Now that he's no longer in the White House, former President Donald Trump has left many Americans wondering: What's next for his political career? Although another run for office may seem unlikely seeing as he's the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice, Trump has never really been known to do what's expected of him. So, is the former president planning to hit the campaign trail any time soon, or will Trump be banned from running for office in 2024? Like most things in politics, the answer is kind of complicated.
On Feb. 13, the Senate concluded Trump's second impeachment trial with a 57-43 vote, acquitting him of charges relating to his involvement in catalyzing the fatal Jan 6. attack on the U.S. Capitol. Trump's acquittal came just weeks after the House voted to impeach the then-president on Jan. 13, charging him with inciting an insurrection against the U.S. government, per the impeachment article. During the Capitol attack, a mob of pro-Trump rioters breached the building in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the November 2020 election. Many of the rioters were armed, and lawmakers were forced to go into hiding to avoid potentially fatal encounters.
If Trump's impeachment trial ended in a conviction, the Senate could have easily held an additional vote to decide on whether or not the former president should be banned from holding public office in the future. But since he's been acquitted of all charges, it'll be that much harder to guarantee Trump won't run for the presidency in 2024. Officially, Trump can run for office in 2024, however, there may be another way Congress can prevent a second Trump term — by invoking the 14th Amendment, which states, "No person shall … hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath … to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same."
But will that really be necessary? After witnessing the results of the November 2020 election, as well as the public's reaction to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, it's safe to say plenty of Americans are over and done with the idea of a second Trump term.