Can Donald Trump run for the US presidency now?

Former US president Donald Trump has vowed to appeal against a jury’s ‘disgraceful’ decision after it found him liable for sexually abusing a writer in the 1990s (Truth Social)
Former US president Donald Trump has vowed to appeal against a jury’s ‘disgraceful’ decision after it found him liable for sexually abusing a writer in the 1990s (Truth Social)

Donald Trump has been found liable for sexually abusing magazine writer E Jean Carroll in the 1990s and then wrongfully branding her a liar, a court has found.

The jury in the civil court case ruled in favour of the former US president’s accuser this week after less than three hours of deliberations.

A nine-member jury in Manhattan federal court in New York ordered Trump to pay $5 million (£3.9 million) in compensation and damages to Ms Carroll.

The six men and three women jurors ruled that she had been assaulted but rejected her claim that she had been raped by Trump.

Ms Carroll said her victory was “not just for me but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed”. Trump’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, said the ex-president will appeal against the verdict.

But what will this mean for Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign?

Is Donald Trump facing any more charges?

Yes, but unlike this last case — the next ones are criminal, not civil proceedings.

For example, last month Trump became the first current or former US president to be arrested and charged with a crime.

At the end of March, a grand jury voted to indict Trump on criminal charges. This followed Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

Trump is accused of 34 counts of falsifying business records “to conceal an alleged scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election” by suppressing negative stories about him.

At a hearing in New York at the start of April, Trump pled not guilty to all charges and proceedings are ongoing.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his legal woes, however, which Reuters has documented here.

Can Donald Trump still run for US president in 2024?

As the E Jean Carroll case was a civil one, Trump does not face any jail time following the verdict.

And the answer to the above question is yes, he can, even amid ongoing criminal accusations.

There is nothing the US Constitution that stops someone who has been accused, indicted or even convicted of a crime from running or winning the presidential election.

However, it’s worth noting that individual states may have their own laws and regulations regarding candidacy and eligibility for elected offices, including the presidency. These laws can vary, and some states may impose restrictions on individuals with certain criminal convictions or specific legal issues.

Even if he were to be jailed, Trump could still run from his prison cell.

However should he win, there’s nothing in the US Constitution that would automatically grant Trump a reprieve from prison time. A lengthy legal battle would be expected in that instance, however.

Who can run for US president?

Several requirements must be met for someone to run to become the US president, the US Constitution says. The person must be:

  • a natural-born citizen of the United States. This means they must be born on US soil or born to US citizen parents abroad.

  • at least 35 years old.

  • been a resident of the United States for 14 years.

Additionally, potential candidates often belong to one of the major political parties such as the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. However, independent candidates can also run for president.

It’s important to note that individual states may have additional requirements for candidates to appear on their respective state ballots.

Who is running for US president in 2024?

As well as Trump, there are others who have thrown their hat into the ring:

Joe Biden

Serving US President Biden has officially announced his candidacy for a second time. He announced he would launch a re-election bid in a video message on Tuesday April 25.

Marianne Williamson

Not well known in UK but famous in the US, Marianne is a self-help author. She is famed for being the former spiritual adviser to television mogul Oprah Winfrey.

She said in February 2023: “I wouldn’t be running for president if I didn’t believe I could contribute to harnessing the collective sensibility that I feel is our greatest hope at this time.”

Nikki Haley

Former politician Nikki Haley spent two years as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, and previously had said she wouldn’t stand in 2024.

But it appears she has had change of heart and wants to run, if Trump does. She said in February 2023 it was “time for a new generation of leadership”.

Ron DeSantis

The current governor of Florida has not officially entered his name into the hat but it is heavily rumoured that he is going to run and will be announcing his candidacy soon.

Robert F Kennedy Jr

Lawyer and well-known vaccine sceptic, Robert Kennedy Jr is the son of the late US Senator Robert F Kennedy. He filed candidacy papers with the Federal Election Commission on April 5, 2023.

Vivek Ramaswamy

The “conservative activist” in February 2023 announced on Fox News his intention to compete in the 2024 Republican entry for president. The Yale Law School graduate is something of a celebrity in right-wing circles.

Larry Elder

Mr Elder, a former attorney, and current conservative talk radio host, announced on April 20 he would be running for president in 2024. 

He said he had a “moral, religious, and a patriotic duty” to join the race.

Ryan Binkley

Pastor and businessman Ryan Binkley has also announced his entrance into the 2024 race.

Asa Hutchinson

Former Governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, formally announced his campaign for president on April 26.