General Question

Caravanfan's avatar

What does the law say about a convicted felon running for President of the United States?

Asked by Caravanfan (13587points) 2 weeks ago
36 responses
“Great Question” (7points)

I could look it up, but more fun to ask my fluther buddies

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Answers

LadyMarissa's avatar

Even if he gets jail time, there is nothing stopping him from running!!! Ironically, if I was a convicted felon, I would be blocked from voting for him as that IS illegal!!! God forbid that he wins in Nov, he can run the country from jail. CRAZY!!! Even crazier, they don’t know if the Secret Service will have to serve time in jail as well. I don’t see that as a problem as I’m assuming that the worst he’ll receive is home confinement.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Nothing . . . but independent voters will say something maybe some GOPs.

Caravanfan's avatar

I was amused that when I turned on Fox News it took 25 seconds before I heard the words “Hunter Biden”.

chyna's avatar

@Caravanfan I’m surprised it took that long!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Caravanfan waiting. for “what about Hillary ” !

MrGrimm888's avatar

^I forecast a steady rain of “what abouts.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

I wonder how Republicans can even stand to look in the mirror.

chyna's avatar

The law needs to be changed if it does allow a convicted felon to run for a public office. But since our present Chief Justice’s are in trump’s pocket, that won’t happen anytime soon.

gondwanalon's avatar

@chyna As you likely know, the U.S. Congress (the legislative branch of government) makes the laws not the Supreme Court.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The founding fathers are turning over….

MrGrimm888's avatar

And as we know, the congress is majority conservative….

gorillapaws's avatar

I’m not a constitutional scholar or anything, but my understanding is that a president can be impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanors,” and that the sitting president enjoys criminal immunity for acts committed while in office. That said, if the electorate sees fit to elect a former president and convicted felon to office, there’s nothing in the constitution precluding such a thing.

Caravanfan's avatar

@gorillapaws So can be elected, but then he would need to be impeached and then convicted by the Senate in order to be removed?

janbb's avatar

@gorillapaws I agree with the rest of what you said but isn’t it being decided right now by the Supreme Court whether or not a sitting President has immunity for crimes committed while in office?

MrGrimm888's avatar

The hush money, was a campaign thing. Predating Trump’s term…
That is when all of this occurred, he was just a candidate…

smudges's avatar

Interesting…“Socialist candidate Eugene V. Debs ran for president in 1920 while in prison for sedition, and former Texas Governor Rick Perry ran for president in the 2016 Republican primary after being indicted two years earlier.”

janbb's avatar

@MrGrimm888 That’s irrelevant to this case anyway. He couldn’t pardon himself because it’s a state case, not a Federal one.

smudges's avatar

I checked, and he can unless he’s in prison, but wouldn’t it be hilarious if he couldn’t vote for himself?

janbb's avatar

@smudges I know in Florida they changed the law so convicted felons can vote but they have to pay off all their fines, etc. first.

Jeruba's avatar

I thought I’d be exulting, but I’m not. Instead I’m thinking, how could our nation be in thrall to this awful man? It’s something to grieve. We can celebrate once he’s really gone from the news.

Champagne for Stormy Daniels, though.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Caravanfan Like I said, I’m not a constitutional lawyer, but I have taken an undergraduate con law class over 2 decades ago for what it’s worth (I also stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night). I think it would be hard to make the case that a President could be impeached for a crime the electorate already knew about and still voted for. As I understand the constitution, it was designed to handle situations like Nixon where the president does something horrible, becomes impeached (Nixon resigned) but assuming he didn’t then he’d be tried by the US senate and if found guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors” then he could have been forcibly removed from office. At that point he could be criminally charged for the crimes? but on that point I think the law is unclear.

There’s an obvious reason why the President enjoys immunity while in office. Without it, they’d be compelled to attend trials all day and wouldn’t be able to govern.

I really don’t think the founders ever considered the situation where an electorate would knowingly decide to elect a convicted felon and how that should work. They probably never forsaw that a party would be so moronic as to ram through a candidate that was so contemptible that he had a high likelihood of losing to a convicted felon…

@janbb ”...isn’t it being decided right now by the Supreme Court whether or not a sitting President has immunity for crimes committed while in office?”

I’m not certain of the specifics. I know the main idea was that presidents should be prevented from having to make depositions and attend court while in office because some local doofus prosecutor in somewheresville decidedes to charge the president with this crime or that.

Strauss's avatar

Is he still considered a convict of the conviction is being appealed? Sure, he’s convicted today, but he will most likely appeal because…well, that’s what he does!

gondwanalon's avatar

@Strauss Trump will appeal because that is his right. He’ll drag out the appeal process out for as long as possible because he can. The discovery process can become quite lengthly especially if drawing it out is his goal.

janbb's avatar

@Strauss I believe he is still a convicted felon.

jca2's avatar

Last night on the NYC news they showed people jumping up and down and celebrating in the streets, and also clashes with Trump supporters.

They interviewed an attorney who predicted that some of the convictions will be overturned on appeal, and that Trump may get Probation as his punishment.

jca2's avatar

@janbb I think if he had (for example) one conviction, and that conviction was overturned, he is not a convicted felon because he’s no longer convicted. While he’s appealing all of his convictions, he’s definitely still a felon.

Side note the phrase “convicted felon” is redundant because a felon is only a felon if they’re convicted.

Forever_Free's avatar

That question that appears in so many places of “Have you ever been convicted of a Felony?”
While a 77 year old troll doesn’t care about his character, it makes me laugh now.

Smashley's avatar

@gondwanalon – the principle of judicial review was established in 1803 in Marbury v. Madison

Congress makes laws, and courts decide what they mean.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I predict we see a bunch of new laws regarding who can run.
IQ test first
A surprise exam over how our government works.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Trump’s convictions, were for “class E” felonies.
The lowest degree of that charge.
In theory, he could face 4 years for each charge.

Trump is a “first time offender.” As ridiculous as that is, it does carry weight in US courts.
In most cases, a first offender, is not even giving a prison sentence. Fines, community service, probation etc….

However.
In cases where the defendant required constant reprimanding from the judge, and then (after earning a gag order) proceeded to violate said order repeatedly whilst slandering; the judge, the court, the court system, US law enforcement agencies, witnesses, and all sorts of actors in the procession, we can’t see him as an ordinary offender.

MOST people, who behaved like Trump, during trial, are NOT given as much leniency.
That is why I am tempted to believe an actual sentence may be given.
I do not personally believe, that Trump should go to prison, for his felonies. Given just the specifics of that trial.
However. I really think 6 months, would do Trump good.
It would be a predetermined time, so his supporters would have nothing to riot over.
He would still be incarcerated, leading up to the election. Which is important, because part of his crime had to do with getting elected. So. The punishment, should effect his current efforts.

smudges's avatar

I predict he’ll get probation and maybe some fines.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^That’s more realistic, than “hard time.”
Although many on the left, see this as the opportunity to punish him for crimes not involved directly to this case.

flutherother's avatar

Maybe they could get around it by installing a prison cell in the White House. There is probably room to fit a small one person cell in the Oval Office.

Brian1946's avatar

In the abstract, I find the thought of a President being held under White House arrest to be quite humorous.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

He can’t visit 37 countries because he is a felony – - UK, Canada, Japan, China . . . .

smudges's avatar

^^ That would certainly be an obstacle to being president.

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