You asked: Is a felon legally permitted to run for president?
— Asked March 28 in our election live chat
Answered by Isaac Arnsdorf
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The constitutional qualifications for being president are being a natural-born U.S. citizen, a resident for at least 14 years and over the age of 35. A person can be disqualified by conviction in a Senate impeachment trial, but a criminal conviction does not affect eligibility.
In 1920, Social Party candidate Eugene V. Debs ran for president from prison, but no major-party candidate has ever sought the nation’s highest office while facing criminal charges. The Trump team has not said how it would handle the unprecedented logistical challenges of running a national campaign while the former president is standing trial, possibly in multiple cases. The New York case concerning hush-money payments is likely to collide with the campaign calendar, with the trial date scheduled for March 25, 2024. In the federal case involving classified documents, the trial is scheduled to begin May 20, 2024. The dates for two more trials — the federal case concerning Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and the Georgia 2020 election probe — are still to be determined. All of these dates could change.