2024 Election

Trump Might Run For President From Prison, It’s Happened Before

Former President Donald Trump could run for the White House — even if he is convicted and sent to prison.

Eugene Debs delivers a speech in Ohio in 1918.
Bettmann Archive

Trump faces a looming indictment from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg over hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and has proclaimed his arrest is imminent.




Should an indictment come down, Trump would become the first former president to face criminal proceedings — and possible incarceration.

“I hope Democrats like Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg are stupid enough to try to put President Trump in prison because it will guarantee his victory,” said Mike Davis, an attorney and former chief counsel for nominations for Sen. Chuck Grassley.

“There is no legal reason why he still couldn’t run and win the White House from prison.”

If wouldn’t be the first time a major campaign was staged from behind bars.


Socialist firebrand Eugene V. Debs ran for president from prison in 1920 and received nearly a million votes

In 1920, Socialist candidate Eugene V. Debs started a White House run and massed nearly a million votes while incarcerated at the federal pen in Atlanta.

Debs had been convicted of treason in 1918 for protesting US involvement in World War I.

He was sentenced to 10 years, but that was commuted to time served in 1921 by President Harding.


Deep fakes claiming to show Trump being arrested have flooded twitter. 

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Debs’ campaign was his fourth stab at the nation’s highest job — he had previously set efforts in 1904, 1908 and 1912.

“Debs ran in 1920 with the idea that he knew he would never win, but to build and strength the Socialist party,” said Debs biographer Nick Salvatore.

In more recent times, former Ohio Rep. James Traficant — who was sacked from the House in 2002 after being convicted in federal court of racketeering, bribery and tax evasion — staged a failed run for his old seat while incarcerated at Allenwood federal prison in White Deer, PA.

A 2004 presidential campaign, also from the slammer, was considered before being abandoned.

“If Trump is in jail, he could run, as Debs did; and if that happens, the uproar over it
will surely be exploited by the government, to stoke more rage and panic over ‘domestic terrorism.’ In short, it won’t end well,” said NYU professor Mark Crispin Miller.



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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.


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