Imagine wondering whether a man who has all but admitted to committing a federal felony went ahead and committed yet another one.
Yet, that’s where we are after a rep for Donald Trump posted on social media that the Republican presidential front-runner bought a gun on Monday — before quickly deleting the fateful words — in a purchase that would violate the terms of his bonds in all of his legal cases. If Trump really did buy the Glock at a gun show in South Carolina — video footage shows him in attendance saying he wanted “to buy one” — he could theoretically be remanded to prison.
The thought of the prospects of Trump heading behind bars prompted a social media chorus of “LOCK HIM UP,” a play on the criminalizing phrase he assigned to Hillary Clinton during their heated election against each other in 2016.
It all started when Trump rep Steven Cheung posted on the app formerly known as Twitter that “President Trump purchases a @GLOCKINC in South Carolina!”
Ultimately realizing that he just snitched on his boss, the post was deleted — but not before it was immortalized via screenshots that promptly went viral.
It was a strange twist of events for a campaign that’s been steadily attacking President Joe Biden over his son Hunter’s recent indictment for a — you guessed it — gun charge.
To be sure, the federal law on the books explicitly forbids anyone who is under a felony indictment from buying any firearms. But the law is currently in somewhat of a state of limbo after a federal judge in Texas last year struck it down and ruled it was unconstitutional. That ruling — which came courtesy of U.S. District Judge David Counts, who was appointed by Trump in 2018 — is currently under appeal.
History has shown that committing a blatant crime like buying a gun while under felony indictment is not a bridge too far for Trump.
He openly refused to return to federal authorities classified documents that a federal indictment ultimately accused him of mishandling by storing them haphazardly around his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida. It would take an FBI raid to recover what the indictment alleged was sensitive information that included “nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack; and plans for possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack.”
If Trump thought doing that — which he has admitted to — was not illegal, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for him and his team to also not consider the lawful ramifications of buying a gun while under felony indictment.
It’s also fairly plausible that Trump would think lying about it would solve the issue, what with all four of his criminal indictments in as many months being centered on his lies.
While this might seem like a political slam dunk for Trump’s opponents, it would appear that there is nothing that can derail his Republican presidential nomination, which polls suggest is his to lose. Yet another arrest and even imprisonment could further galvanize his base which notably includes convicted insurrectionists serving time for rioting in the U.S. Capitol at Trump’s behest.
In the latest national polling around the 2024 presidential election, both Biden and Trump have strong double-digit leads over their nearest respective challengers, indicating they will face off next year for the White House once again. However, the same poll — consistent with past polling — found that if the election was held today, Trump would barely edge Biden.
Aside from the federal indictment for allegedly mishandling classified documents, Trump faces several other charges, including a sprawling RICO case in Fulton County, Georgia, centered on “the big lie” that he won the 2020 election; multiple felony counts in New York for allegedly falsifying business records that inflated his wealth; and perhaps most serious of them all, federal charges for allegedly trying to overturn the 2020 election.
This is America.
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