The recent news of Donald Trump indicted by a Manhattan grand jury for alleged campaign finance violations has left many wondering about the possible implications if he were to be elected president while under indictment. While no constitutional restrictions are preventing him from running or holding office, the situation could potentially lead the country into uncharted territory, Fox News reported.
Donald Trump Indicted, What Happens If Elected President?
Legal experts suggest that if Trump were to be elected president while under indictment, his lawyers would likely move to hold the indictment in abeyance to pause it while he serves. It’s unlikely that a president would be taken into custody and sentenced to prison while serving, but impeachment charges may be brought up at that point, making it a political matter.
However, the lack of clear legal rules on the matter makes it difficult to predict what could happen if Trump were to be indicted and then elected president. This situation has never happened before, and the framers of the Constitution likely did not anticipate it.
The potential indictment could benefit Trump by making him a “martyr” and bolstering his popularity among his base. Moreover, a typical criminal case in New York may take anywhere from six months to more than a year to transition from indictment to trial, which could align with the 2024 presidential election and even extend into the following administration.
A Trump-Indicted President Can Not Pardon Himself?
As president, Trump would not have the constitutional authority to pardon himself of state charges, so Congress could move forward with impeachment proceedings or attempt to remove him from office via the 25th Amendment.
The indictment has already been criticized by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who accused the Manhattan District Attorney’s office of pursuing a political agenda and weaponizing the office. Despite this criticism, the indictment could still have a political impact on Trump’s base.
In conclusion, the possibility of Donald Trump being indicted and then elected president while under indictment raises numerous questions and concerns. The lack of clear legal rules on the process makes it difficult to predict what could happen, but this situation would have significant political ramifications. Whether or not this will affect Trump’s base remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure – this is uncharted territory.