Even if he were threatened with accusations, Trump could aim for the presidency

(Washington) Can Donald Trump retry a presidential campaign if indicted? A grand jury has been set up to determine which charges could affect him or his group, posing new risks to his ambitions for 2024.


Elodie Cousin and Michael Mathis
France Media

Sweeping the news as “the continuation of the greatest witch hunt in US history,” Donald Trump, from his first reaction, recalled his popularity among Republicans … and hinted that they were trying to prevent a new presidential attempt.

“It is interesting,” he wrote on Tuesday evening, that the grand jury was announced on the same day, “a poll indicating that I am far ahead of the Republican presidential primaries and the 2024 elections.”

According to several US media outlets, a grand jury has been appointed to determine whether Manhattan Attorney Cyrus Vance’s case regarding Donald Trump and his group can warrant a trial. It is a phase that lasts six months, according to the Washington Post.

The attorney general has been investigating since 2019 the potential accounting fraud of the Trump Organization, the Donald Trump holding company that manages all of its interests.

Never before has a former president been charged in a criminal case in the United States.

No legal obstacles

The issue is “potentially very dangerous” for Donald Trump, asserts Howard Schweiber, a professor of American politics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

But 45e He told France Press that the president of the United States could get away with the indictment because there is no indication that with this grand jury, Cyrus Vance is specifically targeting him. He could actually target the Trump Organization or collaborators with the former US president within that group.

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“What seems clear is that major criminal charges are looming on the horizon” of officials at the head of the Trump group, “he continues.

But even if indicted, the real estate mogul would have no legal trouble trying to run a presidential campaign again.

The laws governing federal elections do not state “there is no requirement that a candidate for president or Congress not be indicted,” Rick Hasen, an election law specialist at the University of California, told AFP.

And so in 2008, Ted Stevens, a Republican senator from Alaska, represented himself when a graft indictment was indicted by a grand jury in a corruption case. He lost.

A candidate even in prison?

“Criminal convictions do not prevent running for federal office.” “There is no law that prohibits them,” adds Stephen Hoffner, professor of law at Ohio State.

In this state, a convict and a former Democratic and Independent Parliamentarian at the time named Jim Trafikant had represented in 2002 in the House of Representatives from his cell. He lost.

What if a candidate wins the presidential election from prison?

“It’s going to be an amazing situation,” responded Brian Calte, a professor of law at the University of Michigan of course. But, “I imagine the judge will take this into account when pronouncing the verdict, to look for alternatives.”

Howard Schweiber notes that this possibility is “highly unlikely,” especially given the “extreme scarcity of long prison terms for financial crimes, particularly for accused persons of political influence,” and the electoral long road, from primaries to elections, must pass.

Spur his forces

What is certain is that the voters most loyal to Donald Trump will remain loyal to him.

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Of course, it would hurt him among moderate voters, but “there is no real center anymore today,” says Brian Calt. “For 99% of people, the question does not matter: They are divided between those who disavow Trump and those who encourage Trump, and any questions about the legal differences are not relevant at all.”

Howard Schweiber adds that the former Republican president “has always had the support of a solid core of supporters whose accusation of embezzlement only strengthens their loyalty.”

After all, didn’t the New Yorker himself say he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and shoot someone without losing a vote?

While all of these scenarios are still far-fetched, “the mere possibility that they will not be dumped in the running is absolutely remarkable,” says Mr. Calt.

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