What Happens if Trump Refuses to Leave?

Mish

Trump will not commit to a peaceful transfer of power.

Trump reiterated his wait and see attitude today, a bit more forcefully.

Please note Trump Refuses to Commit to a Peaceful Transition of Power After Election Day.

Reporter: “Do you commit to making sure that there’s a peaceful transferral of power?” the reporter asked.

Trump: “We’re going to have to see what happens. You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster. We want to get rid of the ballots, and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there’ll be a continuation. The ballots are out of control. You know it.”

Reporter: “No, I don’t know it.”

Trump has made this claim before, but there was more force in the way he said it this time. 

Supreme Court 

Trump wants another conservative on the Supreme Court because the result of the election may head there. 

Please consider Trump says he thinks Supreme Court Will Rule on Election Outcome so 9th Justice Needed.

 "I think it's better if you go before the election, because I think this scam that the Democrats are pulling -- it's a scam -- the scam will be before the United States Supreme Court," Trump told reporters at the White House, in an apparent reference to efforts to increase mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic. "I think having a 4-4 situation is not a good situation, if you get that."

What Might Trump Do?

  1. Contest mail-in votes.
  2. Delay or impound mail-in votes. 
  3. Declare the election invalid.
  4. Ask states to declare a new set of electors.

Nate Silver discusses point 4 in What If Trump Loses And Won’t Leave?

[Suppose] Trump leads in the tipping-point state of Pennsylvania on election night, but because of Democratic gains in ballots counted in the following days, Biden pulls ahead by a few thousand votes. What happens next quickly devolves into a partisan dispute. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signs Pennsylvania’s certificate of ascertainment, confirming Biden’s victory by listing the Democratic electors as the state’s official slate for the Electoral College, while the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania legislature appoints a different set of electors at Trump’s behest as he has claimed there was widespread election fraud. 

The Electoral Count Act of 1887, which governs the electoral vote counting process, was designed to help Congress decide how to handle such a situation. But it is especially ambiguous on what would happen if the Senate and House disagree on which set of electors should count, which could happen if the GOP retains control of the Senate and Democrats keep the House.

Vice President Mike Pence — as president of the Senate, he would oversee the count in Congress — follows one interpretation of the law, arguing that neither set of electors should count because they conflict. That removes Pennsylvania’s votes from the total number of electors and gives Trump a majority based on the remaining 518 electoral votes.

[In another possible scenario], Arizona was the tipping-point state and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey refused to certify the results to give Biden the state’s electors.

Succession of Power

Silver also discussed succession of power. 

Under the 20th Amendment, we know someone must take office on Jan. 20 as president, yet the amendment is curiously silent on how to deal with a dispute over whether someone has actually qualified to take office.

In fact, it’s possible that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could claim that under the Presidential Succession Act, she is next in line to become president and that she would be willing to resign her House seat to serve as president until Biden is ruled the election winner. But if Republicans claimed Trump had won reelection, they very well might object to Pelosi being sworn in.

Transition Integrity 

Silver drew up his examples from many scenarios the Transition Integrity Project, a bipartisan collection of over 100 experts, explored this summer while researching how a possible election crisis could unfold.

On Election Night, We Might Not Know Who Won

On August 30, I wrote On Election Night, We Might Not Know Who Won

That scenario is looking increasingly likely. And polls shows a majority believe that will happen.

An overwhelming majority of mail-in votes will be from Democrats, so unless the race is a total blowout, I fail to see how we can possibly know who won the swing states. 

And if Trump is ahead, he almost certain to proclaim victory, followed by theft if he then loses by a small margin. 

What Then?

I do not know, nor does anyone else, but it is a very realistic scenario. 

However, all this talk cannot possibly help Trump outside an actual attempt at theft via one of the methods noted above.

Trump's talk will likely not go over well with the majority of fence-sitters who are justifiably terrified by Trump's threats.

Mish

Comments (167)
No. 1-41
Mespeiser
Mespeiser

Not sure there was a peaceful transfer of power in 2016. There were a lot of posts about insurance policies and unproven stories about Russian collusion, now accepted as fact.
I am very interested and open to any opinions based on reports based on reality other than assumptions.

