Do you think Donald Trump should be allowed to run for US president?

Trump has become the first serving or former president to be indicted in a criminal case

Watch: Donald Trump formally arrested after arriving at New York courthouse

Donald Trump made a defiant speech to supporters following his court appearance on Tuesday, telling them that the US was “going to hell”.

The former president handed himself into authorities on Tuesday to face charges relating to a $130,000 (£105,000) hush-money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels.

He pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan court to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, as prosecutors accused him of orchestrating payments to two women before the 2016 election to suppress publication of their sexual encounters with him.

The scandal comes just 18 months before the next US election in November 2024 – which Trump has already announced he plans to stand in as the Republican candidate.

And, whatever happens next, his indictment has raised questions over whether he should be prevented from running.

What do you think?

Donald Trump: Latest news

Everything we know so far about former US president’s arraignment (Evening Standard)

What has Donald Trump been charged with? (Telegraph)

What legal experts say about Donald Trump's indictment

‘I’ll always support him’: Republicans back Trump as he faces charges (Guardian)

PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - APRIL 04: Former U.S President Donald Trump makes statements at his Mar-a-Lago estate after being arraigned in New York City, on April 04, 2023, in Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Donald Trump told supporters the US was ‘going to hell’ after his court appearance in New York. (Getty)
Former President Donald Trump arrives to speak at his Mar-a-Lago estate hours after being arraigned in New York City, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Donald Trump was given a rapturous welcome from supporters following his court appearance in New York. (AP)

Can Trump still run for president while facing criminal charges?

Yes. In fact, Trump could not only run for president while facing criminal charges, but he could do so if found guilty. There's nothing to stop him running the country from prison were he tried, found guilty and sentenced to jail time.

However, the reality is slightly different. While there are no rules to prevent Trump from running while facing criminal charges, there's a full roster of potential Republican candidates who would love a shot at the White House – and while some are holding back in deference to their former boss, no-one will thank him for fighting an election with an incumbent president while on the back foot.

And although his legal fight may galvanise his base – many of whom followed his line that he last election was "stolen" from Democrats – it's unlikely to play so well with middle-of-the-road Republicans and independent voters.

FILE - Adult film actress Stormy Daniels arrives for the opening of the adult entertainment fair Venus in Berlin, Oct. 11, 2018. A lawyer for Donald Trump said Thursday, March 30, 2023, that he has been told that the former president has been indicted in New York on charges involving payments to Daniels made during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence claims of an extramarital sexual encounter. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)
The charges faced by Donald Trump link to hush-money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels. (AP Photo)
Supporters of former President Donald Trump arrive at the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse after Trump's indictment by a Manhattan grand jury following a probe into hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels, in New York City, U.S, April 3, 2023.  REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs
Supporters of former president Donald Trump arrive at the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse. (Reuters)

It should also go without saying that an ongoing criminal case for a potential presidential candidate immediately hands the opposition a big campaign win – although given that Trump is also the first president to have been impeached twice, he may care less about the optics of a potential criminal charge than other politicians.

In a hypothetical match-up between Trump and incumbent president Joe Biden, the pair are evenly tied with 38% of the vote each (20% said they vote would for someone else), according to a Fox News poll – a huge uptick for Trump since November, when a similar matchup showed Biden 10 points ahead.

Average polling from FiveThirtyEight shows 41.7% of Americans think favourably of Trump, while 53.6% think unfavourably of him.