Can Trump run again in 2024?
After being impeached for a second time in the House it is up to the Senate to decide if Trump will be able to run for president again in 2024.
President Donald Trump suffered an historic embarrassment on Wednesday as he became the first president to be impeached twice. Now that the House of Representatives have voted in favour of impeachment the matter moves to the Senate for trial. Aside from providing a sombre ending to his chaotic single-term presidency, there could be long-term consequences for Trump if Senate votes to convict him.
Many of the President’s most devoted followers appear to be sticking with him despite recent events and he has dropped hints about making another run for the White House in 2024. However a guilty verdict in the Senate would disqualify him from holding office ever again.
Here’s what you need to know about Trump’s chances of running for President again in four years.
Does Trump plan on running again in 2024?
Despite having lost the election in November, Trump spent three months refusing to accept that Joe Biden would be the next president of the United States. Throughout this period Trump made no mention of running in 2024, focusing all his attention on the flailing legal attempts to overturn the election result, but he has now publically acknowledged that he will soon leave the White House.
However, in the Twitter video that saw him finally admit that there would be a transfer of power, he also made clear that he retains political ambitions. He ended his pre-prepared speech by saying: “And to all of my wonderful supporters. I know you are disappointed, but I also want you to know that our incredible journey is only just beginning.”
It seems that many of Trump’s supporters feel the same and in a recent POLITICO/Morning Consult poll he was by far the most popular choice for Republican presidential nominee in 2024. The poll was conducted between 8 and 11 January and questioned over 700 Republican and Republican-leaning voters, finding that 40% would vote for him in the 2024 Republican primary. This is a considerable drop from the 53% support in a similar poll carried out in November, but shows that there is still support for a Trump 2024 candidacy.
Impeachment would stop him from holding office again
Trump’s impeachment was confirmed with a House vote on Wednesday evening but the Senate would have to vote in favour for a conviction to be upheld. This was how Trump escaped removal from office in 2020, as the Republican-led Senate was whipped to vote against the impeachment.
However things are different this time around after the Democrats regained control of the Senate and a number of Republican lawmakers have come out in support of impeachment. During the House vote, ten GOP members voted to impeach Trump, making it the most bipartisan impeachment in US history.
For the articles of impeachment to pass the Senate it would require a two-thirds majority to vote for it, meaning that at least 17 Republicans would have to cross the aisle. That may seem an unlikely prospect but this time around GOP Senators will not be whipped, meaning that they can vote freely. If the Senate votes in favour of impeachment Trump will be banned from holding public office.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's decision to allow GOP Senators a free vote is further evidence of a split between the party and the President. In a statement released in the aftermath of the House vote McConnell said that he would wait to hear the arguments presented in trial before making his decision, but reports claim that he does believe Trump committed impeachable offences.
Impeachment could allow Republican Party to break from Trumpism
The shift in attitudes within the GOP between the first and second Trump impeachments has been pretty stark, and gives a hint of where party members stand on Trump at the moment. The violence in the Capitol last week was viewed as a step too far for many Congressional Republicans, with some rescinding their decision to vote against the confirmation of President-elect Biden.
Despite the enduring support of his base there is a sense that some are being put off by Trump’s outlandish behaviour and refusal to concede the election. Many have pointed to Trump’s influence as a reason for the Republicans losing both Georgia Senate seats recently, which in turn handed control of the Upper House to the Democrats.
According to a CNN report, McConnell has privately told close aides that he believes the party needs to move away from Trump after the damaging events of recent months. The source contends that McConnell’s deliberate silence has allowed Republicans to publically support impeachment, and that he is considering doing so himself.
On Tuesday several GOP sources told CNN that McConnell's position on impeachment will be crucial, suggesting that Trump will almost certainly be convicted in the impeachment trial if McConnell comes out in favour.
"If Mitch is a yes, he's done," said one Senate GOP source who asked to remain anonymous. If that were the case and Trump is convicted by the Senate, then he would not be able to hold office again, ruling out the possibility of a 2024 run for presidency.