the possibility of President Trump virtually addressing the Republican National Convention, Democratic National Committee Rapid Response Director Alex Floyd released the following statement:

“Even before Donald Trump became a convicted felon, his inner circle was already staffed by a roster of convicts and fraudsters brought on board for their loyalty to Trump and his MAGA agenda over the rule of law. Now Trump’s hand-picked RNC chair is openly floating Trump calling into the convention from a jail cell because the Republican Party has become completely beholden to a criminal who is willing to undermine our justice system and our democracy to pursue his agenda of revenge and retribution.”

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who brought the case against President Trump, has not indicated whether he will ask for a prison sentence.

President Trump’s lead attorney, Todd Blanche, said after the guilty verdict was handed down that it’s unlikely President Trump would be sentenced to prison given his age and that he is a first-time offender.

Trump attorney Will Scharf told ABC News on June 2 that the former president will “speedily appeal this unjust verdict.”

“I think this case is replete with reversible error,“ he told the outlet. ”We plan to vigorously defend President Trump’s rights in the appellate courts all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.”

‘Breaking Point’

President Trump was asked in the June 2 interview on Fox News for his thoughts about a possible punishment, which could include time behind bars.

“I’m OK with it,” the former president replied. “I saw one of my lawyers the other day on television saying, ‘Oh no, you don’t want to do that to the president.’ I said, ‘You don’t beg for anything.’”

Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower on May 30, 2024, in New York City. (Stephanie Keith/Getty

The former president also said he thought the American people would be outraged if he were imprisoned.

“I’m not sure the public would stand for it,” President Trump said. “I think it would be tough for the public to take; you know, at a certain point, there’s a breaking point.”

Asked what Trump supporters should do if the former president were imprisoned, RNC co-chair Lara Trump told CNN they would make their voices heard at the ballot box.

“Well, they’re gonna do what they’ve done from the beginning, which is remain calm and protest at the ballot box on November 5,“ she told the outlet. ”There’s nothing to do other than make your voices heard loud and clear and speak out against this.”

While Democrats have taken to referring to President Trump as a “convicted felon” in their political messaging, a recent confidential memo to RNC leadership indicated that the conviction has had no negative effect on President Trump’s popularity among voters in the seven battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

An average of polls by RealClear Polling as of June 4 indicates that President Trump leads President Biden by 3.2 points in all seven swing states.

Ben Collis is a freelance journalist for the Trending Politico covering trending human interest/social media stories and the reactions real people have to them. He always seeks to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and facts pertinent to these stories to create your not-so-average viral post.
Ben Collis
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