Will Donald Trump follow the legal advice he gave to Ted Cruz in 2016 on litigation challenges to ballot eligibility?

Washington Post, January 5, 2016:

“Republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question: ‘Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?’ That’d be a big problem,” Trump said when asked about the topic. “It’d be a very precarious one for Republicans because he’d be running and the courts may take a long time to make a decision. You don’t want to be running and have that kind of thing over your head.”

Trump added: “I’d hate to see something like that get in his way. But a lot of people are talking about it and I know that even some states are looking at it very strongly, the fact that he was born in Canada and he has had a double passport.”

CNN, January 6, 2016:

TRUMP: Well, here’s what I think. What I think I do, I’d go and seek a declaratory judgment if I was Ted.

BLITZER: What does that mean?

TRUMP: It means you go to court.

BLITZER: Which court?

TRUMP: You go to federal court to ask for what’s called a declaratory judgment. You go in seeking the decision of the court, without a court case. You go right in. You go before a judge. You do it quickly. It can go quickly, declaratory judgment. It’s very good. I’ve used it on numerous occasions. I’ve been pretty good with it actually.

So when there’s a doubt because there’s a doubt. What Ted doesn’t want to happen is, he doesn’t want to be in there. I mean, I think I’m going to win. I’m leading in every poll by a lot.

But I have a lot of friends in the Republican Party. I have a lot of friends all over the place, all right? If Ted should eke it out and I hope that doesn’t happen, and he’s got this cloud over his head, I don’t think it’s going to be possible for him to do very well. I don’t think it’s actually possible for the Republicans to let it happen because he’ll have this cloud.

So what you do is go in immediately like tomorrow, this afternoon, you go to federal court, you ask for declaratory judgment. That’s — you want the court to rule and once the court rules you have your decision.

BLITZER: But that could take a long time for the court because I don’t think the Supreme Court has never really ruled on what is a natural born citizen.

TRUMP: That’s the problem, is this doubt. People have doubt. Again, this was not my suggestion. I didn’t bring this up. A reporter asked me the question but the Democrats have brought it up and you had somebody, a Congressman say no matter what happens, we’re going to be suing on this matter. That’s a tough matter for Ted.

. . .

Look, with Ted, he should ask for declaratory judgment because that would clear it all out. And I’m doing this for the good of Ted, I’m not doing for (inaudible) because I like him, and he likes me. We have a good relationship.

This would clear it up. You go into court and ask for declaratory judgment. The judge will rule. And once the judge rules that he is OK then the Democrats can’t bring a lawsuit later on.

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