For months, there has been speculation that former President Donald Trump, who is currently seen as a likely nominee for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination, will choose a female running mate.
This was further reinforced after a photo of Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), the GOP’s third-ranking member in the House, standing next to former President Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate circulated online on Monday.
“Great meeting at Mar-a-Lago with my friend President Trump! The stakes could not be higher. Patriots will continue to unite behind President Trump’s campaign to #SaveAmerica,” she wrote in a post with the photo on the X platform. “It’s all on the line. Let’s do this!”
Possible VP? Hmm… https://t.co/GPdEKmOev3
— Spreely Media (@SpreelyNews) December 20, 2023
In September, following then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) directive to initiate an official impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, Trump spoke with Representative Elise Stefanik.
“I speak to President Trump a lot. I spoke to him today,” Stefanik told reporters, adding that she believes the Biden family’s business dealings are “the biggest political corruption scandal of our lifetime.”
Stefanik, a senior member of the Republican leadership in the House, demonstrated former President Trump’s continued influence over conservative Republicans with her meeting with him, The Hill reported. She has been an ardent supporter of Trump and was even mentioned as a potential running mate for his 2024 campaign. Additionally, she was one of the first members of House Republican leadership to voice support for impeachment proceedings against Vice President Biden.
When Donald Trump was in the White House, his Administration brokered historic Middle Eastern peace deals and brought stability to the world.
The Biden Administration has brought nothing but chaos and destruction because of their weakness and incompetence.
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) October 7, 2023
Trump also recently praised Stefanik’s meteoric rise in the party, even teasing that she may be the president in the near future.
“I want to congratulate Elise on her success. Man, is she moving fast. That means at this rate she’ll be president in about 6 years,” Trump said. “She’s always been a friend, and people would say she’s upwardly mobile. She goes to Washington as a young beautiful woman who took over, and all of a sudden, she becomes a rocket ship. She’s the boss. She’s been a great boss, a strong boss.”
Last month, Stefanik filed an ethics complaint against Manhattan Superior Court Judge Arthur Engoron, alleging “inappropriate bias and judicial intemperance.”
In a letter to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct last week, Stefanik expressed her disapproval of Engoron’s conduct, citing his open hostility towards former President Trump and his legal team throughout the proceedings.
“This judge’s bizarre behavior has no place in our judicial system, where Judge Engoron is not honoring the defendant’s rights to due process and a fair trial,” Stefanik wrote, asserting that those “serious concerns” are amplified by Trump’s status as the front-runner in the 2024 GOP presidential primary.
The letter, reported by The Hill, reiterates multiple claims made by former President Trump’s legal team in the case brought forward by New York State Attorney General Letitia James. These include assertions that there were “no victims” of his numerous business activities and that Engoron has prejudged the matter unjustly.
The Hill adds:
Before the trial began, Engoron ruled that Trump, the Trump Organization and several executives — including Trump’s adult sons — were liable for fraud. The decision stripped Trump’s business licenses and put some of his iconic properties at risk, though a New York appeals court paused the cancellation of the business licenses until after it hears Trump’s case.
Trump’s behavior toward Engoron began to significantly break down after the judge issued a limited gag order barring the former president or other parties from speaking about the judge’s principal law clerk, whom Trump and his team have decried as biased and “Trump-hating.”
The letter from the New York Republican extensively discusses the clerk, noting her political contributions to Democratic candidates and causes. Simultaneously, while blasting the now-lifted gag order.
“If anyone in America must have the constitutional right to speak out against the judge, his staff, the witnesses, or the process, it’s a defendant going through a process he believes is politicized and weaponized against him,” Stefanik wrote. “To gag a defendant is un-American.”’