By Morgan Phillips
House GOP Conference chair Elise Stefanik is pressing full steam ahead with her support of former President Trump ahead of his potential indictment on Tuesday.
‘We need Trump more than ever before,’ the New York Republican told DailyMail.com in a sit-down interview at the House GOP retreat in Orlando, Florida.
‘I actually think Trump is going to be in a stronger position than ever before,’ Stefanik said, assuring that she would support the former president even if he were convicted of a crime.
The GOP conference chair said she had spoken to Trump since he broke the news of a potential indictment by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office but would ‘not get into specifics’ of what they discussed. ‘We communicate on a regular basis.’
‘I’m focused on the work of the weaponization select subcommittee,’ she said. ‘I believe Alvin Bragg should be hauled in front of Congress to testify under oath.’
This morning three Republican leaders of the Judiciary, Oversight and Administration committees demanded Bragg testify before them and provide any communications between the New York district attorney’s office and the Department of Justice.
Stefanik stood by Trump’s call for protests if he is indicted, even as Speaker Kevin McCarthy urged ‘calmness.’
‘When President Trump put that out, he said peacefully protest,’ Stefanik said.
‘It’s up to the American people to make sure that we’re communicating that that’s fundamentally unAmerican, and an overreach by a radical DA.’
The GOP conference chair also signaled that she would accept if Trump asked her to run as his vice president.
‘I would be honored to serve in a Trump administration,’ the chairwoman said. ‘I’m focused on doing my job as House Republican conference chair. I’ll tell you that’s a long time in politics. That’s like a lifetime in politics between now and then.’
Trump said he expects to be arrested this week on New York state charges related to his payment before the 2016 presidential election.
Prosecutors argue that he violated a New York law prohibiting falsifying business records when he marked a $130,000 payment to Daniels as ‘legal expenses.’
Trump could be charged with falsifying business records in relation to payments to his former attorney, Michael Cohen, who served jail time after pleading guilty to using campaign finances about Daniels.
‘It is a non-case. It’s what’s considered a zombie case because there is no case there,’ said Stefanik.
While House Republicans were in Florida to discuss their agenda, Trump once again dominated the news cycle and coverage of his potential indictment has overshadowed any new policy plays.
More moderate Republicans are more hesitant to comment on a potential indictment that has not yet been released.
‘I’d withhold any judgment on the indictment until I see it,’ Rep. Dusty Johnson, chair of the centrist GOP Main Street Caucus, told DailyMail.com.
‘I don’t even know what’s been confirmed that it’s really coming. It sort of seems like we’ve got more whispers that anything at this point.’
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and potential rival to Trump in the 2024 bid for the White House, counted himself among those reticent to defend the former president, drawing ire from Trump world.
‘So, I’ve seen rumors swirl; I have not seen any facts yet,’ DeSantis finally said Monday morning. ‘The Manhattan district attorney is a Soros-funded prosecutor.’
DeSantis added that he does not know ‘what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair.’
Asked about the Florida governor’s lukewarm remarks, Stefanik said: ‘Well, people are going to have to stand behind their own statements. I’ve been very clear – I think it’s important for people to stand up for equal justice under the law.’
Later in the day, she gave a more forceful rebuke of DeSantis and his remarks to reporters. ‘I think he’s going to start slipping in the polls. He’s already seen slippage in the past couple weeks.’