Donald Trump will endorse Ron DeSantis if the Florida governor wins him in the 2024 Republican nomination in hopes of gaining protection from prosecution, a liberal commentator has claimed.
Writing in New York magazine, Jonathan Chait offered a fascinating alternative to the widely held theory that the former president will try to divide and destroy the Republican party if he is not nominated to run as its next president.
Chait explained: ‘What interests would Trump have in common with DeSantis? For one, DeSantis could offer Trump legal protection, either pardons or additional immunity from prosecution.”
New York magazine journalist Jonathan Chait predicts that Donald Trump (left) will endorse Ron DeSantis (right) if the Florida governor wins him in the 2024 presidential nomination (Trump and DeSantis appear together in November 2019)
The former president is currently facing multiple criminal investigations, though he denies any wrongdoing and has yet to be charged with any crimes.
FBI agents raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago country club in West Palm Beach, Florida, in August over claims he was illegally storing classified material there.
The Justice Department is now said to be interested in Trump’s alleged involvement in stoking the January 6 riots.
On Wednesday, it was reported that former Trump Vice President Mike Pence is considering helping the Justice Department with its investigations.
Trump also faces an investigation in New York into his tax affairs, and recently lost his last chance to prevent prosecutors from obtaining his statements.
Although Trump and DeSantis have clashed in recent weeks, Chait went on to assert that Trump is ultimately a pragmatist who will do what is in his own best interest.
He highlighted DeSantis’ considerable fundraising prowess and said that Trump may also be expecting a sizeable financial payment in exchange for endorsing DeSantis.
And while relations between former friends Trump and DeSantis are currently frosty, Chait said there is past evidence of Trump reconciling with sworn enemies.
He cites the examples of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Both clashed with Trump while seeking the 2016 presidential nomination.
Trump implied that Cruz’s Heidi was ugly, but the couple later reconciled, and Texas Sen. Cruz is now a strong supporter of Trump.
DeSantis could offer Trump protection from any charges resulting from the FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago country club, which resulted in the discovery of classified documents that should never have been removed from federal government property, it is claimed .
DeSantis could also offer Trump protection from prosecution over the January 6 riots. The Department of Justice is about to investigate the involvement of Trump
Chait also suggested that Trump will always hate Joe Biden more than DeSantis, and that he will be happy to endorse the latter in hopes of crushing Biden’s 2024 re-election hopes.
DeSantis is the golden boy of the Republican Party following the midterm elections earlier this month.
He won re-election in Florida by 20 points and appears to have turned a once-fierce state a bright red.
Many Republicans view the governor, who is only 45, as a presidential candidate who can push through the policies popularized by Trump, but without the divisive personality of the former president.
Many Trump loyalists performed surprisingly poorly in the midterms, suggesting the former president’s popularity may be waning.
Like DeSantis, they stoked culture war tensions on issues related to race and gender in an attempt to energize voters.
But it was likely DeSantis’ record as a capable lawmaker, with his handling of Hurricane Ian and the applauded COVID lockdowns, that strengthened his grip on the Sunshine State.
DeSantis is also widely seen as a nightmare candidate for the Democratic party to face in 2024.
Electing Trump to run would send voters who hate the former president back to the polling stations in droves to vote against him, and could lead to another Democratic victory.
But DeSantis has none of that baggage. He is also much younger and verbally more agile than Biden.
Trump announced his 2024 candidacy last week, but DeSantis has made no such statement.
You don’t have to announce your intention to run until much closer to Election Day, and you’ll probably hold out as late as possible.
Some Republicans have suggested that DeSantis should let Trump have a clear White House run in 2024 and try again in 2028.
But others warn that he may not have his current momentum behind him at the time.