Donald Trump predicts arrest – Can he still run for president if indicted?

US President Donald Trump claimed on Saturday that he would be arrested within a few days. As a New York grand jury investigates hush money payments to women, the Republican leader issued an extraordinary call for his supporters. But as many party leaders rally to his side, it is pertinent to note that arrest or even indictment would technically have no bearing on his upcoming Presidential run. 

The claim remains unverified with officials still working to near a decision on charging the former president. In recent days however, protests and social media calls for action have increased greatly, with many voicing support for Trump.

No US president, while in office or afterward, has faced criminal charges. And Trump has said he will continue campaigning even if charged with a crime.

Will it affect Donald Trump’s 2024 run for President?

In November last year, the controversial leader had announced plans for a 2024 presidential bid. With several prominent members of the erstwhile Trump administration now vying for the top post, Republican leaders appear to be headed for a ‘messy’ primary.

The possibility of Donald Trump being charged for allegedly covering up hush money payments to a porn star during his 2016 campaign is uncharted territory – no US president has ever faced criminal charges. However, it is pertinent to note that there is no legal deterrent to his run for office. 

The qualifications – as listed in Article 2 of the US Constitution make no mention of a potential candidate’s carceral status or criminal record. In theory then, Trump can run for office – whether convicted by a state or federal government or not. While he could have been barred from running for any federal office if convicted in one of his two impeachment trials, the former president was acquitted in both cases.

The difficulties of being a convicted candidate come instead from public perception and the logistical obstacles of campaigning or taking oath from prison (if incarcerated).

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