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Trump pledges to stay in 2024 presidential race even if he is criminally charged

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about the recent derailment of a train carrying hazardous waste, during an event at a fire station in East Palestine, Ohio, February 22, 2023.

Alan Freed | Reuters

Former president Donald Trump said on Saturday he will remain in the 2024 presidential race even if he faces criminal charges in the ongoing investigations into his handling of White House documents and alleged 2020 election tampering.

Trump made the pledge in response to Newsmax’s James Rosen, a former Fox News reporter, at a press conference at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, Rosen tweeted on Saturday.

Trump launched his 2024 White House bid in November, a week after Republicans lost a number of important midterm races.

Recent polling of GOP voters showed that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, widely deemed Trump’s main competition, would beat Trump if the two came head-to-head. DeSantis has not yet launched a bid for the presidency.

Trump’s campaign takes place amid an ongoing Department of Justice investigation into whether he removed nearly 3,000 documents from the White House and potentially tampered with 2020 election results. The FBI seized nearly 200,000 pages of documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in September.

On Friday, Trump’s lawyers asked a federal court to block his former vice president, Mike Pence, from speaking to a grand jury concerning alleged efforts to overturn the former president’s 2020 election loss, claiming executive privilege, several media outlets reported.

The new filing was submitted in a sealed proceeding on Friday, according to CNN. It is not the first time Trump’s legal team has asserted executive privilege to prevent Pence from testifying.

The investigation came after Trump was impeached twice with charges of high crimes and misdemeanors, once for allegedly using U.S. foreign aid to extort Ukraine and a second time for allegedly inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

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