A Republican National Committee member sent an email urging his fellow members to change the rules in order to prevent a primary challenger from contesting President Donald Trump's nomination in 2020.
What did the email say?
Committee member Jevon O. A. Williams represents the Virgin Islands in the Republican National Committee. In an email obtained by the Washington Examiner, Williams told his fellow RNC members that "the political history is clear. No Republican president opposed for re-nomination has ever won re-election."
According to RNC rules, any primary challenger to Trump would be eligible for a vote during the 2020 Republican National Convention if the challenger wins a plurality of the delegates in five separate states or territories.
"Unfortunately, loopholes in the rules governing the 2020 re-nomination campaign are enabling these so-called Republicans to flirt with the possibility of contested primaries and caucuses," Williams warned. "While President Trump would win re-nomination, it wouldn't come quick and it wouldn't be inexpensive. Any contested re-nomination campaign — even a forlorn hope — would only help Democrats."
Williams said that the only way to prevent this was to change the rules.
"Accordingly," he said, "I am asking for your support to take the unprecedented step of amending the rules to close loopholes in the re-nomination campaign, including Rule 40," he said.
Such a move could lead to criticism that the RNC is rigging the election for Trump.
In 2016, Republicans, including Trump, criticized the Democratic National Committee for its use of superdelegates to boost the number of votes going to presidential nominee Hillary Clinton prior to her nomination. A change to Rule 40 would likely be viewed as essentially producing the same result.