Trump can run for president from jail, but he’s not likely to go there

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Former President Donald Trump can still run for the White House despite facing a potential – albeit unlikely – prison sentence after he was found guilty in the NY v. Trump case. 

The jury found Trump guilty on all counts late Thursday afternoon. The sentencing hearing is set for July 11, four days before the beginning of the Republican National Convention. 

“This was a rigged, disgraceful trial. The real verdict is going to be November 5th by the people,” Trump said outside the court Thursday. 

“This was a rigged decision right from day one. With a conflicted judge who should have never been allowed to try this case. Never. And we will fight for our Constitution. This is long from over.” 

NY V TRUMP: JURY REACHES A VERDICT IN FORMER PRESIDENT’S HISTORIC CRIMINAL TRIAL

Judge Juan Merchan left imposed in photo illustration with Donald Trump, right

Judge Juan Merchan presided over the NY v Donald Trump trial. (AP)

Trump can still run for the White House, as the Constitution does not place restrictions on presidential candidates based on criminal record, instead it stipulates that those pursuing the White House be natural-born citizens who are at least 35 years old. 

Trump has not yet been sentenced in the case, and prison time remains a potential, though unlikely, option. Trump’s age of 77, the fact that he is a first-time offender, and that the counts are the lowest felonies in New York makes it unlikely the 45th president would face jail time. 

If Trump is sentenced to prison, however, he would not be the first presidential candidate to pitch the nation for his vote from behind bars. Socialist Party presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs campaigned for the White House in 1920 from inside a federal prison after he was convicted of sedition for opposing U.S. entry into World War I. President Warren G. Harding commuted Debs’ sentence in December 1921.

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TRUMP SAYS COSTLY TRIAL IS ‘PROVING MY POINT’ THAT COURTS ARE WEAPONIZED AGAINST HIM: ‘DISGRACE’

Trump could also be sentenced to home confinement amid his re-election campaign, which would keep him from the campaign trail, but could involve holding fundraisers from his Mar-a-Lago home or one of his other residences. 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said earlier this month that New York City’s Rikers Island is prepared if Trump was ordered to jail. 

Donald Trump at defense table in his criminal trial

Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. President Donald Trump attends his criminal trial at the New York State Supreme Court in New York, New York, Wednesday, May, 29, 2024.  (Doug Mills/Pool via REUTERS)

“Our amazing commissioner … is prepared for whatever comes on Rikers Island,” Adams told the media earlier this month, when presiding Judge Juan Merchan threatened jailing Trump if he continued violating a gag order. 

TRUMP URGES JUDGE MERCHAN TO ‘SAVE HIS REPUTATION’ BY DISMISSING TRIAL

Trump is still entitled to Secret Service protection regardless of a potential prison sentence, meaning the federal law enforcement agency would have to coordinate with the department of corrections. 

security guard and Secret Service agent at gate outside Mar-a-Lago

A Secret Service agent and a security guard officer guard the Mar-a-Lago home of former U.S. President Donald Trump, in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. March 31, 2023.  (REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo)

“I don’t think anybody knows what that would look like, God forbid that happens,” Louis Gelormino, a Staten Island defense attorney, previously told Fox News Digital of what a prison sentence could look like. 

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NY V. TRUMP: DEFENSE SAYS PROSECUTORS ‘DID NOT MEET THE BURDEN OF PROOF,’ FORMER PRESIDENT IS ‘INNOCENT’

Gelormino added that before Trump is sentenced, a probation officer will have to interview him for a pre-sentencing report for presiding Judge Juan Merchan. The report, which can take weeks to create, would provide a bio of Trump, as well as recommend a sentence for the 45th president. The report will be shared with the judge, prosecutors and the defense team. Merchan is not required to abide by the recommended sentence. 

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Trump’s support among voters has not been swayed by the trial, according to recent polls. A recent New York Times poll found Trump is leading Biden in a majority of key battleground states, including Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Arizona. While Trump held a massive rally in historically blue New Jersey over Mother’s Day weekend that drew an estimated 100,000 people, as well as another campaign event in the Bronx that drew thousands of supporters. 

Fox News Digital’s Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report. 



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