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Analysis

Trump’s legal, business woes could keep him from running in 2024

Former US president’s advanced age and diminished political influence could also stand between him and a return to the White House

US President Donald Trump talks with Deputy Campaign Manager for Presidential Operations Max Miller, left, before his speech to the Republican National Convention on the South Lawn of the White House, Aug. 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
US President Donald Trump talks with Deputy Campaign Manager for Presidential Operations Max Miller, left, before his speech to the Republican National Convention on the South Lawn of the White House, Aug. 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Former US president Donald Trump is teasing another run for the White House in 2024.

And while the 45th president of the United States continues to enjoy strong grassroots support in the Republican Party, only one American leader has ever served non-consecutive terms.

Democrat Grover Cleveland won the White House in 1884, lost in 1888, and then won again in 1892.

While Trump appears to be in relatively good health, he would be 78 years old when the next presidential election comes around.

And the bombastic real estate tycoon would have to overcome a number of obstacles to be his party’s nominee four years from now.

Marcia English, center, leads a group of former President Donald Trump supporters in a song outside the convention center at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Trump is facing potential legal difficulties now that he is a private citizen stripped of the protections of the Oval Office.

New York prosecutors investigating Trump’s finances received his tax returns last week following a marathon legal battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance was initially investigating payments made before the 2016 presidential election to two women who claim they had affairs with Trump.

But the prosecutor is also now examining possible allegations of tax evasion and insurance and bank fraud.

Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen has testified to Congress that Trump artificially inflated and devalued the worth of his company’s assets to both obtain bank loans and reduce taxes.

Former president Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Trump is also facing potential legal woes in connection with his November 3 election defeat to Democrat Joe Biden.

A prosecutor in Georgia is investigating Trump’s efforts to subvert the state’s election results by pressuring local officials to alter the vote count.

Trump did escape one potential roadblock to his candidacy when the Senate voted to acquit him of inciting the January 6 assault by his supporters on the US Capitol.

A Senate conviction could have resulted in a separate vote barring Trump from running for federal office again.

Trump is additionally fending off civil lawsuits, including from two women who have alleged he sexually assaulted them and are suing him for defamation.

He’ll be 78 in 2024

Trump was born on June 14, 1946 and would be 78 years old in November 2024, when the White House is next up for grabs.

Biden was 77 years old when he defeated Trump in November 2020 and turned 78 two weeks after the election, making him the oldest man ever to be inaugurated for a first term in office.

Ronald Reagan was about two weeks shy of 78 years old when he left office in January 1989.

Business troubles

Trump’s political ambitions could also be curtailed by a potential need to focus on what The Washington Post described as a “deepening crisis” within his company.

According to the newspaper, Trump’s hotels, resorts and other properties lost more than $120 million in revenue last year, in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Trump company brand has also reportedly suffered damage from the January 6 attack on Congress though Trump’s son Eric denied that in a statement to the Post.

“We have an unbelievable company with some of the best and most valuable real estate assets in the world,” Eric Trump said. “Our brand has never been stronger and we are very excited about the future.”

Waning political influence?

While Trump clearly remains popular with the base of the Republican Party, the “Grand Old Party” did not fare well during his tenure and a number of influential Republicans have said it is time to move on.

Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections and the Senate in 2020 along with the White House.

Look Ahead America sponsor Matt Braynard, center, talks to conference attendees at his booth in the merchandise show with a statue of former president Donald Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) February 26, 2021, in Orlando, Florida. (AP/John Raoux)

Ten Republicans in the House voted to impeach Trump for the January 6 insurrection and seven Republican senators voted to convict him at his trial.

Trump has vowed to seek revenge against the lawmakers in the Republican primaries and the 2022 midterm elections will be the first barometer of his continuing sway.

To run again in 2024, Trump would first need to win the Republican nomination and a straw poll conducted at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference gave some indication of where he stands today.

Only 68 percent of those surveyed said they wanted Trump to mount another White House run four years from now.

But Trump emerges as the clear choice to be the Republican nominee if he is in the race.

Fifty-five percent of those polled said they would back Trump as the 2024 GOP nominee while 21 percent opted for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

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