Have Congress Protest The Election
What this would do: Again, nothing to change the election results. But this is one of the only ideas Trump has considered that he could legally do.
Well, not himself.
When Congress meets Jan. 6 to confirm Bidens win, Trump has lined up several House Republican lawmakers to challenge as many as half a dozen states he lost. But they wont actually succeed in changing the outcome. They dont have support yet from a Republican senator, and without that, their objections die immediately.
If a Republican senator does join in potentials include incoming senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama or Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky Congress has to debate and vote on their challenges. Lawmakers will almost certainly vote them down, even the Republican-controlled Senate. Sen. John Thune , the No. 2 Senate Republican, has said these challenges are going down like a shot dog. Theres no legal basis not to accept states electors that, taken together, make Biden president.
So all of this talk about possible actions is just that: talk. And Trump will probably continue to talk, and tweet, about the election up to noon on Jan. 20, at which point he will be the former president.
Some Trump Supporters Think He’s About To Declare Martial Law
— Sometime Monday, some of the remaining dead-enders convinced that President Trump will remain in office for at least the next four years got a sign. A Telegram account falsely purporting to be run by Gen. John Hyten, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was telling them that the moment they’d been waiting for, the moment Trump would finally act and use the military to crush his enemies, was coming.
“Nothing can stop this,” the account said in a message that had been seen by at least 185,000 people as of Tuesday morning. “They can no longer hide in the shadows,” it added half an hour later. Then, 20 minutes later: “Last hours.” It continued on like this. Around 10 a.m. ET it posted an ominous picture of soldiers in uniform behind a fence in Washington DC with the caption “Stay in your homes.”
A spokesperson for Gen. Hyten told CNN Tuesday morning that the account is “an absolute fake” and added the Pentagon was “actively working” to get it taken down. Tuesday afternoon the account was marked as a “scam” with the message, “Warning: Many users reported this account as a scam or a fake account.” The account has since shed some followers, and many of the messages have been removed. A Telegram spokesperson told CNN, “Telegram monitors reports and warns users about fraudulent accounts in clear-cut cases like the one you pointed out. ” Facebook and Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
— CNN’s Mallory Simon contributed reporting
Would Donald Trump Declare Martial Law The Us Military Won’t Help
The military won’t stand for it.
There is no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of an American election, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said in a joint statement earlier this month after Michael Flynn, President Donald Trumps first national security advisor, declared in an interview with Newsmax that Trump could take military capabilities, and he could place them in those , and basically rerun an election in those states. Other Trump backers have suggested that he might use a declaration of martial law combined with the powers of the Insurrection Act to overturn Joe Bidens victory in the November election.
What would happen if a president actually tried these things? The answer, at least in the America we live in today, is that he would fail.
In a recent article, Bonnie Kristian at The Week quotes me at length on these questions. Martial law, I noted, involves a wholesale suspension of civil liberties, so military commanders can issue orders to civilians as well as arrest and mete out punishment based on tactical needs of war rather than the civilian law on the books. The only time it has been tried on a national scale was when Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus rights during the Civil War to silence dissenters.
More from Bonnie Kristians article:
This article was first published by the CATO Institute.
You May Like: Jobs Created Under Trump
Seize Voting Machines From States
What this would do: Its unclear, honestly. Its an idea thats been floated to the president on the basis he could somehow try to prove baseless claims that voting machines counted votes incorrectly, or that they were somehow hacked by communist countries.
But those claims been disproved. In Georgia, the Republican secretary of state has presided over three recounts, including one by hand, that confirmed the machines counted votes correctly. An Arizona judge allowed Republicans to view 100 ballots to search for fraud or miscounting, and they found nothing.
Were at a point where the votes have been counted, Noti said. The machines are done. There was no fraud.
Also, this is illegal without states permission. The Constitution gives states the authority to run their own elections as they see fit. Taking the voting machines would fall to the Department of Homeland Security, and its head, Chad Wolf, has told the White House hes doesnt have the authority, according to Post reporting.
Military On Alert Over Trumps Martial Law Threat: The Craziness Is Unprecedented
According to a new report, ranking officers have discussed what they would do if the president declared martial law.
President Donald Trump has filed lawsuits after losing the 2020 presidential election and refuses to acknowledge the defeat. A new report claims military leaders have discussed their plan of action if POTUS were to declare martial law toward the last days of his term.
According to theWashington Post, national security and election law experts assert Trump cannot declare martial law, however are alarmed by the possibility.
This is really dangerous stuff to start playing with, Rachel Kleinfeld, a national security expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told the Post. You cannot normalize extrajudicial action outside the rule of law and believe democracy will hold. Democracies are fragile, even ours.
If you have martial law, Kleinfeld continued. You have total suspension of the Constitution. So thats a coup, and a coup in this country is not going to happen.
Although experts do not believe the unprecedented move is possible, a report claims the military is still preparing for the unknown. According to a Newsweek exclusive story, the Pentagon is on red alert and ranking officers have discussed what they would do if the president decided to declare martial law. One officer anonymously detailed the nature of the planning.
Recommended Reading: Did Trump Donate His Salary To Rebuilding Military Cemetaries
Is Trump Considering Martial Law
Trump asked about Flynns martial law idea at one point during an Oval Office meeting with advisors on Friday, Dec. 18, according to The New York Times.
CNN cited sources who corroborated the Times report of the discussion on martial law. The cable news network specifies that its unclear if Trump endorsed the idea but that other people in the room forcefully pushed back and shot it down.
On Saturday, Dec. 19, Trump tweeted, Martial law = fake news. Just more knowingly bad reporting!
Now, though, things have escalated beyond Trump losing the election. Following the chaos at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 wherein violent, far-right Trump supporters stormed the building following the president’s comments about the election results being fraudulent some are wondering whether his public stance on instituting martial law may change.
