If Impeached and Convicted, Can Trump Run for President Again?


Jan. 8 2021, Updated 11:18 a.m. ET

President Donald Trump is no stranger to impeachment trials. He began his own in Jan. 2020, but was ultimately acquitted. Now, after supporting and inciting rioters who breached the U.S. Capitol building, Trump is facing threats of impeachment or removal via the 25th amendment.

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 Here are the answers to some of your biggest questions, like whether or not Trump can run again if impeached and convicted. and whether a president may pardon himself.

With less than two weeks until Inauguration Day, impeachment would need to move quickly.

In a press conference on Jan. 7, Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office. If Pence fails to do so, Pelosi says she will spearhead a sped-up impeachment process immediately.

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This is a big ask, and Congress members from across party lines would need to support the effort for it to even have a chance. Right now, it seems that a majority of Democrat leaders are in support of moving forth with impeachment. The Democratic caucus will speak on the matter on Friday, Jan. 8 at 12:00 p.m.

Realistically, the quickest impeachment would still take a few days, so Congress will need to waste no time if they're serious about it.

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If impeachment succeeds, can Trump run again in 2024?

If you watched Trump's Jan. 7 speech on Twitter acknowledging a new incoming administration, (shared more than six weeks after Biden was declared the winner of the election), you may have noticed what he said at the end: "Our incredible journey is only just beginning."

If impeachment passes with a House majority, and a conviction passes with a two-thirds Senate vote, Trump would be removed from office. Because of a particular clause in the U.S. Constitution, the Senate has the power to prevent Trump from holding any type of U.S. office position again.

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Article 1 Section 3 Clause 7 of the Constitution reads, "Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law."

Whether or not the Senate would use their power to prevent Trump from holding office is another issue, but it's definitely possible, particularly with a slim majority for Democrats.

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What does the 25th amendment say?

Pelosi says she will only proceed with impeachment if Pence fails to enact the 25th amendment.  There are four parts to this amendment, but it basically allows the Vice President and Cabinet to remove a rogue or incapacitated president.

Pence has already stated he won't enact the 25th amendment on Trump, so Congress will have to use the impeachment route if they want to get anywhere. However, if Pence were to enact the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office, Trump would be able to run again.

Can Trump pardon himself?

Sources close to Trump have been saying for months now that he'd like to pardon himself, and he may have renewed interest with the events from Jan. 6. He may be able to do so legally, but it's a rather untouched horizon. Self-clemency has never been tested in the executive branch, and if he succeeds, it could threaten democratic checks and balances.


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