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Wait, Can Donald Trump Still Run For President Now That He’s A Convicted Felon?

Updated Published

Trump has officially made history as the first former U.S. president to be convicted of a felony. 

On May 30, former president Donald Trump became a convicted felon after he was found guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records by a jury of his peers. The former president was convicted of covering up a $130,000 hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, an adult film star who said the two had previously engaged in sexual acts. The public’s knowledge of this sex scandal would’ve threatened Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, which is why he allegedly decided to keep it on the down-low.

Trump’s trial lasted for four weeks. During this time, jurors heard the testimonies of 22 witnesses and reviewed evidence including phone records and checks. The jury deliberated for about a day and a half before coming to a decision.

Trump referred to the trial as a “rigged, disgraceful trial” and said the real verdict will happen on Election Day, November 5. Now that Trump is a convicted felon, the biggest question on many people’s minds is if he’s even allowed to run in the 2024 presidential election given his conviction. Don’t worry bestie, we’ve got the deets for you! 

Can Trump run for president now that he’s a convicted felon?

Yes, Trump can still run for president because he meets the candidate requirements. In the past, there have been presidential candidates who’ve run for office from prison, notably Eugene V. Debs. So, despite his felony conviction, Trump is still able compete in the 2024 presidential election and return to the White House if he wins. 

Can Trump vote?

Despite being still allowed to run for president, there’s a chance he might not be able to vote in the 2024 presidential election. Although Trump is a resident of Florida (where convicted felons cannot vote, typically until they fulfill their sentences) his ability to vote is determined by the state where he was convicted, which in this case, is New York. 

According to New York voting laws, if Trump happens to be serving a prison sentence during the election, he will indeed lose his right to vote. However, voting rights are restored when a convicted felon is released from prison — even if just on parole. This was established by a law passed by the New York state legislature in 2021.

So, long story short: Trump will be able to vote if he’s not imprisoned in New York state on Election Day.

Can he pardon himself if he wins?

Nope. Trump cannot pardon himself since he was convicted of a state crime and not a federal one.

Will Trump go to jail?

Trump could possibly go to jail as a result of this conviction. Justice Juan Merchan will consider several factors for Trump’s sentencing on July 11. This conviction is Trump’s first, and a white collar crime. He has no prior offenses, which means he could receive probation, according to NPR’s interview with Lauren-Brooke Eisen, a senior director at the Brennan Center for Justice.

Howeverm Trump’s gag order, which means he cannot make public statements about the witnesses and jurors connected to the case, may impact his sentencing. On April 30, Trump was threatened with jail after repeatedly violating his gag order. He has been held in contempt of court several times, and fined.

Trump faces a maximum sentence of four years for each count.

In the aftermath of his conviction, the Biden campaign released a statement. “In New York today, we saw that no one is above the law,” Micheal Tyler, Biden’s communication director said.

Now that Trump is a convicted felon, it will be interesting to see how the candidates proceed with their campaigns and how Election Day unfolds.

Alisha Allison is a national writer for the Entertainment/Culture section of Her Campus who started in January 2024. Alisha is a senior at University at Buffalo majoring in political science and minoring in social justice. She is also pursuing her journalism certificate. She’s has gained experience writing stories for her journalism classes, as an assistant editor on the news desk (former staff and contributing writer) for her university’s student-led newspaper, and a writer for Her Campus Buffalo. She is on the executive board for two chapters of national organizations at UB. Alisha plans on attending law school in the future. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and spending time with her friends and family. She also likes watching television shows, movies, and video essays, and reading novels.