Sechel
Sechel

Barr is the great enabler here. He's weaponized DOJ and acts more like an interior minister than an A.G

jivefive99
jivefive99

The country has almost come to an end a dozen times. Scaring the womenfolk who came out in 2018 with this nonsense makes it more and more likely Biden wins by a landslide. My mom aint gonna vote for her inheritance to drop to nothing once the stock market collapses and the financial system is frozen. Even she isnt THAT political.

Tengen
Tengen

So out of curiosity, I read Woodward's "Rage" this week. While it doesn't portray Trump in a flattering light, the extensive interviews paint a detailed picture of Trump's thinking process.

Even if Trump isn't inclined to leave for some reason, if Jared, Ivanka, and maybe a few others (Mnuchin and Pompeo?) tell him to vacate, he will. He's surprisingly wishy washy on a lot of things and if those close to him urge him to do something, he'll usually listen.

The nightmare scenario of a standoff only happens if his inner circle encourages him to stay, which seems unlikely. Most of those people have plenty of connections and powerful friends apart from Trump, so they have little reason to feel personally threatened by a new administration. Even if Trump is hounded by the media or threats of lawsuits afterward, they'll be just fine.

Augustthegreat
Augustthegreat

Trump will incite civil war, one way or another. He will not leave white house peacefully

vanderlyn
vanderlyn

trump would love a civil war(doesn't have to mean millions of dead with jet fighters or nukes dropped). it's great ratings and he would be known for centuries.

Sechel
Sechel

There's little doubt in my mind that Trump will attempt to invalidate as many votes in Democratic districts as possible and Barr will actively help him

Sechel
Sechel

My fear is that White nationalist militias in support of Trump attempt to intimidate voters on election day. We could see a lot of weapons on display

Sechel
Sechel

Guarantee you one thing. We wouldn't be having this conversation with Hillary Clinton were President

Tom from Michigan
Tom from Michigan

Once again there's a "hair on fire" campaign effort to create fear by manufacturing "what if" crisis. The constitution provides for a peaceful transition. Let's deal with real problems instead of creating them.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

I do agree that the biased MSM is trying to bait Trump asking these questions....but it gives him a chance to stir the pot, which he is happy to do......any traditional politician would talk about how important it is for the succession to be smooth and seamless....preserve tradition, avoid uncertainty, etc......while having the local hit squad toss out ballots with hanging chads somewhere in a backroom in all the red states.

Trump takes the opportunity to throw the press into a tizzy by not doing that.....he raises the ante like a poke player. Is he bluffing? Probably......but he is a rank opportunist, and he will be happy to cheat if he can get away with it.

I prefer the traditional type of lying politician myself, where the cheating is kept behind closed doors and everybody pretends to bow to the hallowed traditions. I think that works out better for the country.

The very best outcome would be if Americans rise up en masse and vote this little grifter out with a resounding wallop that can be heard 'round the world.

That's why lazy-ass liberal people and pissed-off Bernie supporters, and even patriotic Republicans need to vote, preferably in person, especially if you are in a state that doesn't start counting the ballots until the election is over (whose stupid idea was that, anyway?)

A low voter turnout favors Trump. A ton of mail-in ballots favors Trump.

That's why it really pains me when I hear influential people (hint, hint) who say that they can support NEITHER candidate...and intend to not vote ...or write in a candidate they like.

I've been that guy...but this time we need to vote....not for Biden, who is a cardboard cut-out....but rather against Trump....simply because he is dangerous and can't be trusted not to subvert the Constitution, what's left of it.

reader2006
reader2006

What if all the voters who didn’t post signs in front of their homes or wear MAGA hats in order to avoid controversy and polarized wrath, put Trump in with a landslide? It would seem to be the one scenario that hasn’t been thought of or discussed.

Rocky Raccoon
Rocky Raccoon

America first actually translates to Trump first.

Woodturner
Woodturner

Trump is psychologically incapable of admitting a loss or he’s wrong on anything. Assume he won’t leave.

Woodturner
Woodturner

Also, how can anyone with half a brain be undecided at this point? They are such strikingly different people.

Sechel
Sechel

Not only is Trump refusing to commit to honoring the election results but he's telling us now that what his intentions are..

“This will end up in the Supreme Court, and I think it’s very important that we have nine justices,” Mr Trump said on Wednesday, amid rising concern that the result will not be clear immediately after the election.

