Trump Vows To Stay In Race Even If Convicted Of Crimes: ‘I’ll Never Leave’
COLUMBUS, GEORGIA - JUNE 10: Former U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks during the Georgia state GOP convention at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center on June 10, 2023 in Columbus, Georgia. On Friday, former President Trump was indicted by a federal grand jury on 37 felony counts in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s classified documents probe.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump vowed over the weekend that he will “never” drop out of the 2024 presidential race even if he is convicted on any of the criminal charges that he faces in multiple investigations.

Trump’s remarks come after a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Florida returned a 49-page indictment against the former president, charging him with 37 criminal counts, with 31 of those being the willful retention of national defense information. Other counts include conspiracy to obstruct justice, corruptly concealing documents or records, and making false statements.

“I’ll never leave,” Trump told POLITICO in an interview. “Look, if I would have left, I would have left prior to the original race in 2016. That was a rough one. In theory that was not doable.”

Trump said that he believes he will not be convicted and does not plan on taking a plea deal, but seemed to believe that he might get a deal “where they pay me some damages.”

No trial date has been set, but the case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who Trump appointed to the Southern District of Florida bench in 2020. Trump is scheduled to appear before Cannon on Tuesday.

Special Counsel Jack Smith said during a press conference on Friday that the former president will get “a speedy trial on this matter, consistent with the public interest and the rights of the accused.”


Even with a speedy trial, Trump’s unprecedented legal challenges are sure to affect his bid for another term in the White House. He also faces a trial in New York, where the Manhattan district attorney has secured an indictment against him for allegedly falsifying business records. He also faces a separate federal criminal investigation from Smith over his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and he faces a criminal investigation in Georgia over the same matter.

Related: 5 Key Takeaways From The Trump Indictment

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