Trump could go to jail… and still be president | American elections

Juan Merchan, the judge of the Stormy Daniels case, will read out the sentence he wants to impose on July 11 Donald Trump for the 34 crimes of document forgery of which he was found guilty by a New York jury on Thursday in connection with the black payment to a porn actress near the elections that brought him to the White House in 2016. In a new series of unprecedented events in American history, the Republican National Convention will begin four days later, on July 15, in Milwaukee, where Trump is likely to be officially designated as the conservative party's candidate.

Never before had a former American president faced a criminal case, let alone four, and so far he had not been found guilty of the first of them either. Even a candidate for the elections (scheduled for November 5) had never experienced such an ordeal. So among the many questions raised by a historic verdict, one stands out: Will that sentence in any way hinder the path that Trump hopes will take him back to the White House for a second term?

The short answer is no. Unless negative news about her legal troubles affects voter sentiment (and that seems unlikely according to the latest polls), the Not only would the U.S. Constitution not prevent Trump from running for office; It also does not take into account the ban on anyone convicted by federal justice becoming president even if he ends up in prison, unless he is imprisoned for a very specific crime: that of insurrection. And that, while it can be debated in the abstract whether his role in the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021 fits that definition, it is also ruled out: in the four cases opened against him, the former president faces 91 charges, but none of them are for rebellion.

Trump was also protected by a recent Supreme Court ruling, which considered that the attempts of some states to have no constitutional basis with Colorado in the lead, to remove it from the ballots based on the third section of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. It is an addendum to the basic text adopted in 1868, three years after the end of the Civil War (1861-1865). It served to grant full rights to the slaves of the South and to erect a dam that would prevent Southern rebels from again holding public office and blowing up the system from within.

Trump's prison sentence, which could mean four years behind bars and many experts consider unlikely, could have ramifications in those states that ban those convicted of a criminal offense from voting. This is not the case in Florida, where the tycoon has done so established his residence at Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach mansion. The law of that State derives from the regulations applicable in the place where he was convicted –N.Y, in this case-. And in New York, prisoners are not denied the right to vote.

The Secret Service behind bars?

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Another unsuspected consequence of Trump's prison sentence is that Secret Service members assigned for his protection would accompany him to prison. U.S. law requires them to accompany a former president 24 hours a day, seven days a week, no matter where he is, even if that place is behind bars.

To find a precedent for what happened to Trump this Thursday and the options open to him on his way to the White House, we must go back more than a century, to the dark case of a candidate named Eugene Debs . He campaigned from prison as leader of the Socialist Party of America in 1920 while serving a sentence for violating the Espionage Act of 1917. He was convicted of making speeches critical of the United States' role in the First World War. He didn't reach the White House (he got only a million votes); That time, Republican Warren Harding won. And those figures negate the precedent in this case: unlike Trump, who leads in quite a few polls over President Joe Biden, who is running for re-election, Debs never had any chance of winning.

In Spain the Organic law of the universal electoral system prevents a person who has been convicted by final conviction from running for office or gaining access to the office for which he/she is running. Nor can those convicted, even if the resolution is not final, of crimes of rebellion, terrorism, against the public administration or against the institutions of the state, in the event that the conviction carries the penalty of disqualification from the exercise of the right to vote entails. passive (to be elected) that of absolute or special disqualification or suspension from employment or public office.

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