Indicted Candidates ‘Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Run’


Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks upon his return after being escorted away when a protestor approached the stage during a rally at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada, on November 5, 2016. | Source: MANDEL NGAN / Getty

As Donald Trump resists calls to drop out of the presidential race, old video footage has resurfaced showing him saying that any presidential candidate who is under a federal criminal indictment “shouldn’t be allowed to run.”

A social media post from MSNBC anchor Joy Reid reminded everybody of Trump’s penchant for self-serving hypocrisy following his criminal conviction last week after a New York City jury returned a guilty verdict for all 34 counts in a criminal trial in which he was accused of illegally paying hush money to a porn star via illegal means for political purposes.

MORE: Trump, Now A Felon, Earns His Stripes As The Grand Dragon Of Political Racism

Just days before the 2016 presidential election – and days after then-FBI Director James Comey announced the reopening of a federal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified documents on her private email server – Trump fearmongered during one of his infamous rallies about the prospects of the Democratic nominee winning that year’s presidential election.

Trump – who was earlier this year found guilty of fraud and still faces two more criminal cases – suggested that Clinton could end up under federal criminal indictment and said the prospects of having a president under such legal scrutiny, including a possible “criminal trial,” would have a devastating effect on the United States, particularly governmentally.

“If she were to win this election, it would create an unprecedented constitutional crisis. In that situation, we could very well have a sitting president under felony indictment and ultimately a criminal trial,” Trump said to groans from the audience. “It would grind government to a halt. She shouldn’t be allowed to run.”

Fast-forward nearly eight years and Trump’s words can and could be used against him amid demands for him to end his presidential campaign as he faces sentencing next month following the hush money verdict.

Trump has announced that “the real verdict” will be on Election Day when voters decide who the next president will be, but the NAACP has a completely different proposition – for him to drop out of the race altogether.

To be sure, nothing in the U.S. Constitution prevents a convicted felon from running for president, something with which the NAACP found some racial irony.

Calling Trump’s conviction “a monumental step toward justice for the American people,” NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said the verdict reinforced one truth, in particular: “Donald Trump is unfit to represent American democracy.”

Suggesting that Trump remains in the race is a prospect that flirts with white privilege if not all-out white supremacy, Johnson suggested.

“The NAACP strongly believes that anyone who has been found guilty of criminal offenses of this magnitude is unfit to occupy the Oval Office,” Johnson continued. “As Black Americans have been denied basic human rights due to less offensive crimes, any attempt to advance Donald Trump’s nomination for Presidency would be a gross advancement of white supremacist policy.”

Johnson is correct in that there is an element of racial hypocrisy considering how an untold number of Black people have been disqualified from holding certain positions of employment because of their criminal backgrounds.

His question is clear: Why should Trump be held to a different standard, especially when the position in question is the American presidency, the most powerful post in the world?

And now, with the resurfacing of Trump’s 2016 comments condemning the thought of a presidential candidate under felony indictment still being allowed to run for the highest public office in the nation, that above question can now be asked of himself.

Though it’s unlikely Trump will drop out of the race, his criminal conviction could still affect his standing within the Republican Party, which is set to hold its national convention just days after Trump’s sentencing hearing on July 11. It is at the Republican National Convention where the Party’s presidential nomination takes place in a process that determines who will represent that GOP on the presidential ballot.

The Biden Campaign, for its part, is preparing as if Trump will still be in the race.

“There is still only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: at the ballot box,” Biden Campaign communications director Michael Tyler said in a statement following Thursday’s verdict. “Convicted felon or not, Trump will be the Republican nominee for president.”


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