Washington: Donald Trump may continue campaigning for another term in the White House despite being indicted for illegally possessing classified government documents after he leaves office in 2021. Trump, 77, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges related to tampering with classified documents at the federal building in Miami, Florida. For the first time in the US, federal charges have been brought against a former president.
This indictment is the second criminal case filed against Trump. Trump is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election. In early April, Trump surrendered to authorities in New York and appeared in court to face 34 charges of tampering with records.
He also said that he was not guilty of these allegations. On May 9, Trump was held liable in a civil lawsuit filed by columnist E. Jean Carroll, who claimed he raped her and defamed her. However, the jury did not find that Trump had raped Carroll but concluded that he sexually assaulted her.
The jury ordered Trump to pay nearly $5 million. The question arises from these three cases in case of conviction in New York or Florida, or now even after being convicted in the Carroll case, can he become the US President? Will Trump be able to contest the presidential election in 2024? According to experts, the short answer from a legal perspective is ‘yes’. If Trump is convicted, no charge will prevent him from taking office. The hearings will go on for several months from now, and Trump can campaign freely during this period.
Richard Haasen, a professor at the University of Carolina, Los Angeles, told CNN that nothing is stopping Trump from running for re-election even if he is indicted or convicted. According to the US Constitution, a candidate must be a US citizen by birth, be at least 35 years old, and have been a US resident for at least 14 years to run for President. However, other constitutional restrictions may prevent a person from running for president, but they do not apply to Trump.