Can Donald Trump still run for president and what is he accused of?

The former commander-in-chief is battling legal issues as he makes another run for the White House

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally Saturday, July 29, 2023, in Erie, Pa. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally on July 29, as he faces multiple legal battles. (AP) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

As former president Donald Trump takes another run at the White House, he is also facing a raft of legal issues that range from alleged mishandling of national security documents to claims he fudged business documents to cover up an affair.

So, what is the former president accused of and how will it affect his chances at winning another term in the White House in 2024?

Yahoo News breaks it down...

What is Donald Trump accused of?

2020 election: Trump has been indicted on four counts relating to his alleged attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election - which he lost to Joe Biden.

It is the third time Trump has been indicted – setting a new record as the first, second and third time a former president has faced criminal charges.

The new charges, which were unsealed on 1 August, are: "Conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights."

AUGUST 1st 2023: Former president of The United States of America Donald Trump is indicted by a federal grand jury on four counts tied to his efforts to undermine and overturn the 2020 election results leading to the January 6th 2021 insurrection at The Capitol Building. - File Photo by: zz/Andrea Renault/STAR MAX/IPx 2023 4/4/23 Former President Donald Trump is seen on April 4, 2023 departing Trump Tower on his way to criminal court in New York City. (NYC)
Donald Trump, pictured in New York in April, is facing three separate indictments (StarMax). (zz/Andrea Renault/STAR MAX/IPx, Associated Press)

The indictment by a grand jury in Washington DC follows an investigation into the former president's behaviour in the months following the results of the 2020 election, which he insisted at the time had been "stolen" by Democrats.

"Despite having lost, the defendant was determined to remain in power. So for more than two months following election day on November 3, 2020, the Defendant spread lies that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the election and that he had actually won. These claims were false, and the defendant knew that they were false," the indictment says.

Trump has branded the charges a "fake indictment" and denied all allegations.

Classified documents: Trump was indicted on 9 June on 37 counts related to the mishandling of classified documents, including some pertaining to national security – 31 of which fall under the espionage act.

The indictment claims that Trump moved boxes of classified documents to his home at Mar-a-Lago, Florida, and showed the documents to other people.

This image, contained in the indictment against former President Donald Trump, shows boxes of records stored in a bathroom and shower in the Lake Room at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. New allegations in the classified documents case against Trump deepen his legal jeopardy as he braces for possible additional indictments related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election.(Justice Department via AP)
This image, contained in the indictment against former President Donald Trump, shows boxes of records stored in a bathroom and shower in the Lake Room at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach. (Justice Department via AP) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

In one case, prosecutors say Trump showed someone a "plan of attack" for another country, telling his guest: "As president I could have declassified it” but “now I can’t". He also allegedly said that the document was "still a secret".

Trump reportedly told the FBI he did not know how the documents ended up at Mar-a-Lago after his indictment, which followed a two-year investigation into documents being removed from the White House.

The former president has denied the charges, which carry a 10-year prison sentence, arguing he is not the first former elected official to retain classified documents.

Hush-money payments: Trump's first indictment came in March, handed down by a New York grand jury in relation to alleged hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

ROSEMONT, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES - APRIL 22: Stephanie A. Gregory Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels attends Exxxotica Expo held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on April 22, 2023 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Jacek Boczarski/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Stephanie Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels, is at the centre of the alleged hush-money payments. (Getty Images) (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The alleged $130,000 payment to Daniels was made by Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen, in what she claims was to prevent her from leaking details about a sexual encounter with Trump in the early days of his marriage to wife Melania. Trump denies that any such encounter took place.

The 34-count indictment relates to falsifying of business records in relation to the payments, which allege Trump doctored his records to cover up the payments in an attempt to influence the 2016 election.

Trump denies the charges, which carry a prison term of up to four years if he is found guilty.

Can Donald Trump still run for US president?

In short, yes. While the US constitution stipulates certain conditions for those running for president, those conditions do not touch on criminal charges.

To become president in the US, candidates must be over the age of 35, a natural-born citizen of the US, and have lived in the country for more than 14 years. That's it – anyone who meets these requirements can declare their candidacy.

And while the 22nd Amendment does add further stipulations (introducing a two-term limit and preventing anyone from being elected more than twice), it does not say anything about criminal conduct.

There is also nothing to suggest that the president could not – technically – serve a term from jail.

Additionally, despite Trump not only facing three separate indictments, there is nothing to stop him from running for president again despite being the only president in history to have been indicted twice.

How popular is Donald Trump?

The three indictments and two impeachments have done little to touch Trump's core base, who continue to back him regardless of the accusations levelled at him.

Currently, despite the crowded field for the 2024 Republican nomination, Trump is leading the other candidates with 53.1% of Republican voters backing him as their choice, compared to 15.6% for his closest rival Ron DeSantis and 4.4% for Trump's former vice president, Mike Pence, according to a polling average by FiveThirtyEight.

Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gestures during a campaign event, Monday, July 31, 2023, in Rochester, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis is trailing Donald Trump in the polls. (AP) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

However, while Trump is wildly more popular among Republican voters, he has struggled to gain as much of a foothold with a cross-section of voters.

A 28 July poll by Morning Consult puts a match-up between Joe Biden and Trump at 44% to 41%, respectively.