Exploring the Possibility: Trump's Potential Presidential Run Amidst Indictment Charges
Former President Donald Trump has announced that he intends to run for president in 2024, despite being federally indicted on charges related to the alleged mishandling of classified records. Legal experts have pointed out that Trump's indictment does not disqualify him from running for the highest office in the United States.
The U.S. Constitution sets out the eligibility requirements for presidential candidates. According to constitutional scholars, a candidate must be a natural-born citizen, at least 35 years old, and have been a resident of the United States for at least 14 years. These criteria, however, do not include provisions regarding indictment or criminal charges.
Retired Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz explained to The Epoch Times that the only way Trump could be disqualified is if it can be proven that he fought for the South during the Civil War. Dershowitz clarified that apart from this exceptional circumstance, as long as Trump meets the age, citizenship, and residency requirements, he remains eligible to run for president, even if he is convicted and sentenced.
Dershowitz was referencing the 14th Amendment's "disqualification clause," which targeted former Confederate soldiers involved in the mid-19th-century Civil War. The clause stipulates that individuals who have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States shall be disqualified from holding office. However, it does not address indictments or criminal charges unrelated to the Civil War.
Richard Hasen, a law professor at the University of California-Los Angeles, echoed this sentiment, stating that there are no legal barriers preventing Trump from running for president while being indicted or even convicted.
On Thursday evening, Trump took to social media to announce that he had been indicted on charges related to the alleged mishandling of classified documents. However, the indictment has not been unsealed, and the Justice Department has not publicly confirmed it or filed any charges.
Trump's lawyer, James Trusty, revealed on CNN that the indictment includes charges of willful retention of national defense information, obstruction of justice, false statements, and conspiracy. Trump has vehemently denied these charges and characterized them as an attempt to interfere in the 2024 election.
In a video posted on his Truth Social platform, Trump referred to it as "a DARK DAY for the United States of America" and proclaimed his innocence, vowing to prove it decisively and swiftly. He also mentioned being summoned to appear in court on Tuesday afternoon in Miami, although it remains uncertain whether he will attend and what the procedural details will entail.
Despite the indictment hanging over his head, legal experts assert that Trump's eligibility to run for president in 2024 remains intact. As the election season unfolds, it will be interesting to see how this indictment impacts his candidacy and the overall political landscape.