The United States has always been marked by its peaceful transition of power from one presidential administration to the next, but a new report claims that tradition may be at risk with Donald Trump, amid concerns he may not leave office even if he loses in 2020.
The report from Washington Monthly outlines a series of scenarios under which Trump could stay in the White House even if he loses to a Democratic challenger. While the report noted that none are considered likely, there is still a concern that Trump may resist leaving if he loses the election. The report cited a series of statement from Trump hinting that he would not accept the results of the election if he were to lose, instead citing fraud in favor of Democrats.
In order for Trump to remain in office, the results of the election would need to be very close, the report noted. That could allow Trump to revisit his frequent claims of voter fraud. The president would need the backing of Congressional Republicans to make this effective, the report noted, which remains in question.
But if Donald Trump were to challenge the results of the election in courts, it could head to a judiciary filled with judged hand-picked by Trump. Led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republicans prevented Barack Obama from filling a number of openings on the federal judiciary, allowing Trump to stack the courts since taking office.
“The justices, along with everybody else, seemed to view disputed facts through the lens of the place where they have been ideologically,” Rick Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California Irvine School of Law, told the magazine.
The report went on to note that it is highly unlikely that Donald Trump would have the backing necessary to actually remain in office after losing. While third-world despots often stay in power after losing due to the backing of the military, political scientist Robert Mickey said Trump doesn’t have such support.
“I can’t imagine the military accepting an effort to turn them into a partisan arm of the executive,” said the University of Michigan professor, an expert in authoritarianism.
There could be another, much simpler scenario that keeps Donald Trump in office — he wins the election outright. While Trump’s approval ratings remain low and he loses in head-to-head matchups with most potential Democratic nominees, The Inquisitr noted that a series of economic models with a record of picking the winner in presidential races point to re-election for Donald Trump. These models take into account factors like GDP growth and unemployment.