YES, Trump Could Run For President From Prison If He’s Convicted!

Former President Donald Trump’s federal indictment amid other criminal investigations raises the possibility that the leading Republican for the 2024 presidential nomination could face time in prison.

Trump faces a second indictment this year, this time on federal charges regarding his handling of classified documents, but there stands no barrier to running for president as a convicted felon or even behind a prison cell, as Eugene V. Debs did in 1920.

All eyes are on the former president and how he will move forward after what House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) called a “dark day” for the United States.

For legal purposes, the two key points are whether Trump is convicted and whether he wins the presidency.

Trump’s legal counsel will likely aim to delay the trial for as long as possible, though it’s almost certain that Trump will be tried criminally in the middle of his presidential bid. Trump would be able to make bail and won’t be jailed in the interim, and he can keep running for office regardless of the charges against him.

While Debs is far from the only person who sought the Oval Office while in prison, he is thought of as the most noteworthy. In 1920, he became the Socialist Party nominee while serving a 10-year federal sentence for encouraging people to refrain from the World War I draft.


Debs only earned 3% of the popular vote, not nearly adequate to raise a genuine consideration of the intricate issues of what happens if an imprisoned candidate wins the general election.

If Trump were elected and took office prior to his trial reaching a verdict, some legal scholars have proposed that he could dismiss federal charges against himself because the Justice Department would be compelled to answer to a sitting president.

“I mean, he could order it ended almost certainly,” Case Western University law school professor Jonathan Adler told the Washington Examiner.

Legal experts have hypothesized the trial could take up to a year and a half before it starts.

“Things move quickly in federal court under the Speedy Trial Act, but in a case of this magnitude, we can expect it to take about a year before it goes to trial,” Steve Toland, a criminal defense attorney who focuses on federal white-collar defense and investigations, told the Washington Examiner.

But Adler was not completely persuaded the criminal proceedings against Trump would continue until the November 2024 election.

“We usually expect criminal proceedings, especially federal criminal proceedings, to be somewhat slow, but I would not assume necessarily that any of these trials would extend the election,” Adler said.

Others have said actions like a self-pardon could be unconstitutional because it sidesteps the belief that nobody should be the judge in his or her own case. And the DOJ could depart from its policy in “extraordinary circumstances” under the approval of the U.S. attorney general.

“This is contested … but I’m most convinced by the argument that the nature of a pardon as something that can be given — has to be bequeathed upon someone or given to somebody — is such that it can’t be given to oneself,” Adler said.

And some experts say a self-pardon is constitutional because the pardon power is very extensively worded in the Constitution, stating that presidents “shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.”

But for state charges, like those filed in New York and expected to be filed in Georgia, they would prevail in place because they are not under federal authority, Adler said.

It’s not obvious what impact Trump’s federal indictment will have on his front-runner position in the GOP primary. His poll numbers climbed after his indictment in March in a separate case in New York.

Trump has used investigations and his previous state charges as fundraising tools, articulating to supporters that he is under assault from the “deep state.” Trump’s campaign said in April that donations swelled after he was indicted in New York.

With the indictment still under seal, Trump’s lawyer says he is charged with seven criminal counts, including violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy.

And any forthcoming trial would likely take place months from now, permitting the former president to campaign freely.


Trump will make his initial appearance at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Tuesday.

“The case will likely stay in Florida because the main activities constituting the crime occurred there. Since most of the witnesses and Mar-a-Lago employees are in Florida, it is expected to remain in South Florida,” Toland said.








Ella Ford

Ella Ford

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