Criminal cases, not election, may decide if Trump can serve presidency again

Aug 24, 2023, 10:17 PM | Updated: Aug 25, 2023, 11:11 am

Jurors, rather than voters, may be the ones deciding if former president Donald Trump can be re-elected in 2024.

Trump was briefly booked into the Fulton County Jail in Georgia Thursday evening after he surrendered on multiple felony charges accusing him and 18 others of trying to overturn the 2020 election.

“These are serious felonies, and in part because of the way that they charged it,” said KSL Legal Analyst Greg Skordas, an attorney not connected to any of the cases against Trump. “In Georgia, it’s under a racketeering statute, which is organized crime, so to speak.”

Trump was caught on recording asking the Georgia secretary of state to “find 11,780 votes” during the ballot count in 2020.

It’s the fourth time the former president has been indicted, and those four criminal cases will play out side-by-side with Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.

Trump has surrendered for a fourth time this year. Here’s where all the cases against him stand

Skordas said these cases could go to trial in the next year, before the 2024 election.

“He’s facing dozens and dozens of felony crimes in four different jurisdictions. And I think it would be difficult to have him convicted of all everyone or acquitted or every one,” he said. “I think the juries are going to, in each of those cases, weigh the evidence and decide what makes the most sense.”

That means the outcome of the trials — not the election — Skordas explained, could determine if Trump can be president again.

If convicted of any of the charges, the Constitution may not allow him to serve.

“If he’s convicted of a felony, especially one related to his office related to his attempt, allegedly to overturn an election, I think it’s very safe to assume that he would no longer be determined to be fit to be president of the United States,” Skordas said. “But that remains to be seen because we have never crossed this bridge before.”

The former president was released on a $200,000 bond about 20 minutes after his booking. Skordas said though the charges carry up to 20 years in prison if convicted, Skordas thinks it’s unlikely Trump would go to prison for long, if at all.

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Criminal cases, not election, may decide if Trump can serve presidency again