TCW
TCW

If I was president I wouldn't leave until it was clear that I had lost.

xardoz
xardoz

Will Biden commit to "peacefully" concede defeat?

Webej
Webej

"An overwhelming majority of mail-in votes will be from Democrats"

Why is that a given?
What is the mechanism/causality for political preference to completely coincide with ballot casting preference?

William Janes
William Janes

This is all nonsense. State validate the election votes and winners, not the President or the Congress. Most electoral disputes are settled quickly by the courts who are well versed in their state election laws, cases come up every election. The President has nothing to do with it, it is irrelevant whether Trump accepts the decision. The Supreme Court if necessary, unlikely with Biden's lead in the electoral college, will rule on the facts, doubtful if they care whether Trump appointed them or not. Senior Republican senators will walk up the hill to the White House and tell him to depart or be escorted out. Everything else is useless and baseless speculation. And that is all.

WildBull
WildBull

He'll be escorted from the oval office. All Done.

KidHorn
KidHorn

This is absurd. If, in the end, Trump loses, how can he possibly remain in office?

numike
numike

Whomever wins its going to be a hell of ride for us plebians

curio
curio

Is the football safe? An emergency could be used to continue the regime.

Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon

How about 50 state legislatures vote to go one way or the other?

mkestrel
mkestrel

Where is the economic analysis?

LB412
LB412

This is a non event story. Do you really believe he is going to lock himself in the Whitehouse???? Not going to happen. Now if its close we will have a legal battle e.g. Bush v. Gore.

Louis Winthorpe III
Louis Winthorpe III

All you delusional Trump supporters who pay lip service to the Constitution have to explain how Trump not agreeing to a peaceful transfer of power does anything but absolutely subvert American Democracy and everything that the Constitution stands for.

Mish
Mish

Editor

  1. It is amazing that people cannot see enormous potential for economic disruptions in this
Mish
Mish

Editor

  1. It is also amazing to see people who cannot read making stupid comments like this: "This is absurd. If, in the end, Trump loses, how can he possibly remain in office?"

Trump, Republicans may very well take it to the Supreme Court to have some ballots thrown out. The Post Office may slow delivery of ballots so that timelines are missed.

How the hell can anyone not understand these threats?

Moreover, the threats will cost Trump votes. Nearly guaranteed, unless of course he actually intends to attempt some of these tactics.

William Janes
William Janes

Trump is unpleasant, but not much different than William Jefferson Clinton who would engineer an election if he could and smile his big smile while he was doing it. Same for Obama, who engineered a popular primary rival out of the primary in his Chicago State Senate race by hiring an expensive team to go through every primary qualification signature and disqualify the voter if there was even the most minor flaw in the application. Now that is "the Chicago way."

President Johnson's win in 1948 Senate race against the very popular Governor Coke Stevenson in a viscous Democratic campaign that Johnson won by voter fraud ended up in the Supreme Court with Johnson won by use of his good friend and future Supreme Court Judge, Abe Fortas. Johnson's motto, "Do what it takes."

And don't bring up the Kennedy-Nixon race of 1960 which was also engineered by Mayor Daley in Chicago and cost Nixon the Election. Present day , most divisive and dangerous, complete nonsense. Politics in America is rough and always has been. Read your history.

Trump Pandemic
Trump Pandemic

We kill him....what an enjoyable celebratory experience that will be.

Captain Ahab
Captain Ahab

Problems with the balloting system, surely not. This has to be fake news:

Sechel
Sechel

"The president's rhetoric has put my party in the position of a firefighter who deliberately sets fires to look like a hero putting them out," he added. "Calling elections 'fraudulent' and results 'rigged' with almost nonexistent evidence is antithetical to being the 'rule of law' party."

The president’s words make his and the Republican Party’s rhetoric look less like sincere concern — and more like transactional hypocrisy designed to provide an electoral advantage. And they come as Republicans trying to make their cases in courts must deal with the basic truth that four decades of dedicated investigation have produced only isolated incidents of election fraud.

danisssy
danisssy

Meanwhile Hillary Clinton has told Biden not to concede the election under any circumstances, and the Democrats have said the only scenario in which there isn't widespread violence is if Biden wins in a landslide (i.e they will not allow a peaceful election unless they win).

But somehow it's only Trump that is problematic.

