From The Oval Office To The Dark Web: Trump Pledges Help To Notorious Silk Road Boss

Former President Donald Trump made a surprise appearance at the Libertarian Party convention on Saturday, where he called for the commutation of Ross Ulbricht’s sentence, the founder of the Silk Road online marketplace. The move is seen as an attempt by Trump to broaden his support ahead of the 2024 presidential election and neutralize the threat from third-party candidates.

Trump: Pro-Cryptocurrency Stance

In his speech, Trump positioned himself as a pro-cryptocurrency candidate, emphasizing his positive view of cryptocurrency companies and the potential for the US to become a leader in the field. He pledged to appoint Libertarians to his Cabinet and other senior administration posts if elected.

Ulbricht, who is serving a life sentence for running Silk Road, is considered a martyr by many Libertarians. His call to commute his sentence resonated with the crowd, with many attendees wearing “Free Ross” signs.

Crypto Regulation Debate

The former president’s embrace of pro-crypto policies contrasts with the stance of many Republicans and Democrats, who have called for increased oversight of the industry in the wake of the collapse of FTX. Trump’s potential appointee for a top administration job, Vivek Ramaswamy, has advocated for deregulation of the cryptocurrency industry.

His address to the Libertarian convention was an unusual move, given that the party plans to nominate its own presidential and vice presidential candidates. Libertarians do not intend to endorse Trump or partner with him, but he believes their support is crucial to secure their consistent 3% voter base.

Kennedy’s Independent Bid

The former commander-in-chief’s appearance at the convention comes a day after Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is running an independent bid, also addressed the gathering. Kennedy’s bid threatens to peel away votes from both major party candidates, and Trump has been targeting him in an effort to minimize the impact of his candidacy.

Legal Challenges

His speech comes amid his ongoing legal challenges, including a hush-money payments trial that could result in a verdict next week. Despite these challenges, a recent poll shows him leading President Joe Biden among voters in seven swing states.

Trump’s appearance at the Libertarian convention and his call to commute Ulbricht’s sentence highlight his efforts to broaden his support base and appeal to Libertarian voters.

His pro-cryptocurrency stance and his unusual move of addressing the convention reflect his willingness to engage with groups outside the traditional Republican base. As the 2024 presidential election approaches, Trump’s strategies and the impact of third-party candidates will continue to shape the political landscape.

Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView