Politics

’24 VP? Photo Emerges of Trump and Top Republican at Mar-a-Lago

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


For months, there has been speculation that former President Donald Trump, who, for now, appears to be a shoo-in for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination, will choose a woman as his running mate.

That speculation was further fueled after a photo went viral online on Monday.

The photo showed Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), the GOP’s third-ranking member in the House, standing next to the former president at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

“Great meeting at Mar-a-Lago with my friend President Trump! The stakes could not be higher. Patriots will continue to unite behind President Trump’s campaign to #SaveAmerica,” she wrote in a post with the photo on the X platform. “It’s all on the line. Let’s do this!”

In September, after then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) ordered committees to launch an official impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, Trump spoke with Stefanik.

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“I speak to President Trump a lot. I spoke to him today,” Stefanik told reporters, adding that she believes the Biden family’s business dealings are “the biggest political corruption scandal of our lifetime.”

Stefanik is a senior member of the Republican leadership in the House, and her meeting with Trump demonstrates the former president’s continued sway over conservative Republicans, The Hill reported.

The New York Republican has been one of the most consistent advocates for Trump in the House, and he has even been mentioned as a possible running mate for Trump in 2024. She was also an early supporter of impeachment proceedings against Vice President Biden among House Republican leadership.

Trump also recently praised Stefanik’s meteoric rise in the party, even teasing that she may be the president in the near future.

“I want to congratulate Elise on her success. Man, is she moving fast. That means at this rate she’ll be president in about 6 years,” Trump said. “She’s always been a friend, and people would say she’s upwardly mobile. She goes to Washington as a young beautiful woman who took over, and all of a sudden, she becomes a rocket ship. She’s the boss. She’s been a great boss, a strong boss.”

Last month, Stefanik filed an ethics complaint against Manhattan Superior Court Judge Arthur Engoron, alleging “inappropriate bias and judicial intemperance.”

In a letter to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct last week, Stefanik blasted Engoron, who has been openly hostile to the former president and his legal team throughout the proceedings.

“This judge’s bizarre behavior has no place in our judicial system, where Judge Engoron is not honoring the defendant’s rights to due process and a fair trial,” Stefanik wrote, asserting that those “serious concerns” are amplified by Trump’s status as the front-runner in the 2024 GOP presidential primary.

According to The Hill, the letter repeats several arguments made by the former president’s legal team as the case, brought by state Attorney General Letitia James, has progressed, including that there were “no victims” in Trump’s myriad of business dealings and that Engoron has unfairly prejudged the case.

The Hill adds:

Before the trial began, Engoron ruled that Trump, the Trump Organization and several executives — including Trump’s adult sons — were liable for fraud. The decision stripped Trump’s business licenses and put some of his iconic properties at risk, though a New York appeals court paused the cancellation of the business licenses until after it hears Trump’s case.

Trump’s behavior toward Engoron began to significantly break down after the judge issued a limited gag order barring the former president or other parties from speaking about the judge’s principal law clerk, whom Trump and his team have decried as biased and “Trump-hating.”

The letter from the New York Republican extensively discusses the clerk, noting her political contributions to Democratic candidates and causes. Simultaneously, while blasting the now-lifted gag order.

“If anyone in America must have the constitutional right to speak out against the judge, his staff, the witnesses, or the process, it’s a defendant going through a process he believes is politicized and weaponized against him,” Stefanik wrote. “To gag a defendant is un-American.”’

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