Donald J. Trump’s campaign is apparently having a difficult time with background checks and data with regard to individuals signing up to be delegates at the Republican National Convention.
Exhibit A: earlier this month, Mother Jones reported that the campaign of the presumptive Republican nominee had approved a white nationalist leader as a delegate in California. The delegate, William Johnson, resigned after the media caught on. The Trump campaign attributed the selection to a database error.
Now, in another development, it’s being reported that a Maryland Trump delegate has been indicted on federal weapons and child pornography charges.
How it happened
Thirty-year-old Caleb Andrew Bailey of Waldorf, Maryland, was indicted last Wednesday after he allegedly tried to mail a package featuring a cache of weapons and explosives, NBC reports. Legal blog Law Newz reports that it was postal police who discovered the volatile contents of the package, which was addressed to someone in Wisconsin.
Bailey later contacted the Postal Service to let them know his package had not been delivered, providing the tracking number.
Neither Bailey nor the package’s intended recipient had a license to possess these materials.
After discovering this offense, authorities tried to get Bailey to meet with them, but when he refused to do that they investigated, executing a federal search warrant on Bailey’s home and seizing an illegal machine gun there.
According to Mother Jones, Bailey’s indictment, released on Thursday by the Department of Justice, alleges that Bailey “attempted to use and did use a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct to produce child pornography.”
Mother Jones reached out to the Maryland Republican Party and executive director Joe Cluster confirmed that the same Caleb Andrew Bailey had been approved by the Trump campaign as a delegate to the convention from the state’s fifth congressional district.
You might be wondering how Bailey rose to the station of Republican National Convention delegate. According to Law Newz, Bailey’s father is the former vice chair of the Maryland Republican Party.
Reaction from the Trump campaign
So how is the campaign responding to this?
NBC quoted Trump spokesman Hope Hicks. “We strongly condemn these allegations and leave it in the capable hands of law enforcement. He will be replaced immediately,” Hicks said.
According to NBC, the erstwhile Republican delegate faces up to ten years in prison for the weapons charge and 15-30 years for the production of child porn. His hearing is scheduled for May 24.
According to ABC News, Bailey’s lawyer Walter Brennan Jr., said this week that when Bailey is arraigned next week, he plans to plead not guilty.