As President Trump gets ready to face some of the harshest political prosecutions ever as his campaign activities now become criminal charges, many wonders if he could be facing real prison time. If he did, could he still be elected, and would he be allowed to lead from jail? All good questions to be asking.
With charges concerning the allegations of “hush money” between Trump and Stormy Daniels, many wonder about the likelihood of him going to jail over this, and what could happen.
First off, 34 counts of business fraud are nothing to sneeze at. It sounds like and is a lot of different pieces of the pie.
Yet, this also means they are struggling for anything they can grasp to ensure they can make something stick. As opposed to less but more serious charges, investigators have instead chosen to take a “spaghetti to the wall” method. The same kind they use in many criminal cases when they have no real evidence beyond circumstantial. With all the information released thus far, that is exactly where they are.
Secondly, there is absolutely nothing in the US Constitution that would prevent him from holding office even if convicted on all 34 counts. Instead, there are precedents he can rely on that would ensure he was allowed to run.
In 1920, socialist candidate Eugene Debs ran for President as he served a 10-year sentence for his role in sedition in a Georgia State Prison. While later repealed, he was convicted under the Sedition Act of 1918 for his opposition to the US having any involvement in World War I. A surprise to many, he received nearly a million votes or 3.5% of the popular vote at that time. In December of 1921, President Warren G. Harding commuted his sentence to time served.
Lyndon LaRouche ran for president while serving time on a mail fraud conviction in 1992. The far-right activist and widely considered “conspiracy theorist” was able to run a full campaign from jail. However, Trump and his propensity to have big events for campaign stops, he wouldn’t have that connection to encourage his fan base. The man has a stage presence that many musicians would sell their souls to get.
Granted, cutting this off could hand the whole thing to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who has a similar charismatic presence with his voter base in FL. With his previous positive interactions with President Trump, his direct connection could make him a natural fit to step in. Yet, if he won, there is also the question of administering the oath. The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t need a full public “dog and pony show” to be legitimate, as the Constitution doesn’t require it.
State of The Union addresses to Congress would come remotely or written like they did in the 19th or early 20th Centuries. The “nuclear football” on the other hand needs to be within hand’s reach of the President 24/7. So far, the hypothesis is that this person would likely be spending time in an adjacent cell with the suitcase, just in case. When it comes to being guarded, he would have the Secret Service protecting him 24/7 as well.
Due to the charges being filed at the state level, he would be powerless to pardon himself or to get the Federal Bureau of Prisons to improve his conditions. This means he would be treated similarly to other prisoners but would likely still have additional protections simply out of common sense.
The idea of anyone currently in jail becoming President or even mounting a real campaign inside the US is ludicrous. While possible, it would be a horrific look for the nation and would send a horrible message of instability and disloyalty throughout the US. Either way, the left is doing everything it can to ensure a difficult if not impossible election for Trump in 2024. This needs to be at the forefront of voters’ minds when the time for the primaries comes.