Trump Downplays Retribution Talk If Elected: ‘It Has to Stop’

Trump Downplays Retribution Talk If Elected: ‘It Has to Stop’
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a dinner at Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach, Fla., on June 5, 2024. (Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump suggested Wednesday that he will not seek retribution for the criminal cases that he faces if he gets elected in November.

When asked by Fox News‘ Sean Hannity about whether he will seek vengeance against his political opponents, President Trump replied: “Number one, they’re wrong.”

“It has to stop, because otherwise, we’re not going to have a country … I would have every right to go after them, and it’s easy,” he said. “What they’re doing to me, if it’s going to continue, we’re really not going to have much of a country left,” the former president continued.

But President Trump said that what he described as politicized prosecutions of him and others needs to stop because Americans don’t want it. “We can’t have this stuff go on,” he added, saying that “we’re talking about, I think, the most important election in the history of our country.”

He told the Fox News host that after he was elected in 2016, he didn’t use the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prosecute his then-Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

“Wouldn’t it be terrible if I locked up the wife of the president of the United States—former—and locked up the former secretary of state?” President Trump asked, referring to Ms. Clinton. “It’s a terrible thing.”

He then said, “I want to bring the country together.”

When asked by Mr. Hannity if he would “restore equal justice and equal application of the law,” President Trump responded, “You have to do it,” before criticizing the Biden administration.

Last week, a jury in Manhattan found President Trump guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records after prosecutors alleged that he attempted to cover up payments that were ultimately sent to a woman who alleged she had an affair with him in 2006. He pleaded not guilty and has denied the affair ever took place, saying the case is tantamount to election interference.

The judge overseeing the case, Juan Merchan, set a sentencing date for July 11, or four days before the start of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Prosecutors have declined to say whether they will seek a prison term for President Trump, while some legal analysts and former prosecutors have suggested it would be unlikely for the judge to sentence him to a prison term.

A lead Trump attorney, Todd Blanche, said last week that he believes that President Trump, 77, should not be sentenced due to his age and because he has no prior convictions.

During an interview on Sunday, former Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. said that he believes it’s not likely President Trump would be sentenced to a prison term.

“If you ask me do I think the court will impose jail in this case, as I said to you I think yesterday, I think not,” he said. “But ultimately, that’s Judge Merchan’s decision.

“The president has made this a little more complicated by having been found in contempt ten times during the court, but I think that with the proximity of the Republican convention four days after his sentencing and then if he is the candidate for the Republican Party the proximity of the election, I would be surprised that he would be sentenced to any imprisonment,” Mr. Vance stated.

Other Cases

Outside of New York, the former president faces three other criminal cases in Georgia, Florida, and Washington. However, no trial dates have been set for any of them, while a Georgia appeals court on Wednesday stayed the proceedings in Fulton County until March of next year, meaning that a trial—if the case progresses that far—would not be slated until late 2025.

Steve Sadow, Trump’s lead defense counsel in Georgia, wrote on social media that he’s pleased with the decision.

“The Georgia Court of Appeals has properly stayed all proceedings against President Trump in the trial court pending its decision on our interlocutory appeal which argues the case should be dismissed and Fulton County DA Willis should be disqualified for her misconduct,” he wrote, referring to District Attorney Fani Willis and claims that she engaged in an improper relationship with her former special counsel.

The appeals court on Monday docketed the appeals filed by President Trump and eight others and said that “if oral argument is requested and granted” it is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 4. The court will then have until mid-March to rule, and the losing side will be able to appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court.

This week, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, an appointee of President Trump, said that three outside experts can make their case during a new hearing later this month on whether special counsel Jack Smith’s appointment by the DOJ was valid.

Attorneys for the former president and several others, including former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, have argued that Mr. Smith was appointed in an unconstitutional manner.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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