Fox News personality Sean Hannity was criticized after he attempted to assure former Republican President Donald Trump's supporters he can still run for President in 2024 even if he is convicted of felonies.
Hannity's remarks came after Trump sent conservatives into a fury following his announcement the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) executed a search warrant for his Mar-a-Lago estate and "even broke into my safe!"
In the days since the search, sources said Trump was in possession of classified material—including nuclear secrets—that prompted the intelligence community to voice concerns about national security and the possibility classified government secrets could prove a boon to foreign adversaries and even allies.
But according to Hannity, the mishandling of classified material "doesn’t stop somebody from seeking the presidency."
You can hear what Hannity said in the audio below.
Hannity said that “being a felon is not a disqualification," adding:
“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."
He went on to note that the Constitution does not explicitly ban felons from running for the executive office, noting that it merely stipulates that the candidate must be 35 years of age as well as a natural-born United States citizen:
“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's comments were scorned online.
Trump has hit back at suggestions he broke federal government policy regarding classified documents.
Additionally, his claims he had the ability to declassify any and all classified documents or information have been widely disputed by experts who noted there is a specific federal process that must be adhered to before any information can be declassified.
Although Trump has not made a formal announcement, most prognosticators believe he will run for office again in 2024.
In November 2021, Trump hinted he would announce a presidential run after this year's midterm elections, which will determine if Democrats manage to retain control of both chambers of the legislature.
Speaking to Fox News, he said "a lot of great people who are thinking about running are waiting for that decision, because they're not going to run if I run."
Trump's advisers have previously instructed him to wait before he makes an official announcement confirming his candidacy.
According to a Washington Post report, which cited individuals familiar with the discussions, advisers who have told the impatient Trump he has to wait before making an announcement are nervous that an early announcement would mobilize Democrats and increase voter turnout.