Trump camp readies credentials challenges at convention

How long will the Republican convention in Cleveland last?  It's scheduled to run from July 18-21.  But challenges to the rules and credentials (not to mention a probable fight over planks in the platform) threaten to draw out the affair beyond the four days allotted.

Daily Caller:

The rules committee at the Republican National Convention is not the only committee where controversy will happen as the Trump campaign is preparing challenges against the convention’s credentials committee.

“We are compiling evidence, we’re gonna be filing several credentials challenges and whether we win on the challenges or not, the point on what’s happening if you go to these meetings and you’re not a [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] supporter, you don’t want to be a Republican when you leave cause you’re so abused,” Trump adviser Paul Manafort said on Fox News’s “Hannity” Tuesday.

The 112-member credentials committee handles allegations from campaigns that proper procedures were not followed through when a delegate or slate of delegates was elected, and therefore the individuals are not legitimate delegates who can be seated at the convention.

“If there is an allegation that proper procedures were not carried out, then it is possible to undertake a procedure that is elaborate but outlined in the party rules a multi-step procedure whereby you can challenge the credentials of people who are claiming to be delegates,” Virginia Republican National Committeeman Morton Blackwell told The Daily Caller on Wednesday.

In 2012, Ron Paul lost his delegates from Maine as a result of a credentials challenge.

“They had Ron Paul people run as Romney people. So you can have a challenge there and say, ‘look, these people aren’t really our delegates. They aren’t our people.’ So there are things like that, which could potentially happen,” a GOP insider told TheDC.

The Trump campaign alleges that unfair delegate election practices happened in states like Colorado and Missouri, but one GOP insider familiar with RNC rules has told TheDC that it may be difficult to prove such irregularities.

“I don’t know if [Manafort], yet, has any legitimate basis for challenges, but I’m sure they’ll make some if only to keep the controversy going. I’m sure there’s going to be challenges. There always are. There are always legitimate mistakes…on process and that sort of thing. I don’t know of any serious challenge as of this point,” he said.

However, another RNC source says the credentials committee will have its hands full this summer.

It's possible that these challenges will be handled before the convention.  But Manafort and Trump don't want that.  They need the emotional energy from their supporters who feel "betrayed" to continue to roil the party. 

You can't challenge a delegate's credentials based on whom he might support at the convention, so the basis of Trump's challenges is unclear.  In Colorado, the party carefully followed the rules, making a delegate challenge faintly ridiculous.  But Trump isn't after delegates.  He needs controversy to keep his supporters' fanaticism at a fever pitch. 

It is likely that Trump and Cruz will combine forces to stop rule changes that would allow anyone but themselves to be nominated.  That's the way the rules are set up now, and Cruz especially wants to see Kasich on the outside looking in. 

If several of these challenges reach the floor of the convention, we're in for overtime sessions and, perhaps, an extended convention.

How long will the Republican convention in Cleveland last?  It's scheduled to run from July 18-21.  But challenges to the rules and credentials (not to mention a probable fight over planks in the platform) threaten to draw out the affair beyond the four days allotted.

Daily Caller:

The rules committee at the Republican National Convention is not the only committee where controversy will happen as the Trump campaign is preparing challenges against the convention’s credentials committee.

“We are compiling evidence, we’re gonna be filing several credentials challenges and whether we win on the challenges or not, the point on what’s happening if you go to these meetings and you’re not a [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] supporter, you don’t want to be a Republican when you leave cause you’re so abused,” Trump adviser Paul Manafort said on Fox News’s “Hannity” Tuesday.

The 112-member credentials committee handles allegations from campaigns that proper procedures were not followed through when a delegate or slate of delegates was elected, and therefore the individuals are not legitimate delegates who can be seated at the convention.

“If there is an allegation that proper procedures were not carried out, then it is possible to undertake a procedure that is elaborate but outlined in the party rules a multi-step procedure whereby you can challenge the credentials of people who are claiming to be delegates,” Virginia Republican National Committeeman Morton Blackwell told The Daily Caller on Wednesday.

In 2012, Ron Paul lost his delegates from Maine as a result of a credentials challenge.

“They had Ron Paul people run as Romney people. So you can have a challenge there and say, ‘look, these people aren’t really our delegates. They aren’t our people.’ So there are things like that, which could potentially happen,” a GOP insider told TheDC.

The Trump campaign alleges that unfair delegate election practices happened in states like Colorado and Missouri, but one GOP insider familiar with RNC rules has told TheDC that it may be difficult to prove such irregularities.

“I don’t know if [Manafort], yet, has any legitimate basis for challenges, but I’m sure they’ll make some if only to keep the controversy going. I’m sure there’s going to be challenges. There always are. There are always legitimate mistakes…on process and that sort of thing. I don’t know of any serious challenge as of this point,” he said.

However, another RNC source says the credentials committee will have its hands full this summer.

It's possible that these challenges will be handled before the convention.  But Manafort and Trump don't want that.  They need the emotional energy from their supporters who feel "betrayed" to continue to roil the party. 

You can't challenge a delegate's credentials based on whom he might support at the convention, so the basis of Trump's challenges is unclear.  In Colorado, the party carefully followed the rules, making a delegate challenge faintly ridiculous.  But Trump isn't after delegates.  He needs controversy to keep his supporters' fanaticism at a fever pitch. 

It is likely that Trump and Cruz will combine forces to stop rule changes that would allow anyone but themselves to be nominated.  That's the way the rules are set up now, and Cruz especially wants to see Kasich on the outside looking in. 

If several of these challenges reach the floor of the convention, we're in for overtime sessions and, perhaps, an extended convention.