(NationalUSNews.com) — Former President Donald Trump’s decision to potentially skip the Republican debates has become the focus of the GOP’s 2024 presidential candidates, dominating the political debate discussion since Trump acknowledged he would probably not attend the event.
Traditionally all candidates attend their party’s respective debates to provide voters with a clear indication of their intended policies and political philosophies. Trump is following in the steps of Ronald Reagan, who skipped the debates after becoming the most popular Republican candidate running for office. Trump has defended his choice to skip debates by claiming that the most popular candidate “doesn’t have to attend” the events and that his lead prevents him from worrying about gaining more traction. While Trump is the most popular GOP candidate, his support has diminished since the potential third indictment against him.
Trump is currently the subject of an inquiry into the events of January 6th by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who recently provided Trump with a “target letter” that could evolve into another criminal indictment. Trump announced the possible looming indictment on social media and protested his innocence regarding the events of the January 6th protests. Smith is accusing Trump of not using his position as the president to prevent the January 6th incident and believes Trump acted illegally to overturn the 2020 election. Trump has consistently claimed othe[rwise and will likely plead not guilty if another case materializes against him.
The inquiry into Trump’s actions could result in the third indictment against the former president, with another potential criminal case regarding Georgia also on the way. Trump was initially defended by many Republicans when the first two cases against him started. Republicans are now silent about defending Trump following the latest accusations against him. Trump’s ongoing legal battles could reduce his popularity amongst the GOP, making him an undesirable candidate for next year’s heavily competitive election. While Trump hasn’t officially announced whether he’ll plead guilty or not guilty should new cases be brought against him, he has pleaded not guilty in every case involving himself so far.
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