USA: Period between election and inauguration

Arkitect

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Not a serious question, but something a few of us over here are curious about. So for you legal eagles…

Talking with a friend over a bottle of wine last night we wondered what the position would be if Biden wins the election, but Trump refuses the validity of the result.
Here in the UK a PM loses and they are out the same day. Goes and says goodbye to the queen or king of the day and they then welcome the winner in.

What we have seen from the Republican side is that they will always back him to the hilt.

Democrats can shout and stamp their feet, but are apparently powerless until such time they have a majority.

I have no idea how much damage he can do, but I wouldn't put anything (and I genuinely mean anything) past him. Calls his supporters out on to the streets. Or they just go crazy by themselves, and he does nothing to stop things spiralling out of control.

What are the legal ways he can be removed or at least tied to a chair til the Inauguration?
 

ericgtr12

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Not a serious question, but something a few of us over here are curious about. So for you legal eagles…

Talking with a friend over a bottle of wine last night we wondered what the position would be if Biden wins the election, but Trump refuses the validity of the result.
Here in the UK a PM loses and they are out the same day. Goes and says goodbye to the queen or king of the day and they then welcome the winner in.

What we have seen from the Republican side is that they will always back him to the hilt.

Democrats can shout and stamp their feet, but are apparently powerless until such time they have a majority.

I have no idea how much damage he can do, but I wouldn't put anything (and I genuinely mean anything) past him. Calls his supporters out on to the streets. Or they just go crazy by themselves, and he does nothing to stop things spiralling out of control.

What are the legal ways he can be removed or at least tied to a chair til the Inauguration?
I'm not law expert but from what everyone is saying this could be pretty complicated and I don't think anyone doubts Trump will do everything in his power to stay in office, even if illegally. IMO the best we can hope for is an overwhelming and decisive victory by Biden, anything short of that will face heavy legal challenges by an administration who's spent the last 3 months sowing doubt in the system.
 

Arkitect

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I'm not law expert but from what everyone is saying this could be pretty complicated and I don't think anyone doubts Trump will do everything in his power to stay in office, even if illegally. IMO the best we can hope for is an overwhelming and decisive victory by Biden, anything short of that will face heavy legal challenges by an administration who's spent the last 3 months sowing doubt in the system.
Thanks. That is what prompted the speculation… it seems as if they are tilling the fields and sowing doubt in the system.

Fingers crossed it is a large enough majority… no “hanging chads,” “dimpled chads” or “pregnant chads” this time. :)
 

Scepticalscribe

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Not a serious question, but something a few of us over here are curious about. So for you legal eagles…

Talking with a friend over a bottle of wine last night we wondered what the position would be if Biden wins the election, but Trump refuses the validity of the result.
Here in the UK a PM loses and they are out the same day. Goes and says goodbye to the queen or king of the day and they then welcome the winner in.

What we have seen from the Republican side is that they will always back him to the hilt.

Democrats can shout and stamp their feet, but are apparently powerless until such time they have a majority.

I have no idea how much damage he can do, but I wouldn't put anything (and I genuinely mean anything) past him. Calls his supporters out on to the streets. Or they just go crazy by themselves, and he does nothing to stop things spiralling out of control.

What are the legal ways he can be removed or at least tied to a chair til the Inauguration?

This is my concern, too.

I have wondered whether the institutions and constitution of the US are sufficiently robust and sturdy to deal with someone such as Mr Trump, especially in the event of a defeat - worse, a narrow defeat - where he refuses to accept the outcome (something he was also pushing in 2016, when, instead, unexpectedly, he won).

The resignation of Mr Nixon (he would have been removed had he not resigned, and several from his administration and cabinet ended up behind bars) was something that I have long found reassuring, perhaps too reassuring, as it served to give me a false sense of security when Mt Trump appeared, as it provided convincing evidence that the relevant institutions were sufficiently strong to intervene in the case of a president gone rogue.

Personally, at this stage, I want to see Mr Trump and his foul administration destroyed, annihilated, defeated by a landslide, this November.
 

Alli

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This is why they keep asking if he will commit to a peaceful transition of power. And the fact that he refuses to answer scares the hell out of me. He can do more damage between November 3 and January 21 than he’s done in his entire presidency. And when he loses he will want revenge. Bigly.
 

Thomas Veil

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We've already seen so many examples of Republicans not playing by the rules.

If you want something that will keep you up nights between the election and the inauguration, try this:


That's right. Under this scenario, Biden could win the popular vote and the electoral vote, and Republican state legislatures could still take it out of our hands and put Trump back in the White House in January.

