WASHINGTON, D.C. — Legal experts say there are plenty of questions to be answered regarding former President Donald Trump’s multiple indictments.
Some have differing opinions of how the charges against Trump could impact the upcoming presidential race.
We asked our own legal experts if an indictment, or even a conviction, disqualified a candidate from running for president or serving as president.
“Nope, neither one of them disqualifies a president from running or serving,” John Malcolm of the Heritage Foundation said.
“The indictments do not play a role, and indeed, a conviction wouldn’t either,” Georgetown University Law Professor David Super added.
Super says it’s still an open question as to whether a Trump would be able to pardon himself if he were to win re-election after a conviction.
“It’s never been tested. This has never come up,” Super said. “Richard Nixon believed he couldn’t pardon himself and his successor, President Ford, did it instead.”
Malcolm says it’s a matter about which many legal scholars still disagree.
“I tend to think, based on what I have read, that the answer is that he could pardon himself,” Malcolm said.
However, a pardon from a president would only apply to a federal conviction, meaning it wouldn’t cover the case Trump faces in Georgia.
When asked if a sitting president could serve time in prison, experts say it’s not likely if he’s not tried until after he’s in office.
“It’s been accepted for a long time that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime,” Malcolm said.
“In all likelihood, if he has not been convicted before he resumes office, the Justice Department would drop the case,” Super added
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