The AtlanticThe Atlantic

Yes, Trump could get convicted and still become president again

By Kimberly Wehle

13 Apr 2023 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

If Donald Trump is convicted of crimes, he can still run for president and potentially serve a second term. There's no U.S. law that exists to stop him from doing so. The Atlantic explains.

With Donald Trump under indictment in Manhattan while at the same time the current front-runner for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, an obvious question is top of mind: Can he continue to run, and perhaps even serve a second term, if convicted?

The short answer is that no law exists to stop either possibility—at least not for the crimes he is currently accused of in New York. The same is not exactly true for the crimes he may yet be indicted for relating to his role in the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol. One criminal statute that Special Counsel Jack Smith may use to charge Trump specifically bars offenders from holding future office. But even if he were convicted of that insurrection-related charge, accountability under the law would likely fall at the feet of Republican lawmakers—and, barring a profound conversion, they are not going to keep him from the nation’s highest office.

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