The Rules and Credentials committees hold the keys.
This is the week we will know if #FreeTheDelegates, and the #NeverTrump movement have legs. By Friday, it will be clear whether or not 28 signatures were obtained for a minority report.
This would allow for an up or down vote on an alternative set of rules at the start of the convention a week from today. So where does that movement stand today, and what else does #FreeTheDelegates have planned?
Kendal Unruh, a Colorado delegate and member of the Rules Committee, has told The Daily Wire that she has the signatures needed for a minority report. She also stressed that many are not ready to be public due to alleged threats form the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee itself.
Unruh explained that “28 committee members are required to pass a minority report, which then goes to the convention floor for all delegates to vote on. It then requires a simple majority to pass.” She added that she does “have the 28 votes required for the minority report,” continuing, “Not everyone who is with us is willing to be public yet, due in part to the threats being made by Trump’s campaign and the RNC itself.”
Unruh’s ultimate goal is an explicit unbinding of delegates through a clearly worded conscience clause. This would effectively free every delegate on the floor of the convention to vote the way he or she felt necessary.
If a minority report were to successfully come out of committee, would it pass on the floor of the convention itself? That’s an even tougher question to answer.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Georgia delegate and Trump supporter Randy Evans claimed that, “just about 890 delegates are personally loyal to the New Yorker. Another 680 oppose Mr. Trump. That leaves 900 delegates who are presumed to be ‘in play,’ he [Evans] said. The stop-Trump forces would have to take nearly two-thirds of them to block his nomination.”
The Trump campaign itself told the Journal that Evans’ count was “wildly inaccurate” and is confident in its ability to win any floor fight.
On the #FreeTheDelegates conference call last night. Executive Director Regina Thompson quipped that her campaign put together an organization larger than Donald Trump’s in under a month.
With a perceived ability to get an alternative set of rules to the floor for a vote, a Delegates Unbound spokesman said he was convinced that Donald Trump would not be the GOP nominee.
There are significant challenges if clear conscience language is not passed at the start of the convention. Under current rules, it would take the majority of seven states to raise a point of order on the floor, the first step in trying to overrule any ruling of the chair, Oregon Delegate Solomon Yue told CNN.
Another potential hurdle for the movement is what will happen at the credentials committee later this week.
There are a number of contests that will be voted on by the full Republican National Committee, and will most likely appealed to the Credentials Committee.
The credentials committee is where delegates are seated or unseated. The Republican National Committee has not made press credentials or plans available for that committee.
An RNC spokeswoman told Conservative Review via email that there has been “no interest” in covering that committee.
That is what to be on the lookout for this week on the rules committee. Later today I will have a full look at the process for the credentials committee.