Trump GOP primary challenger Will Hurd says indicted former president only running to 'stay out of prison'

September 26, 2023
Ben Marquis

Former President Donald Trump, the undisputed frontrunner for the Republican nomination in 2024, is facing multiple criminal indictments that, if convicted on even a few of the dozens of charges against him, could potentially land him behind bars for the rest of his life.

Now one of Trump's long-shot also-ran rivals seeking the GOP nomination, former Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), has said that the former president isn't really running to implement his agenda as the president again but rather is simply running "to stay out of prison," according to The Hill.

Hurd, for what it is worth, is just barely still running for president himself, as the former congressman has struggled mightily to get his campaign off the ground and appears to have only just crossed the thresholds necessary to participate in the second Republican primary debate after not qualifying for the first debate last month.

Trump is "running for president to stay out of prison"

Former Rep. Hurd joined NewsNation on Monday for an interview with host Connell McShane and, in regard to whether it was "inevitable" that former President Trump would be the GOP nominee, disagreed with that notion and said that "Donald Trump is not a fait accompli -- but he is the frontrunner, there's no question about that."

He went on to suggest that the national polls which show Trump with a massive lead over the rest of the primary pack are not truly reflective of the ground-level situation in most states, where the former president's lead is not always so substantial and, according to Hurd, a sizeable chunk of even those voters who do nominally support him have expressed some level of interest in other candidates.

"The problem that I have with Donald Trump is, is Donald Trump’s not running for president to Make America Great Again," Hurd said in reference to Trump's reprised 2016 campaign slogan. "He’s running for president to stay out of prison."

Trump faces potential of multiple centuries in consecutive prison sentences

The former Republican Texas congressman was undoubtedly referencing the unlikely potential that former President Trump could be sentenced to serve hundreds of years in prison if convicted on some or all of the charges against him and was ordered to serve maximum sentences consecutively.

According to Forbes, if that were the case for all 91 combined counts of the four separate criminal indictments against him, Trump faces the prospect of being sentenced to serve more than 717 years behind bars in both state and federal prisons.

In the New York indictment for allegedly falsifying business records in relation to "hush money" payments made during the 2016 election to silence some of his accusers, Trump could face a maximum sentence of 136 years if convicted on all 34 counts -- though it is more likely that he wouldn't serve any time at all even if convicted in that case as he would be a first-time offender.

In the first of two federal indictments from Special Counsel Jack Smith, Trump faces 40 felony charges related to his alleged unlawful retention of classified documents and other official government materials after leaving the White House, with the maximum combined sentence for conviction on all counts -- each of which carries anywhere from five to 20 years in prison -- being 450 years.

As for the second federal indictment focused on his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, the former president faces a maximum of 55 years in prison if convicted on four felony counts.

Then there is the alleged state-level racketeering conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election for Trump and other co-defendants in Georgia, where Trump faces 13 charges that could amount to 76.5 years behind bars.

Of course, it is exceedingly unlikely that Trump would even be convicted on all charges, much less sentenced to serve maximum consecutive sentences, as it is much more likely that he would merely receive fines and probation if convicted or, if actually sentenced to prison, given substantially reduced sentences that could be served concurrently with others -- though any prison sentence could effectively be a life sentence, given his age.

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