Retiring Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) fears Donald Trump may try to steal the 2024 election if he doesn’t win the vote, and cautioned the former president is already laying the groundwork having learned from his failure to overturn the 2020 result.
“I think it’s all pushing towards one of two outcomes: He either wins legitimately, which he may do, or if he loses again, you just try to steal it,” Gonzalez said in CNN’s “Trumping Democracy: An American Coup” documentary Friday.
Trump has “evaluated what went wrong on January 6: Why is it that he wasn’t able to steal the election? Who stood in his way?” explained Gonzalez, who has attributed his upcoming departure from Congress in part to the “toxic dynamics” inside the GOP.
“And he’s going methodically state by state at races from, you know, state Senate races all the way down to county commissioner races trying to get the people who ― the Republicans, the RINOs, in his words ― who stopped this, who stopped him from stealing the election,” he added.
Trump has teased running in 2024 multiple times, but has not yet officially thrown his hat into the ring,
Gonzalez, who voted to impeach Trump for his incitement of the Jan. 6 insurrection, said the violence was “an unconstitutional attempt led by the President of the United States to overturn an American election and reinstall himself in power illegitimately.”
“That’s fallen nation territory, that’s third world country territory,” he added. “My family left Cuba to avoid that fate. I will not let it happen here.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.