Prior to now, thinking the election could end like this would have been labeled paranoia. But when one side makes a habit of cheating, anything is possible.
 

niji

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@Arkitect, here is what i think is likely.

in the time between the election and the electoral college deadline in December:

trump claims victory. no matter what. based on nothing other than he "deserves" to win.
- henchman barr simultaneously sets in place legal challenges in 10 or 12 states claiming evidence of fraud
- as mail in ballots slowly reveal, it becomes apparent that trump looses the overall popular vote
- this all sets stage for massive civil disobedience.
the upshot being:
- red states where trump lost the popular vote but barr is successful in pushing his claims of fake fraud, those states select 100% trump electors and thereby give all that red state's electors to trump. this is legal to do. the supremes will vindicate this as constitutional. the supreme court already validated this earlier this year when it said that electors MUST vote in accordance with the rule of that individual state.
and, if the state can change those rules at its whim, then states are free to ignore the way they have set it up now (almost all states award the state's slate of electors to the majority popular vote winner), but they are not required to do this. they can change that at whim. and r states will change it since the states governed by the reds will not fight the claims of fraud and simply chose trump faithful electors.

the above is the reason why biden and warren and michelle have warned us: we need to win BIG (or, BIGLY) in order to make the popular vote stick. for it to be so large of a difference that r state level pols fear for their political longevity in future state level elections.
even ERIC TRUMP is well quoted in saying that the only scenario where his father could lose and the cosa-nostra-trump-grifters would not stay in power is if there is huge vote against him.

so:
its true. even biden is now on record. unless we win big. not just 270. trump will be re-elected.

for the last 50 years it hasn't changed:
d party mindset is to break rules to make new rules.
r party mindset is to win no matter what the rules say. this keeps them returning to power, and, within the last five years, yielding power.

the preeminent issues in 2021 will be:
1 getting an amendment to the constitution proposed and through congress that mandates a state's electors be awarded to the popular vote majority in that state
2 focusing on getting more d folk elected within states in order to get this electoral college related amendment passed within enough states to get into law within the next 10 or so years.
which means 10 years more of racist, misogynistic, anti-NATO, anti-free speech tyranny by the minority.
 
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lizkat

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This is why they keep asking if he will commit to a peaceful transition of power. And the fact that he refuses to answer scares the hell out of me. He can do more damage between November 3 and January 21 than he’s done in his entire presidency. And when he loses he will want revenge. Bigly.

Well there are formal requirements for participation in a transition, associated protocols and arrangements that both sides make with the General Services Adminstration. Sometimes work begins even prior to the election. Doesn't mean that the winner will necessarily follow on its projected transition plans if it's the incoming one and a switch of power occurs upon moment of inauguration, but it does mean there are rules and observations ongoing by both teams during the pre-election, election period and time up to that inauguration. Not everything is quite as crazy as Trump might wish it to be...

 

ericgtr12

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The constitution dictates a line of succession. At noon or whatever time on inauguration day, if Trump is not re-elected, he ceases being President. I think it's unlikely that Republicans want to chance that one via the court system.
This seems like a more realistic (albeit less controversial) outcome, up until then we can expect this speculation to reach a fever pitch.
 

Arkitect

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its true. even Biden is now on record. unless we win big. not just 270. trump will be re-elected.
Thank you for setting it out… warts and all!

I truly hope it doesn't come to that. Complacency is the danger…

which means 10 years more of racist, misogynistic, anti-NATO, anti-free speech tyranny by the minority.
Makes me feel ill to the pit of my stomach.
 

lizkat

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Except that Trump doesn’t play by the rules. Ever.

Nonetheless there are those in his admin who understand consequences. Refusal to sign a memorandum of understanding with the GSA about transition planning would have brought the attention of Congress back to the issue of "peaceful transition" yet again, with ensuing press coverage of further bipartisan resolutions or "worse".

Weak tea though they may be, the earlier and admittedly pro forma resolutions affirming expectation of a peaceful transition of power in 2021 --passed in both houses of Congress-- received good press and approval from most Americans.

I'll grant you that Trump probably doesn't even know his campaign is signed up to engage in transition planning... since he apparently doesn't think there will be one.
 

PearsonX

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My guess it would depend on the election's outcome for career republican politicians such as Mitch McConnell. If he loses, Trump will be allowed to go on a frenzy. If McConnell wins (most likely outcome), then he'll make sure his career is not destroyed by Trump.
 

Thomas Veil

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We’ve got neighbors down the street who started with a small house and just recently added an upper level, including a street-facing second story balcony. I was kind of impressed with the improvements they made on the house.

Until, that is, they added a huge Trump banner that covers the entirety of their balcony. The day after they did this, they surrounded the banner with white Christmas lights. It’s embarrassing.

Unless of course I’m mistaken and what I’m actually looking at is Trump’s latest casino.
 
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