Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson Says Trump Should End 2024 Bid If Indicted
In New York, the former president is being investigated over a “hush money” payment of $130,000 to Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress who has claimed to have had an affair with Trump. Trump allegedly lied on tax filings about the nature of the payment.
“It doesn’t mean that he’s guilty of it or he should be charged,” said Hutchinson. “But it’s just such a distraction that would be unnecessary for somebody who’s seeking the highest office in the land.”
“When you’re looking at Trump, it’s going to be a circus,” he told USA Today.
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Hutchinson has not officially announced his candidacy for the 2024 Republican nomination, although has signaled that he intends to do so.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and “anti-woke” businessman Vivek Ramaswamy are Trump’s only two official competitors so far for the Republican primary. Trump’s only major threat from inside the Republican Party, according to polling, is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is polling near-even with the former president.
Hutchinson, who is polling at less than one percent, claimed that Trump should leave the race “out of respect for the institution of the presidency of the United States.”
Trump told reporters at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) earlier this month that he wouldn’t consider leaving the race if indicted. He even added that an indictment would “probably enhance [his] numbers.”
Michael Cohen, a former Trump lawyer and key witness in the criminal investigation into Trump’s alleged hush money payments, testified on Monday and Wednesday in front of a grand jury.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who is looking to indict the former president, has questioned at least seven other people so far this year.
Trump was offered the opportunity to appear before the grand jury this week but he declined. Offers such as these often indicate that an indictment is close because potential defendants have the right to be questioned by the grand jury before an official indictment is issued.
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