At this time, Trump has not given word of any plans to invoke martial law. And now that’s he’s permanently banned from Twitter, he obviously won’t be confirming or denying those claims via the social media app. There were claims that Trump had invoked the Insurrection Act following the violence at the Capitol, but doing so would first require him making a public statement, which has not been done.
Roger Stone Calls For Trump To ‘declare Martial Law’ To Seize Power If He Loses
Trends Reporter, HuffPost
Long-time Donald Trump confidant, and convicted felon,Roger Stone said that the president should declare martial law to seize power if he loses what Stone characterized as an already corrupt election.
The results will only be legitimate if the real winner Trump takes office, regardless of what the votes say, Stone declared. A loss would apparently be justification for Trump to use force to take over the nation.
Stone, who worked as an adviser in the last Trump campaign, made the astonishing statements Thursday on the InfoWars program of far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Both men talked of an ongoing coup against Trump, and Stone inexplicably claimed that he predicted almost three decades ago that this moment would come.
Stone appeared resigned to a Trump loss but blamed it on the baseless claim that early voting has already been corrupted.
To safeguard Trumps position, Stone called for federal authorities to seize ballots in Nevada, for FBI agents to physically block certain voters from casting their ballots, and for Trump to use his powers for widespread arrests to solidify his power, Media Matters first reported.
In addition, Stone warned, journalist also risk arrest. If the Daily Beast is involved in provably seditious … acts in a new Trump future, their entire staff can be taken into custody and their office can be shut down. They want to play war, this is war, he added.
Don’t Miss: How Much Does A Night At The Trump Hotel Cost
That And Other Efforts His Allies Are Floating Wont Work Say Legal And National Security Experts Heres Why
Could President Trump declare martial law, or seize voting machines, or try to otherwise steal the election by force in his last month in office? Any of those would be an extreme escalation of Trumps already unprecedented strong-arm tactics in his effort to overturn the election results.
The answer is no, he cant do this stuff, say various national security and election law experts.
But even if these maneuvers arent in the presidents tool kit, its dangerous for him to talk about them in a way that risks normalizing them let alone in Oval Office meetings, said nearly every expert The Fix spoke with.
This is really dangerous stuff to start playing with, said Rachel Kleinfeld, a national security expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. You cannot normalize extrajudicial action outside the rule of law and believe democracy will hold. Democracies are fragile, even ours.
But even if Trump could do any of the things he might be entertaining, they wouldnt actually change the election results: Heres what hes mulling, according to Washington Post reporting, and why experts say these efforts wont get him what he wants.
Video: Trumps Emergency Powers Are Ripe For Abuse
To be sure, the fact that the internet in the United States is highly decentralizeda function of a relatively open market for communications devices and serviceswould offer some protection. Achieving the level of government control over internet content that exists in places such as China, Russia, and Iran would likely be impossible in the U.S. Moreover, if Trump were to attempt any degree of internet takeover, an explosion of lawsuits would follow. Based on its First Amendment rulings in recent decades, the Supreme Court seems unlikely to permit heavy-handed government control over internet communication.
But complacency would be a mistake. Complete control of internet content would not be necessary for Trumps purposes even with less comprehensive interventions, he could do a great deal to disrupt political discourse and hinder effective, organized political opposition. And the Supreme Courts view of the First Amendment is not immutable. For much of the countrys history, the Court was willing to tolerate significant encroachments on free speech during wartime. The progress we have made is fragile, Geoffrey R. Stone, a constitutional-law scholar at the University of Chicago, has written. It would not take much to upset the current understanding of the First Amendment. Indeed, all it would take is five Supreme Court justices whose commitment to presidential power exceeds their commitment to individual liberties.
Also Check: How Can I Contact Trump
West Virginia Coal Wars
During the events of the West Virginia Coal Wars , martial law was declared in the state of West Virginia. At the behest of Governor Cornwell, federal troops had been dispatched to Mingo County to deal with the striking miners. The army officer in charge acted, ostensibly, under the Suspension Clause of Article I of the United States Constitution , and did not allow assembly of any kind. If his soldiers found any union miners, they immediately took them and imprisoned them. The jails filled up so quickly that he had to release miners. As it went, miners were arrested, jailed, and released without any sort of trial. After a time, when the trial of Sid Hatfield began, the military occupation and “veritable military dictatorship” of the army officer ended. Many of the miners were not released from jail. It was only the first of three times that federal troops would be called to quiet the miners in the West Virginia Mine War.
Is Trump Facing A Second Impeachment
Democrats have already drafted the single article for Trump’s impeachment that will be formally introduced on Monday.
To succeed two-thirds of senators would have to vote to impeach the outgoing president before the end of his term on January 20.
The document, which has over 150 sponsors, accuses Trump of violating his Constitutional duty by encouraging a crowd of his supporters to fight the vote to certify Joe Bidens Electoral College victory and denounces him as a threat to national security.
In all of this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States government.
“He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transfer of power, and imperiled a coordinate branch of government, the document reads.
Read Also: Where Can I Buy A Donald Trump Hat
How Does It Differ From Martial Law
The Insurrection Act is a law while “martial law” is a concept that doesn’t have a legal definition in the U.S. “It’s not enshrined anywhere,” said Thaddeus Hoffmeister, a law professor at the University of Dayton.
Generally, martial law means that the military takes over civilian control of the government, whereas the Insurrection Act applies to specific instances of rebellion or refusal to uphold the law and requires a state’s National Guard or the U.S. military to intervene.
“Martial law is essentially the absence of law,” Banks added. It would apply to situations where the rule of law has broken down so much that law is no longer in place. “It’s really an alien concept” in the U.S., he said.