Donald Trump impeachment: Ex-President’s ‘staunchly loyal’ base threatens GOP vote

Donald Trump could be ‘kingmaker’ in new party says expert

Impeachment entered its second phase yesterday when managers appointed by the House of Representatives delivered articles to the Senate. A bipartisan vote in the lower house impeached Mr Trump earlier this month following riots at the US Capitol, which politicians accuse him of inciting. The proceedings now go to trial in the upper house, and a conviction could alter his future political prospects, which rumours suggest could include an all-new political party.

Speculation suggested Mr Trump was toying with plans to set up a new party in the US to fight for future political positions.

The Washington Post claimed he wanted to found a Make America Great Again (MAGA) or Patriot Party and entertain running for office in 2024.

The move allegedly stemmed from dissatisfaction with GOP officials, many of whom distanced themselves from the President during his final days in office.

The former President’s campaign team has not indicated any intention to form a new party and rubbished claims it was working with a Political Action Committee (PAC) named Patriot party.

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Donald J Trump for President (DJTFP) said claims it was fundraising with the Patriot party were “not true”.

Nevertheless, Mr Trump hinted he would come back “in some form” and that his movement had “just begun” as he left office, leading many to expect a return from the ex-President.

The ex-President has also set up an office in Florida to handle his duties and further his agenda.

A statement made no mention of potential new parties but did define other methods of advocacy.

The statement read: “The Office will be responsible for managing President Trump’s correspondence, public statements, appearances, and official activities to advance the interests of the United States and to carry on the agenda of the Trump Administration through advocacy, organising, and public activism.”

Should he decide to set up political opposition, his former party would lose out, said one expert.

Matthew Davis, a lecturer and researcher in American Law at Birmingham City University, told an impeachment conviction could stall Mr Trump’s political prospects.

But he would survive “negative reflection” a conviction and potential barring from office would produce.

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Mr Davis said Mr Trump would have a “staunchly loyal base” to thank, which could then put Republicans on the defensive.

He said: “The real challenge to a Trump third party would likely come from Republicans.

“They could see [a Trump party] as something that could take away voters and supporters from Republicans.

“This could be a real challenge for a GOP that is likely going to struggle with the impact of Trumpism for some time.”

The GOP is now in a weakened position, having failed to overtake Democrats in the lower house last year, and recently lost its Senate majority.

Leading figures have attempted to distance themselves from Mr Trump and his allies’ unfounded election fraud claims.

Some people have branded disaffected Trump officials “traitors”, showing fractures within the Republican Party.

Should they face competition from Mr Trump in 2024, his supporters may split the vote enough to prevent Republican candidates taking a majority.

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