A liberal commentator has claimed that Donald Trump will support Ron DeSantis if Florida’s governor beats him for the 2024 Republican nomination in hopes of gaining protection from prosecution.
In an article for New York Magazine, Jonathan Chait offered an intriguing alternative to the popular theory that the former president would seek to divide and destroy the Republican Party if he was not nominated as the party’s next president.
What interests do Trump and DeSantis have in common? For example, DeSantis could offer Trump legal protections — either pardon or immunity from further prosecution.
The former president is currently facing multiple criminal investigations, though he denies any wrongdoing and no charges have been filed against him yet.
FBI agents raided Trump’s country club, Mar-a-Lago, in West Palm Beach, Florida, in August over allegations that he illegally kept classified materials there.
The Justice Department is now said to be interested in Trump’s alleged involvement in inciting the January 6 riots.
It was reported Wednesday that Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence is considering helping the Justice Department in its investigation.
New York magazine journalist Jonathan Chait predicts that Donald Trump (left) will support Ron DeSantis (right) if Florida’s governor beats him for the 2024 presidential nomination (Trump and DeSantis pictured together in November 2019).
Trump also faces an investigation in New York over his tax affairs and recently lost his last-ditch effort to block plaintiffs from obtaining his tax returns.
Despite the clashes between Trump and DeSantis over the past few weeks, Chet continues to claim that ultimately Trump is a pragmatist who will do whatever is best for his own interests.
He highlighted DeSantis’ great fundraising skills and said Trump may also be hoping for a huge financial payment in exchange for DeSantis’ support.
And while relations between former friends Trump and Diantis are currently frosty, Chet said there is evidence that Trump has made amends with sworn enemies in the past.
He cites the examples of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. They both clashed with Trump while seeking the 2016 presidential candidacy.
Trump famously hinted that Heidi was ugly — but the couple later reconciled because Texas Senator Cruz is now a staunch Trump advocate.
DeSantis could provide Trump protection from any charges leading to an FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago country club, which led to the discovery of classified documents that were not supposed to be removed from federal government property, they said.
DeSantis could also provide Trump protection from prosecution over the Jan. 6 riot. The Justice Department is preparing to investigate Trump’s involvement
Chet also noted that Trump will always hate Joe Biden more than DeSantis and would happily support the latter in hopes of dashing Biden’s hopes of re-election in 2024.
DeSantis is the golden boy of the GOP after the midterm elections earlier this month.
He won re-election in Florida by a 20-point margin and looks to be around a state that was once a deep red-purple.
Many Republicans view the 45-year-old governor as a presidential candidate who can advance the policies Trump has deployed but without the divisive personality of the former president.
Many Trump loyalists performed surprisingly poorly in the midterm elections, suggesting the former president’s popularity may be waning.
Like DeSantis, they fanned the tensions of the culture war over issues of race and gender to motivate voters.
But it’s likely DeSantis’ track record as a capable lawmaker — with his handling of Hurricane Ian and COVID shutdowns — that has cemented his hold on the Sunshine State.
DeSantis is widely seen as an intimidating candidate the Democratic Party has to contend with.
A Trump run would send voters who hated the former president to the polls in droves and beat him again.
But DeSantis has none of that baggage. He is also much younger and smarter than Biden.
Trump announced his 2024 candidacy last week, but no such announcement has been made.
DeSantis is under no obligation to declare his attention until Election Day is much closer.