Can Trump run again in 2024 election?

Donald Trump made history in becoming the first president in US history to be impeached twice by the House of Representatives.

But while losing to Joe Biden in November 2020 may have dented the one-term president’s pride and fueled 18-months of lies about rigged ballot boxes, it now seems almost certain that Mr Trump will run again for the White House in 2024.

Mr Trump has not stopped fundraising since moving from Washington DC to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, amassing a war chest of around $120m to support Republicans who backed his “Big Lie” to defeat those in the GOP who did not.

And he has repeatedly hinted that he plans on running again in 2024, telling his supporters at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando in February, “We did it twice, and we’ll do it again” as he continued to claim he had not lost to Mr Biden.

“We’re going to be doing it again a third time.”

And Mr Trump has been back out on the road this year ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, holding MAGA rallies in Michigan, North Carolina and Georgia, with others planned in states like Alabama.

The ex-president’s run at a second term became a possibility when the Senate failed to convict Mr Trump at his impeachment trial on 13 February 2021, the shortest one of its kind in presidential history.

Mr Trump was impeached for an unprecedented second time in January in the House by a vote of 232-197, with 10 Republicans joining Democrats against him.

He was found guilty by the Democratic-dominated House of Representatives on one charge of incitement for urging his supporters to “fight like hell” before they attacked the Capitol on 6 January and tried to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory.

If the Senate had also voted to convict Mr Trump then he could have been barred from ever standing again. However, only seven Republicans voted to convict along with all 50 Democrats on 13 February – 10 fewer than the two-thirds majority needed to find the former president guilty.

Under the Constitution, “judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.”

Mr Trump’s takeover of the Republican party is overwhelming, with no major candidates running in 2022 having broken from the former reality TV host, but that does not mean her faces no obstacles before a 2024 run.

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In reality, the biggest hurdle he may face could be a legal rather than electoral one, with Mr Trump fighting investigations on several fronts.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has a New York court to hold him in civil contempt and fine him $10,000 a day after he refused to hand over documents related to her office’s investigation into whether his company asked over and under-valued assets to get favorable loans .

New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office then publicly declared that their investigation into possible tax fraud by Mr Trump was “very much ongoing”, despite suggestions to the contrary.

Mr Trump also faces a defamation case magazine writer E. Jean Carroll, who sued Trump for defamation in 2019 in state court after he denied her allegations he raped her in a New York department store dressing room in the mid-1990s.

In denying her claims, Mr Trump said that she was not his type, and alleged she had made-up the claim to help the sales of her book.

As it currently stands, Mr Trump could run again. If he is convicted of a crime, it is still possible he could run. Over the course of history three people have launched presidential bids while incarcerated, while Slate reported legal professor Kate Shaw as saying: “When we’re talking about federal office, the limitations would really be political, not legal.”

“The Constitution actually is really clear about what the qualifications to run for president, or a member of Congress or Senate are.”

Only three elected officials, former federal judges West Humphreys, Robert Archibald, and Thomas Porteous, have ever been permanently barred from holding future office in American history.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at The Rosen Shingle Creek on February 24, 2022 in Orlando, Florida.

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While the 2024 presidential election is still more than two years away, Mr Trump remains the overwhelmingly dominant figure in his party and would appear set to win his party’s nomination if he decides to run again.

In a March, 56 per cent of Republican voters told a Morning Consult/Politico poll that they would be likely to vote for Mr Tump in a hypothetical 2024 presidential primary. That figure is the highest level of support for the former president in seven polls taken since November 2020.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is seen as the most likely to contest Mr Trump, with 13 per cent saying they would back him in the hypothetical primary. Mike Pence, Mr Trump’s former vice president came in at 10 per cent.

Earlier in March another Morning Consult/Politico poll showed that 69 per cent of GOP voters said Mr Trump should run, including 47 per cent who say he “definitely” should.

Meanwhile, Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger, who is not running for re-election, has said he “would love” to run against Mr Trump in a primary election “even if he crushed me.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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