Fox News host Sean Hannity said during his radio show Monday that if former President Trump is indicted on any felony charge it would not disqualify him from seeking the presidency again in 2024.
“If they think that they’re going to somehow make this about Donald Trump and prevent him from running from office, well they obviously have not read something called the Constitution. Because the Constitution is pretty clear on what qualifies one to be able to run for president,” Hannity said on his radio program.
“Even if Section 2071 in the federal penal code has penalty provisions upon the conviction that a defendant shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.”
The qualifications for being president, Hannity argued, can’t be altered “by any statute precisely because our framers in their wisdom didn’t want the executive branch dominated by the legislature, as would happen if Congress could disqualify any incumbent or potential president simply by passing a law.”
“And the Constitution’s qualifications are simple, you got to be over 35 and a natural born citizen. Being a felon is not a disqualification,” the host continued. “So even crimes potentially far more serious than what is being alleged, potential mishandling of classified information, doesn’t stop somebody from seeking the presidency.”
Hannity, a close personal friend of the former president for years, has defended Trump on his prime-time Fox News show “Hannity” this past week.
The comments from Hannity come after the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s South Florida estate. The search was carried out in connection with an investigation into classified information reportedly taken from the White House.
“If you are associated with Donald Trump in any way, you better cross all your i’s and dot all your t’s,” Hannity said on his show hours after the search was conducted. “Because they are coming for you with the full force of the federal government.”
Hannity was one of several Fox hosts who the select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol found was texting with former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows during the rioting pleading with him to get Trump to call off the rioters.
Last week’s search at Mar-a-Lago was executed in connection with a warrant that lists three potential criminal violations that investigators suspected they would find evidence of in the search: concealment or removal of federal records, destruction or alteration of records in a federal investigation and transmitting defense information.
Neither the Justice Department nor FBI have explicitly said whether Trump is the focus of a criminal investigation.
“Now what does disqualify them that is also enumerated in the Constitution,” Hannity said. “They do provide a basis for doing that. And that is the conviction by the U.S. Senate on the — on an impeachment article voted on by the House. Again, that’s prescribed by the Constitution. You can’t change that by a mere statute. So I’m not sure exactly where they’re headed with all of this.”