It’s no secret that Donald Trump loves a good lawsuit. Over the years, he’s sued former business partners, a journalist, and at least one little old lady—and on Sunday he promised to bring that litigious spirit to the 2016 presidential race.
Facing an organized effort by rival candidates to game state selection rules and undermine his delegate haul, the Republican front-runner is threatening to sue for votes ahead of a potentially contested convention, a move that could foreshadow a new phase in the GOP’s ugly primary fight. “Just to show you how unfair Republican primary politics can be, I won the State of Louisiana and get less delegates than [Texas Sen. Ted] Cruz—Lawsuit coming,” Trump tweeted on Sunday.
With the GOP race potentially heading to a showdown in Cleveland in which no candidate holds a clear majority of delegates at the convention, every remaining state contest to accumulate committed supporters could face similar scrutiny. With the stakes so high, it seemed such lawsuit threats would abound.
But less than 24 hours after Trump’s tweeted threat, his campaign backed down. Barry Bennett, a Trump senior adviser focused on his delegate operation, said Monday that Trump’s “lawsuit” was not in fact meant for a court of law, but for the Republican National Committee’s committee on contests—which under GOP rules hears complaints over the allocation and selection of delegates.