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With the tide turning againt Donald Trump in the United States, the former president is reportedly mulling a shock announcement.
After days of televised hearings into the January 6 insurrection carried out by Trump supporters, the 76-year-old is staring down the gun of losing his hitherto hold on the Repubilcan party and the voters who propelled him to power.
So, according to The New York Times, Trump has a plan.
The real estate mogul and former reality TV star is reportedly considering making an early announcement that he will again run for president in the 2024 race for the White House.
The unusually early timing of the announcement is motivated by a belief that his candidacy would help sheild him from potential legal problems stemming from the Janury 6 probe, The New York Times reported.
Trump is no stranger to legal problems and successfully used the presidency to protect himself againt certain prosecutions.
Republicans close to Trump say he believes a formal announcement would also bolster his argument that the current investigations are politically motivated, according to the report by three White House journalists.
"The timing of a formal announcement from Mr Trump remains uncertain. But he recently surprised some advisers by saying he might declare his candidacy on social media without warning even his own team, and aides are scrambling to build out basic campaign infrastructure in time for an announcement as early as this month," the paper said.
January 6 testimony could trigger criminal charges for Trump
The prosecutorial style hearings from the congressional panel investigating the Capitol attack provides a roadmap for prosecutors to potentially charge Trump with a crime, some legal experts say.
The probe has aired stunning testimony with new revelations about Trump’s fight to overturn the 2020 election.
A former White House aide this week described Trump as an unhinged leader with no regard for the safety of elected officials in either party as he clung to power.
There are many signs, however, that Republican voters have got Trump fatigue and while he would enter the race as a strong favourite, there are other Republican contenders that could challenge him.
A new poll from released this week by the The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 48 per cent of US adults say Trump should be charged with a crime for his role in the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
Views on Trump’s criminal liability break down predictably along party lines, with 86 per cent of Democrats and 10 per cent of Republicans saying Trump should be charged.
Still, the fact that nearly half the country believes he should be prosecuted is a remarkable position for the former president, pointing to the difficulties he could face if he makes another run at the White House.
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