Former President Donald Trump may meet next week with fellow Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives when they hear from candidates who hope to replace ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy, several media outlets reported on Thursday.
Several media outlets reported that Trump was considering a trip to Washington on Tuesday to attend a closed-door forum for Republican speaker candidates.
A Trump spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Republican congressional leadership sources likewise did not respond, or declined to comment.
It would be his first visit to Capitol Hill since his supporters attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to try to prevent lawmakers from certifying his 2020 White House loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
It was unclear whether Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, would ask lawmakers to vote for him to lead the Republican-controlled chamber. At least two House Republicans have said they would back him.
Before entering the courtroom for his civil fraud trial on Wednesday, Trump acknowledged the calls for him to serve as speaker but said he remained focused on the 2024 election.
House rules do not require the speaker to actually be a member of Congress. However, Republicans require leaders to step aside if they are indicted for a felony that carries a prison sentence of at least two years.
Trump has been indicted on 91 felony counts in four separate criminal cases including two that accuse him of illegally trying to subvert his 2020 presidential election loss.
The House is currently leaderless after a rebellious faction of Republicans forced a vote on Tuesday that removed McCarthy from his post.
Two Republican lawmakers are campaigning for the job: Representative Steve Scalise, who was second to McCarthy on the leadership ladder, and Representative Jim Jordan, an outspoken conservative who has led investigations into the Biden administration. At least one other, Representative Kevin Hern, has said he may run for the post as well.
Republicans are due to meet next Tuesday behind closed doors to hear from their speaker candidates. A vote is scheduled for the following day.
To win the speaker’s gavel, a candidate must win a majority of votes in the 435-seat chamber. That could be difficult as Republicans hold a narrow 221-212 majority and Democrats are expected to vote for their leader, Representative Hakeem Jeffries.