Can Donald Trump Run for President Again?

The vote at Donald Trump's second impeachment trial delivered no surprises, with the Senate acquitting the former president.

When it came to it, 57 senators voted to convict Trump, 10 short of the super-majority needed to pass the motion, while 43 voted to acquit him.

So can Donald Trump now stand for re-election in 2024 and will he? As it stands, he is free to do so, though his path back to the Oval Office is not yet completely clear.

Trump has only served a single term, but the constitution allows presidents to serve for a maximum of two, meaning he could enter office for four more years if he were to win another election.

The Senate could censure Trump. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) had worked on a proposal before the trial to use the 14th Amendment in a censure motion that would also bar Trump from office again.

There are big questions about both the constitutionality and political viability of this option, however. Moreover, in a post-trial press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) poured cold water on this theory.

"Censure is a slap in the face of the Constitution," she said. "We censure people for using stationery for the wrong purpose. We don't censure people for inciting insurrection that kills people in the Capitol."

Another possible impediment to Trump running again in 2024 is the legal cases he currently faces. These relate to both his actions in office, and investigations into his business practices, and may yet prove to hinder his re-election attempts.

The former president may also still face criminal charges for his part in the January 6 uprising even after his acquittal by the Senate. Investigators could probe his involvement in inciting the riots, though the bar to a criminal charge is higher than for impeachment.

While felons are not barred from running for president, a conviction stemming from any of the investigations into Trump would likely be fatal to another campaign.

Despite these hurdles, with impeachment out of the way Trump is currently clear to stand for President again in 2024. The question now is: Will he?

In a statement released following the Senate vote, Trump seemed to suggest this was a possibility. "Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun," the statement released by his office said.

"In the months ahead I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people. There has never been anything like it!"

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley in Georgia
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley attends a rally in support of Georgia Republican Senate candidates David Perdue (R-GA) and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), right, on December 20, 2020 in Cumming, Georgia. Haley has said she believes Trump will not run again for office. Jessica McGowan/Getty

However, some who worked with him are skeptical that he will run again both to avenge his November 2020 election defeat and the Democrats' two impeachments of him.

"He's not going to run for federal office again," former ambassador to the UN and longtime Trump loyalist Nikki Haley, who is considering a 2024 run, told Politico. "I don't think he's going to be in the picture," she said. "I don't think he can. He's fallen so far."

Even if Trump does not run, his sway within the Republican party will remain significant, and perhaps even decisive. He has unparalleled influence over the Republican voter base, with who he retains sky-high approval.

Despite losing to President Joe Biden, he still secured 74 million votes, more than any other presidential candidate in history except his rival in that same election.

Many Republican politicians will still need to keep him onside in order to maintain their positions within the party, else face a tough primary challenge from a Trump-backed candidate in their constituencies.

Donald Trump Senate Impeachment Video Evidence Screenshot
In this screenshot taken from a webcast, video evidence is presented on the fifth day of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial at the U.S. Capitol on February 13, 2021 in Washington, DC.