Ben Carson’s Endorsement of Donald Trump Raises Questions About Legality
“I have to look at what is practical. I didn’t see a path for [Ohio Gov. John] Kasich, who I like, or [Florida Sen. Marco] Rubio, who I like. … Is there another scenario I would have preferred? Yes, but that scenario isn’t available.” Not words you’d expect to hear from a politician endorsing Donald Trump for president, and yet it’s exactly what Ben Carson said. In a recent interview on conservative website Newsmax TV on Monday, Carson hinted at his reasons for supporting the leading GOP candidate.
Carson then said that Trump had promised him a role in his administration, “certainly in an advisory capacity.” Asked by NewsMax’s Steve Malzberg whether this meant a cabinet position, Carson declined to “reveal any details about it right now, because all of this is still very liquid.”
Federal law expressly prohibits candidates from directly or indirectly promising “the appointment of any person to any public or private position or employment, for the purpose of procuring support in his candidacy.” The penalty for violations could include fines or a year in jail—two years if the violation was willful.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a ThinkProgress inquiry about whether such an illegal offer was made to Carson. Prior to Carson’s departure from the race, Trump suggested that Carson “might be ‘pathological,’ like a ‘child molester.’ ”
While many speculated that Carson, like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie before him, might have been enticed to support Trump, this is the first time Carson has spoken on the issue. He has since continued to avoid clarifying his remarks, cryptically tweeting, “Any candidate I endorsed would have caused a backlash. My decision was principled and not selfish. We must unify to defeat Clinton.”
Click here to watch the full interview.
–Posted by Emma NilesWait, before you go…
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