The Many Ways Trump Could Still Serve As President From Prison
September 26, 2022
While we’ve all been obsessing over whether or not President Trump will be impeached, something else important has slipped under the radar: what would happen if Trump was convicted?
If he were to be found guilty of any federal crime, the Constitution states that he shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment, and Punishment, according to Law.
In other words, Donald Trump could still serve as President from prison. But how? And what does it mean? Here are some of the possibilities…
One way to remove a president from office is through impeachment. A majority of the House of Representatives would have to approve articles of impeachment, followed by a two-thirds vote in the Senate. For example, during the Nixon Administration,
Richard Nixon was forced to resign after Congress began consideration for his impeachment for obstruction of justice and abuse of power in an investigation into Watergate.
Another way that a president can be removed from office is through incapacity. If either Donald Trump or Mike Pence could not fulfill their duties as president for any reason such as an illness or death, then the Vice President would take over.
The same would apply if both president and the vice president left office; in this case, the Speaker of the House of Representatives assumes presidential responsibilities until he or she leaves office.
As of now, there is no requirement for a president to resign from office if they are charged with a crime. However, the Founding Fathers created an allowance in the Constitution for an executive or judicial officer to be removed from their post if convicted of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
Congress could propose legislation to revise the current law on presidential succession but any bills must be passed by both Houses and then signed by the president before they can go into effect. Any changes to this law would only apply if Trump were ever charged with a crime;
he wouldn’t have to face charges until 2020 when his first term is up anyway. In addition, a president could still serve in prison as long as they had not been impeached first.
If Trump were to be convicted, it’s not likely that he would serve any time in prison. He could even pardon himself if necessary. If the Russian Federation has damaging information on him, he could offer a pardon in exchange for its return or destruction.
If it comes out that he committed treason or was an agent of a foreign power before becoming president, he could declare himself unfit for duty and delegate his power to Vice President Pence until the House of Representatives can impeach him. If Pence refuses,
Trump could use this as justification for declaring martial law and installing himself as a dictator.
If none of these options work out, there is always the possibility that Trump could pardon himself. It’s unlikely, as it would be unprecedented and no one can predict how it would play out,
but it is still a possibility. Regardless of his choice to pardon or not, if he were convicted he would still serve his prison time, only under a different name.
If Trump refuses to give up power after leaving office, he could appoint another president or vice president who will pardon him so that he can remain in power indefinitely. Ultimately, it all comes down to whether or not you think Donald J.
Trump has an ego big enough to declare himself president for life—and there’s reason to believe that he might just do that if given the chance.
Never Leaving Office
An unprecedented situation like this has never been dealt with before, so there is no set law. Two scholars, who wrote in The Hill, noted that they could find no provision of the Constitution which prohibits a serving president from being indicted and imprisoned.
And while many loopholes would make impeachment proceedings difficult and dangerous for Republicans to take on right now – after all, the party currently controls the Senate and House – it seems impossible that Trump can continue to serve as president without being impeached.
We can’t know for sure what will happen until a future president deals with such an unprecedented situation.
Keep browsing Law Scribd for more updates.