Donald Trump appeared to be endorsing an idea to go around the U.S. Constitution and extend his term in office by two years.
On Sunday, the president took to Twitter to re-tweet a post from Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. saying that Trump’s first term in office should be extended by two years to pay back the “time stolen by this corrupt failed coup.” As The Hill noted, the tweet alluded to the completion of the Russia report, which Trump has repeatedly referred to as a partisan witch hunt.
“After the best week ever for @realDonaldTrump – no obstruction, no collusion, NYT admits @BarackObama did spy on his campaign, & the economy is soaring. I now support reparations-Trump should have 2 yrs added to his 1st term as pay back for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup,” Falwell tweeted.
Trump then took aim at the Russia investigation himself, saying that two years of his presidency had been “stollen.” Since the completion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation in March, Trump has frequently declared that he has been exonerated and that the nation should move on, despite the report itself saying Trump is not fully exonerated on charges that he committed obstruction of justice.
Mueller’s report stopped short of recommending charges against Trump, but did lay out a series of actions taken with the intention of thwarting the investigation and kicked the question back to Congress as to whether he should face discipline for it.
Democratic leaders in Congress have been reluctant to move forward with impeachment hearings, even as an increasing number of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have said that Trump should be impeached.
Donald Trump’s retweet of Jerry Falwell will likely feed into growing fears from Democrats that Trump may not peacefully leave office if he were to lose in 2020. This weekend, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is worried that Trump will refuse to leave office if the result of the election is close. As CNN reported, Pelosi said Democrats knew they would need to win by a wide margin to ensure a peaceful transition of power.
“We have to inoculate against that, we have to be prepared for that,” Pelosi said.
Donald Trump has made frequent claims of voter fraud, including saying that 5 million illegal immigrants voted in 2016, swinging the popular vote to Hillary Clinton. Trump never backed up the claim, and a commission set up afterward to investigate claims of fraud disbanded without finding any evidence to back up Trump’s assertion.