Friday, 4 Dec 2020

US election: What if Donald Trump won’t leave?

What happens if Donald Trump refuses to concede?

Donald Trump has repeatedly refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power in the event that he lost this year’s election.

With Joe Biden now looking increasingly likely to win, taking key battleground states and predicted to win enough Electoral College votes to carry victory, attention is turning to Donald Trump’s plans to leave, with many asking if he can be made to vacate the White House and what would happen if he refused.

In September, the President was asked whether he would commit to “a peaceful transferral of power” after the election, if he lost the vote.

“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump responded.

“You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the (mail) ballots. And the ballots are a disaster.

“Get rid of the ballots and we’ll have a very peaceful – there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation.

“The ballots are out of control.”

The subject came up several times since then, and Trump never changed his stance.

With most now calling the election for Biden and Trump heading to court, the focus is shifting to what the 45th President would do if the judgements don’t go his way.

At midday on January 20, 2021, Trump would officially lose his authority and Joe Biden would assume the commander-in-chief role.

Even if Trump was still claiming victory, he would then be removed from the White House, US academic Robert Shapiro told LiveScience.

“Somebody swears [Biden] in as president. It could be the chief justice of the Supreme Court. It could be his grandmother. As of noon on the 20th [of January], he’s the president of the United States. The entire Secret Service reports to him,” Shapiro said.

“Donald Trump as the outgoing president has a contingent of Secret Service. Biden goes to the White House and the Secret Service escorts Trump out. That’s what happens. All the civil service of the Government, every employee of the United States reports to Joe Biden at that juncture.”

But as historian Jonathan Gienapp noted last month, this relies on all the institutions of Government (including the Secret Service) committing to abiding by the outcome of the election, no matter how it is decided.

“We have institutions that can be called upon to arbitrate disputes or deny unlawful usurpations of power, but the safeguards that will decide matters are more political than constitutional,” he wrote.

“It may fall to elected political leaders, as it did in 1876-77, to work out some sort of compromise. Or, if necessary, the people will need to exercise their fundamental right to assemble and protest in an attempt to bring about resolution.”

In other words, if some branches of government don’t obey the will of the people the people would need to rise up and demand they do.

It’s important to note that although this fundamental societal breakdown has happened multiple times around this world, it has never occurred in the United States.

But Shapiro believes that the real issue won’t come at the end and Trump won’t need to be removed at the barrel of a gun, saying that the Secret Service will likely acquit its duty as expected.

“That’s the easiest scenario,” he told LiveScience.

“I think the Secret Service is going to report to the new president of the United States. The harder scenario is getting the agreed-upon vote count and the agreed-upon electors.”

And Trump’s defeat and eventual removal, if it happens, won’t necessarily be the last we see of the polarising president.

Steve Bannon, former chief strategist who left the White House in 2017, told The Australian last month that “you’re not going to see the end of Donald Trump”.

“I’ll make this prediction right now – if for any reason the election is stolen from or in some sort of way Joe Biden is declared the winner, Trump will announce he’s going to run for re-election in 2024,” he told the newspaper.

If that happens, Trump, 74, would be 78 on election day 2024 – the same age Biden will be if he is inaugurated next January.

Source: Read Full Article

Related Posts