United States

Donald Trump Convicted On All 34 Counts In Historic Hush Money Trial: Can He Still Run For President In 2024 Elections?

Former President Donald Trump has been convicted on all 34 felony counts in a landmark hush money trial in Manhattan. Despite the convictions, he remains eligible to run in the 2024 presidential elections.

Christine Cornell
Former President Donald Trump In Court Photo: Christine Cornell

A jury in Manhattan found Donald Trump guilty on all 34 counts of felony charges for falsifying business records in his New York hush money criminal trial. The sentencing is scheduled for July 11, as decided by Judge Juan Merchan.

The prosecution argued that Trump was involved in an illegal conspiracy to compromise the 2016 presidential election's integrity and engaged in efforts to suppress damaging information. This included hiding a payment made to an adult film actress.

This is the first time a former president or leading party candidate has been convicted of a felony. Can Trump still run for office? The answer is yes, Trump is still eligible to run for office.

Trump denounced the jury's verdict as a "disgrace" and asserted that the "real verdict" would be determined in the upcoming presidential election on November 5. President Joe Biden remarked on social media that defeating his 2024 opponent would have to happen at the polls.

Moreover, the U.S. Constitution only sets three qualifications for someone to be President of the United States. The candidate must be a "natural born" citizen, at least 35 years old, and a resident of the U.S. for at least 14 years. Interestingly, there is no rule that says a convicted felon cannot run for president.

Historical Precedents

There have been a few instances in American history where presidential candidates campaigned after being indicted or even convicted of crimes. For example, in 1920, Socialist candidate Eugene V. Debs ran for president while he was in prison for sedition.

More recently, former Texas Governor Rick Perry ran for president in the 2016 Republican primary while under indictment for abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official. Although Perry eventually dropped out of the race, these examples show that legal troubles do not automatically disqualify someone from running for the nation's highest office.

What if Trump Goes to Jail?

Currently, former President Donald Trump is awaiting sentencing scheduled for July 11. Until then, he remains free. Legal experts believe that even after his sentencing, Trump is likely to stay out of jail until after the election. As a first-time offender convicted of a non-violent crime, he could receive a sentence as light as probation. Even if he does receive jail time, it is expected that his legal team will appeal the decision, which could delay his imprisonment.

Future Legal Challenges

Some states have attempted to create additional rules to prevent Trump from appearing on the presidential ballot, but these efforts have not succeeded. The U.S. Supreme Court has already turned down an effort by several states to bar Trump from running based on the 14th Amendment, which prevents individuals who have engaged in insurrection from holding office again. The court did not want to create a “state-by-state patchwork” of eligibility rules.