Trump says he won't drop out of presidential race if convicted

Donald Trump
Posted at 8:36 AM, Apr 12, 2023

Former President Trump said he won't drop his bid for president even if he's convicted of felony charges in the Manhattan criminal case against him.

When asked by Fox News' Tucker Carlson if any of his legal troubles would cause him to drop out of the race, Trump responded, "No, I'd never drop out — it's not my thing. I wouldn't do it."

The Constitution does not prevent someone who has been charged with or convicted of a crime from seeking or holding office.

"It's pretty widely accepted that the list of qualifications in the Constitution is exclusive — that is, Congress or states can't add qualifications to those listed in the Constitution," Derek Muller, a law professor at the University of Iowa, told CBS News. "It's something that really doesn't affect your ability to run as a candidate, to appear on the ballot, or to even win the election."

Trump pleaded not guilty last week to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. Prosecutors detailed an alleged years-long scheme to use "hush money" payments to suppress damaging information ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Prosecutors claim Trump "orchestrated a scheme" involving three payments made by Trump allies to conceal damaging stories: $30,000 to a former Trump Tower doorman who said Trump had fathered a child out of wedlock; $150,000 to a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Trump; and $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who also alleged an affair. Trump has denied having affairs with both women, and the company that made the payment to the former doorman determined his story was false.

On Tuesday's edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight," the former president said Penn's Wharton business school didn't prepare him for his court appearance last week.

"They didn't have a class on arraignment," he said.

The former president also claimed that staff members at the courthouse in Manhattan "were crying" and said "'I'm sorry'" to him. "They'd say '2024, sir, 2024,'" Trump claimed.

Trump repeated that he, "did nothing wrong."

The former president's trial isn't expected to begin until 2024