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.
“Oh yeah, there’s no doubt there will be credentials challenges,” he said. “I’m sure there will be other states around the country that have had irregularities that’ll be challenged. The credentials committee will have some work to do. And you see that Roger Stone was quoting the one article saying that the Super PAC he’s working on is specifically looking for places to challenge Cruz around the country.”
Blackwell notes that every state party sets up its own rules when it comes to delegate elections. “There are very few requirements that the national party puts on what the state party can do. So every state is unique.”
He added, “Sometimes there are difficulties. There are different people claiming to be the legitimate delegate. It’s a step-by-step process and eventually they are resolved at the convention’s credentials committee which is composed of a man and a woman from each state delegation elected by the state delegation to represent the state on the convention credentials committee.”