Many Republicans Want Trump Convicted and ‘Out of Their Way’: Attorney

Former President Donald Trump’s midterm failures may have eroded the Republican support he was counting on to avoid a criminal conviction, according to one attorney.

Trump has long been reported to be planning an early 2024 presidential campaign announcement as a way to stave off potential prosecution from the numerous investigations mounting against him. His hope had purportedly been to ride a wave of midterm GOP success into the announcement, but with Democrats posting historically strong results over the last week, Trump’s future as a Republican figurehead and his 2024 candidacy have been cast into doubt.

In a report published on Sunday, The Daily Beast spoke with numerous current and former attorneys and general legal experts about the situation facing Trump. Most said that his plan to avoid criminal prosecution by running for reelection would do him no good, as the various investigations arrayed against him are too far along. Reports previously indicated that Attorney General Merrick Garland was looking to indict Trump after the midterms, to avoid swaying voter opinions, but before the start of the 2024 election cycle.

One expert The Daily Beast spoke to, retired attorney and conservative Eric Owens, said that the situation is even worse for Trump than he might imagine, as Republicans now have a potential motive for seeing him convicted and taken off the political battlefield.

donald trump republicans support convictions
Above, Donald Trump appears at a 2016 campaign event. A former attorney and conservative Eric Owens believes that Republicans have strategic reasons to support a potential conviction of the former president following their disastrous midterm performances.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

“I do think Trump believes he can avoid prosecution by running for president and causing delays,” Owens said. “That’s another Trump strategy: Delay and run out the clock. But many Republicans simply have a selfish and practical interest in seeing Trump prosecuted and convicted—for anything, really. They want him out of their way either for their ambition or because he is clearly dragging the party down with bad candidates.”

The GOP’s hopes for a “red wave” of success in the midterms did not end up coming to fruition, with Democrats officially maintaining, and possibly growing, their Senate control. Meanwhile, control of the House is looking to go down to the wire. Many on the right have blamed Trump’s toxic influence for these outcomes, as many of the candidates he backed failed to win office.

Despite calls for him to move along as a figurehead in the Republican Party, Trump is reportedly still planning to announce his 2024 candidacy on Tuesday. With the Georgia Senate race set for a December 6 runoff, pundits in both parties predict that Trump’s presence and influence could once again sway the race to the Democrats, as it is believed to have done early last year.

Newsweek reached out to Trump’s office for comment.

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