Can Trump run again in 2024 election?

1 month ago 9

President Donald Trump failed to win his re-election bid against Democratic challenger Joe Biden, and now the president has been impeached for a historic second time - but will this be the definitive end of his time in power?

While under the US Constitution Mr Trump could have pursued the Oval Office again in 2024 following his election defeat to the President-elect, a second impeachment trial could change things, but it's not set in stone.

On 13 January, the House ratified an impeachment article that officially accuses the president of “incitement to insurrection” following the deadly siege on the US Capitol by pro-Trump supporters on 6 January.

The article now awaits transmission to a Senate, with less than a week left before Mr Trump’s term as president officially ends and Mr Biden is inaugurated.

While the president is unlikely to be removed from office during this time, the trial could impact and future plans the president may have had to run for office again in 2024. 

The impeachment by the House alone will not prevent Mr Trump from running for office a second time as that decision rests with the US Senate.

Following a trial, the Senate needs a two-thirds majority of its 100 members to vote in favour of the conviction of the president and the penalty is removal from office.

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If convicted, the Senate also has the option to vote to disqualify the president from holding public offices in the future, in which case he would be prohibited from running again in 2024.

According to a report by The New York Times, some advisers of the president have suggested he resign a few days before his term ends in order to avoid the risk of conviction and being barred from running in 2024.

The president has not commented publicly on any intention to run in the next election but has in the past reportedly told allies that he may plan to do so.

Allies of the president have often speculated that Mr Trump desires to run for office again in 2024 following his loss to Mr Biden this year's election.

Former Trump advisor Bryan Lanza previously said he believed the president would be in a “good position” to run again in four years’ time.

“If I'm advising the president and, occasionally, we have conversations I would say to him, ‘Sir, you are in a good position right now, if you come up short, to run again in four years’,” he said.

Ardent Trump supporter Senator Lindsey Graham also previously encouraged Mr Trump to run again to “keep his movement alive." 

Mr Trump has reportedly been dismissive of any suggestion that he leave the presidency early, suggesting it would further impact his influence within the GOP.

However, riots at the Capitol have also been particularly divisive within the Republican party and have led some House members to turn their back on the president and vote in favour of impeachment.

The shock over the president’s “incitement" of the mob has polarised the party even further, and commentators have suggested that a Trump 2024 nomination could “split the GOP for good."

Mr Lanza previously said that if Mr Trump wanted to run it would be important that he is careful on his “way out” to make sure that he does not “damage a potential race four years from now".

Notably, the insurrection at the Capitol could also have an impact on Mr Trump’s public popularity as his approval rating plunged following his role in encouraging violent action.

A Politico and Morning Consult poll revealed that 40 per cent of Republicans and conservative independents now say that they would vote for Mr Trump if he ran for President in 2024 in the GOP primary.

If Mr Trump is not convicted by the Senate and does follow through on a bid to run again, he would not be the first US president to do so, with President Grover Cleveland making a successful second election bid in 1892.

Cleveland became the 22nd president of the US in 1884, but was defeated in his re-election bid against Republican rival Benjamin Harrison. In 1892, Cleveland made a comeback and became the 24th president. 

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