I Still Support Trump But Legal Problems Could Bring Him Down

By John J. Duncan Jr.



In my August 28 column, I listed a few of the many reasons why I am still supporting Donald Trump in next year’s race for the White House.

There has never been a perfect candidate for any office and there never will be, and Trump has said and done things that even his strongest supporters wish he had not said or done. But he was right on the big things and did a very good job as president and could do so again.

However, because I was a lawyer and judge for 16 years before going to Congress, I will be very surprised if Trump is not convicted on one or more, or even all of the criminal cases against him. Here is why.

First, prosecutors win almost all criminal cases that go to trial in the federal courts.

Second, it will be easy to get convictions in front of New York City, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. juries, and probably in Florida, too.

Third, no man has ever received anywhere near as much bad publicity in the history of the world as Trump has.

I got my undergraduate degree in journalism, worked full-time as a newspaper reporter my senior year, and then taught journalism for a year. In those long ago days, there was a difference between the news pages and the opinion and editorial pages.

Since the 2020 election, a reporter would be ostracized or kicked out of the journalistic fraternity if he or she did not write about Trump’s “big lie” or “obviously false” claims about the election in what were supposed to be news stories. It is almost as if some reporters know deep down that the election was stolen, so they have to endlessly repeat that it was not.

I hope Trump can win, but the odds are so stacked against him – so, what then? Most of the other candidates for the Republican nomination are banking at least in part on at least one of the criminal cases bringing Trump down.

There are several other good candidates who are running and whom I can enthusiastically support – several of whom I served with in Congress.

Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, Tim Scott and Asa Hutchinson all served with me in the House, and I like all of them.

I have been very impressed by DeSantis’ work as governor of Florida and the courage and toughness he has shown in battles over Covid lockdowns and the woke agenda. I have contributed to him twice and will do so again if he is the Republican nominee.

Mike Pence is a really fine man and has always been extremely nice to me. Two different times he stopped to talk to some families I was showing around the Capitol. When Pence came to Knoxville to campaign for Tim Burchett during his first election, Pence said even more kind things about me.

Tim Scott served briefly in the House before moving to the Senate. I saw him eating one night several years ago at the Capitol Hill Club with Rep. Trey Gowdy. Trey apparently told Tim that I had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The next day I received a very nice handwritten note from Tim wishing me the best and telling me he would pray for me.

I served on one of my committees with Rep. Tim Hutchinson and after Tim was elected to the Senate, his brother Asa replaced him on the same committee. At the Republican National Committee Spring Meeting in Nashville, I introduced my wife, Vickie, to Asa and he kindly told her I had been his mentor when he first came to Congress.

I have also been very impressed by Vivek Ramaswamy. I hope he becomes president someday or is at least given an important cabinet position. I believe he has a great future ahead of him.

I have not met Ramaswamy, nor have I met Governor Nikki Haley. I do know that my sister, Becky, really likes Gov. Haley, and I did have the opportunity to hear her speak at a Statesmen’s Dinner in Nashville a few years ago.

I will endorse and campaign as hard as I can for whoever receives the Republican nomination because I believe in freedom, and the socialists now in control will absolutely destroy this country if they stay in power much longer.