Ex-President Donald Trump has been charged with multiple felonies, but that doesn’t stop him from running for president again.
The Constitution doesn’t say anything about a president having a clean criminal record. If he gets convicted, things get a bit messy. The country would be in uncharted territory, with some big decisions left to federal judges.
But running a campaign from prison would be a logistical nightmare. His campaign staff would need to handle the fundraising. States could try to keep him off the ballot by passing laws requiring a clean criminal record, but that might not hold up legally.
If Trump is convicted, he probably won’t be able to vote since he’s registered in Florida, where felons lose their voting rights. He could switch his registration to New York, a place with fewer restrictions and where the convicted can vote while on parole or probation. But, he’d still lose his voting rights if he’s in prison. So, he could be in a strange situation where he could still run for president, but couldn’t vote.
If he gets elected while in prison, the country would be in a real pickle. Legally, he could still be president, but it would probably cause a legal crisis that would need to be sorted out by the courts. He could try to pardon himself or get his sentence commuted, but that would be a major issue and would probably end up in the Supreme Court.
If he gets elected while a case is ongoing, the charges could get dropped. The Justice Department doesn’t indict sitting presidents, so it might just drop the case. But this is all uncharted territory, so who knows what would actually happen.
More at The New York Times.