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'Donald Trump will be the nominee': Michigan GOP Chair says Trump's conviction not important to voters

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Posted at 1:35 PM, Jun 03, 2024

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Michigan Republican Party will continue to support former President Donald Trump even after his conviction on dozens of criminal charges in New York.

Michigan GOP Chairman Pete Hoekstra says Trump's conviction is not a concern for voters.

"After talking to a lot of people over the weekend, it appears that not a whole lot has changed," said Hoekstra. "People are still very, very concerned about their pocketbook issues. They're concerned about, you know, the gas prices, grocery prices, insurance prices, the cost of a mortgage and all those types items are consumed by what's happening on the board. You know, yeah, they're aware of what happened, but it's kind of like, 'Hey, Pete, those things aren't that important to us. What matters to us right now, our pocketbook issues.'"

Hoekstra says there is no question in his mind that Trump's legal issues are part of an attempt to keep him out of the White House.

"I mean, we look forward to supporting the president through this process. You know, they're gonna go through the court system, they'll go through the appeals process. We've seen this before. In 2016, we saw the steel dossier, all the way up in through the election going into 2017. What did we find out a few months later? It was produced by the Hillary Clinton campaign as a campaign document. We saw it in 2020. When you had you had 51, Democrat intelligence professionals come out and say, Hunter Biden laptop that really looks like Russian disinformation to us. And in reality, what was it? It was real? And now we're seeing, you know, potentially a more sophisticated attack against Donald Trump. But it follows in the same line of what we saw in '16, and and '20."

Trump's sentencing hearing in New York is set for July 11, four days before the Republican National Convention starts in Milwaukee.

When asked about what a sentence of time behind bars would mean for Trump's status as a nominee for President, Hoekstra says it ultimately would not change who Republicans support in November.

"[A jail or prison sentence] would be an interesting development," said Hoekstra. "But between now and then, and I think most likely, after then, we will continue focusing on on the real issues. I mean, we've seen a campaign that, you know, the courts have already taken one of the presidential candidates out of a traditional campaign molded by requiring him to be in court, you know, three, four days a week, you know, in jail would be a whole different phenomena. I doubt that that will happen. But the bottom line is, there will still be an election in November, and it will still be Donald Trump versus Joe Biden."

Trump's campaign was able to capitalize on his conviction. It collected nearly $40 million in donations in the first 10 hours after the ruling was handed down last Thursday. So many people jumped to the campaign site that it crashed.

Hoekstra believes the case against Trump will ultimately be thrown out.

"We've gone through this before where, you know, there have been accusations made against Donald Trump. And they come out, you know, conveniently, five, six months before the election, or sometimes even closer to the election. The media goes crazy. Other folks say, wow, you know, can we really consider Donald Trump to be a viable candidate, and we get past the election. And all of a sudden, we find out the Russia thing is a hoax, the Hunter Biden laptop is real. And I fully expect that as this case moves through the process, that this case will most likely be thrown out. And, you know, because of irregularities in the process, but we'll have to wait and see."

Watch the full interview of Michigan GOP Chair Pete Hoekstra below:

Michigan GOP Chairman Pete Hoekstra reacts to former President Donald Trump's criminal conviction

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