Donald Trump appears in court

Can Donald Trump Still Run For President Following Guilty Verdict?

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By Kelly Coffey-Behrens on May 30, 2024 at 6:54 PM EDT

On Thursday, May 30, 2024, history was made as former President Donald Trump is the first president to be convicted of a crime after a jury found him guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a 2016 hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Following the verdict, many are asking if Donald Trump, now a convicted felon, can still run for President of the United States.

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Former President Donald Found Guilty On All 34 Counts Of Falsifying Business Records

Donald Trump comes right up to the barriers at Trump Tower to wave to all the crowds

Former President Donald Trump was found guilty on all counts in his New York criminal hush money trial, which focused on allegations that he falsified business records to conceal a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.

Those records include 11 invoices from Michael Cohen, 11 checks paid to former lawyer Michael Cohen, and 12 entries in Trump's ledgers.

A jury consisting of 7 men and 6 women from New York reached the historic decision, making Trump the first President in U.S. history to be convicted of a crime. They alleged that Trump falsified the records to conceal unlawful interference in the 2016 presidential election through the $130,000 hush money payment, elevating the falsification charges to felonies.

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Donald Trump Breaks Silence On Guilty Verdict

Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower to head to court for Stormy Daniels hush money case.

"Our whole country is being rigged right now," he told the press outside the courtroom. "This was done by the Biden administration in order to wound, to hurt an opponent. A political opponent and I think it's just a disgrace, and we'll keep fighting, we'll fight till the end, and we'll win because our country has gone to hell. We don't have the same country anymore, we have a divided mess."

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He continued, "We are a nation in decline, serious decline of people pouring into our country right now. From prisons and from mental institutions. Terrorists and they're taking over our country. We have a country that's in big trouble, but this was a rigged decision right from day one. With a conflicted judge who should have never been allowed to try this case never. And we will fight for our constitution."

Trump concluded, "This is more from over. Thank you very much."

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Donald Trump Can Still Run For President Despite Being a Convicted Criminal

Donald Trump at CPAC 2024

As the US Constitution only has three requirements for presidential candidates, former President Donald Trump can continue with his election run.

Per the US Constitution, candidates must:

  • Be a natural born citizen.
  • Be at least 35 years old.
  • Have been a US resident for at least 14 years.

Because Trump meets all three requirements, it does not legally matter if he has been convicted of a crime.

In fact, Trump would not be the first to run for President as a criminal. In 1920, Socialist leader Eugene Debs ran his presidential campaign from federal prison in Atlanta, where he was serving a 10-year sentence for sedition.

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Michael Cohen Provided Testimony, But Donald Trump Did Not

Barron Trump graduates from Oxbridge Academy with parents Donald Trump and Melania Trump watching in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Despite initially declaring that he would "absolutely" testify, Trump did not take the witness stand to provide his own account of events.

Michael Cohen was the only witness to provide testimony about Trump’s direct involvement in the $130,000 payment and the subsequent reimbursement plan.

Trump's attorney, Todd Blanche, spent several days questioning Cohen's credibility, leading him to admit his history of lying, even under oath. Additionally, Blanche got Cohen to concede that he had defrauded Trump and his company of $30,000 by falsely claiming he had paid $50,000 to a technology company on Trump's behalf when he had actually paid closer to $20,000.

What's Next For Donald Trump?

Former US President Donald J. Trump speaks at the Pray Vote Stand Summit

In his closing argument earlier this week, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass told the jury that “the law is the law and it applies to everyone equally. There is no special standard for this defendant.”

“You, the jury, have the ability to hold the defendant accountable,” Steinglass added.

With Donald Trump found guilty on all charges in his Manhattan hush money trial, he still faces criminal charges in three other cases, including two for allegedly attempting to illegally overturn the 2020 election he lost to President Joe Biden.

Donald Trump will be sentenced on July 11, 2024. He faces a fine of up to $5,000 and up to four years in prison for each of the 34 felony counts he was convicted of.

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