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Can Trump Run for President in 2024 After Being Indicted?

So about that.

Orange man behind bars campaigning.

For as long as former-President Donald Trump has been doing something that sure does look like crime, people have wondered if he can legally run if the law catches up with him. This inquiry only heightened after he lost the 2020 election because now he didn’t have the protection of the Attorney General to keep a sitting president from indictment. Now it’s March 30 and a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict the former-President on charges of alleged involvement in paying adult-film actress Stormy Daniels hush money during the 2016 election.

The hush money is actually not the illegal part. It’s the fact that the money was said to have been paid for by or for the Trump campaign and not disclosed per campaign finance laws. The charge here is that Trump knew of it. What’s wild is that these laws give so much flexibility for companies and individuals to unethically pour obscene amounts of money into politics. If you screw up when the system is on your side, well, that’s embarrassing and unlucky.

While indicted, Trump actually can still run for president because he meets all of the qualifications. This is regardless of whether he’s in a jail cell or some luxury condo painted in chipped gold paint. The former president is at least 35, was born in America, and has lived here for at least 14 years. The only thing that could prevent him from running legally is if he’s convicted of engaging in an insurrection or rebellion against the U.S. None of the four cases against him at the moment would result in that charge with the present information.

What if Trump wins the election from jail?

Firstly, let’s be grateful thoughts and words don’t immediately manifest. Though I hate to admit it, this can’t be ruled out. Nothing regarding Trump really can. Eugene V. Debs (1920), Lydon LaRouche (1992), and Keith Judd (2012) are some of the high-profile people that have run for president from prison. However, Trump has the best chance of winning. (He’s also in this 2024 race alongside the also currently imprisoned Joe Exotic, so that might be another record.)

Cardozo Law professor, Kate Shaw, told Salon there are really only three ways this goes if Trump does manage to pull through and win.

Trump could be impeached again, the Cabinet could initiate 25th amendment proceedings to remove Trump from office, or Trump could present the case to the courts that his sentence must be suspended until after his term in office

Let’s hope none of it gets that far.

(featured image: Alyssa Shotwell with Canva)

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(she/her) Award-winning artist and blogger with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. Starting as an Online Editor for her college paper in October 2017, Alyssa began writing for the first time within two months of working in the newsroom. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3, Apex Legends, and CS:GO. Still trying to beat Saxon Farm on RCT 3 (so I can 100% the game.)