Former US president Donald Trump appeared in a New York court on Tuesday, pleading not guilty to 34 criminal charges.

He is the first former president in US history to face criminal charges and despite being arrested, fingerprinted and appearing in court, he remains a presidential candidate.

According to the latest Reuters/Ipsos survey, Mr Trump remains the Republican Party favourite for the 2024 presidential primary, regardless of the case hanging over his head.

Can Trump still run for president after being charged?

Legal experts say Mr Trump can still run for president even when facing criminal charges.

Richard Hasen, an election law professor at the University of California Los Angeles, told CNN that nothing in the constitution stopped a presidential candidate from running if indicted, or even convicted.

He said it was not clear whether states could add barriers to presidential qualifications, given that was set by the constitution.

The American constitution requires only three things of prospective candidates, that they must be a natural born citizen, at least 35 years old, and a resident of the US for at least 14 years.

However, if Mr Trump was convicted of a criminal charge in New York, he would be unable to vote in Florida, until he had served out a sentence.

Will the indictment hurt Trump’s political chances?

According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll published on April 3, Mr Trump’s popularity has increased since the announcement of his indictment.

In the poll, about 48 per cent of Republicans say they want Mr Trump to be their party’s presidential nominee, up from 44 per cent in a March 14-20 poll.

About 19 per cent back Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, who has not officially declared his candidacy, down from 30 per cent last month.

In an article for the i, Simon Marks wrote that these survey results are the first indications that the indictment has increased Republican support for Mr Trump.

But he says “the hour is still early” in America’s presidential race, with at least three other sets of criminal charges against him in the weeks and months ahead.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on the day of his court appearance in New York after being indicted by a Manhattan grand jury following a probe into hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels, in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., April 4, 2023. REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo
Donald Trump speaking at Mar-a-Lago after being indicted in Manhattan (Photo: Ricardo Arduengo/Reuters)

The New York Times‘s Maggie Haberman said on the newspaper’s Daily podcast that some Republican voters felt more loyal to Mr Trump after news of the indictment broke.

Even potential challengers to Mr Trump, including Mr DeSantis and his former vice president, Mike Pence, have expressed their support for him.

Along with the allegations of falsifying business records in New York, Mr Trump is also facing investigations into holding classified documents at his Florida estate Mar-a-Lago, and investigations into his alleged role in the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021.

A separate investigation into attempts to overturn Mr Trump’s narrow 2020 presidential election defeat in Georgia is also under way. It is not known if the former president is being directly investigated in the probe which focuses in part on a phone call Mr Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, on 2 January, 2021.

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