Sechel
Sechel

This is what Ben Ginsberg long time Republican lawyer who has represented four aadministrations wrote in the Washington Post

Ginsberg, who has represented four Republican presidential candidates and played a key role in cases like Bush v. Gore in the 2000 election, wrote in The Washington Post that a “lack of evidence” makes claims of fraud from Trump and other Republicans “unsustainable” and that the GOP is needlessly inciting concerns over the presidential race.

“The truth is that after decades of looking for illegal voting, there’s no proof of widespread fraud. At most, there are isolated incidents — by both Democrats and Republicans. Elections are not rigged. Absentee ballots use the same process as mail-in ballots — different states use different labels for the same process,” Ginsberg wrote.

“The president’s rhetoric has put my party in the position of a firefighter who deliberately sets fires to look like a hero putting them out,” he added. “Calling elections ‘fraudulent’ and results ‘rigged’ with almost nonexistent evidence is antithetical to being the ‘rule of law’ party.”

eqmc2
eqmc2

The pandemocriots didn't peacefully leave, they are still destroying with the kungflu and riots, why would anyone think it would be any different if by fraud the pandemocriots took over. Just more riots and destruction.

Sechel
Sechel

Its being argued that what Trump is engaged in is voter suppression saying don't bother to vote , i'm not leaving.

nlightn
nlightn

T-rump is a scared little boy conducting one of his few last temper tantrums before SDNY and NY Att Gen come after him, his kids and his crimnal activity that finally has caught up with.

He is a very sick and twisted individual with strong indications of becoming more and more violent with each day the reality of his demise hits him between his few still functioning narcissistic brains cells.

FactsonJoe
FactsonJoe

Democrats are trying to STEAL the election.

Several Democrat controlled states have made rules where they will mail ballots to every registered voter and allow these to be counted despite arriving from 3 days to 2 weeks after the election date Nov 3rd depending on state and several states do NOT require signature verification and several states do NOT require a postmark at the latest Nov 3rd on the envelope and several states allowed "ballot harvesting" aka Democrat organizations going around collecting people's ballots (and no doubt some ballot harvesters will be funded by some Soros NGO to give gift cards or some other gift to motivate people to vote who would not otherwise vote since 25% of registered Democrats and 18% of registered Republicans did not vote in 2016 so Democrats have lots of votes to "ballot harvest").

When Trump wins some state by say 5000 votes the Democrats will "ballot harvest" 6000 votes from those who did NOT vote in the days/weeks after November 3rd and tell them you can stop Trump by voting for Biden and giving us your ballot which we will drop-off to be counted at ballot collection points in states that have them (or get somebody to stamp Nov 3rd and mail it in states that require it and just drop it off in the mailbox address receiving ballots for states that do not require a postmark) and thanks to Democrat made rules in those states they will be counted and Biden will win that state(s) and the presidency.

In states that require a postmark of November 3rd the latest I am sure Democrats will be able to find tens of US Postal Service employees ready to stamp a postmark of November 3rd on the envelope November 4th-14th and then drop these into mail and just blame USPS cuts Trump claimedly made for the envelopes arriving late.

The automatic mail-in ballots for everybody also causes many illegal immigrants to vote with ballots they get for Americans that have moved out or died before illegal immigrants rented that house/apartment and same for Democrats who have moved into a house/apartment and get the previous occupants mail-in ballot since there is no way to catch these people.
If there is an investigation which is unlikely they can claim they never saw the ballot and somebody must have snatched it from the mail and voted.

Automatic Mail-in ballots will also cause many families with unhinged Democrats in them to all vote for Democrats because the unhinged Democrat will inspect who others vote for and make sure it is Democrats.

Unhinged Democrat children in the 20-50 year category will also make their elderly parents and other elderly relatives vote for Democrats and dead people in many families will also be voting for Democrats.

Then in addition to the fact that Democrats can 99% certainly find many USPS workers to stamp a postmark of Nov 3rd after Nov 3rd on lots of ballot envelopes some USPS staff will quite likely just "disappear" and "misplace" ballot envelopes from Republican leaning areas either in the collection or sorting phase.

Anybody who claims that automatic mail-in ballots for every registered voter is the same as absentee ballots which you have to request and prove your ID to get is functionally braindead or intentionally trying to mislead and this includes all the talking heads on TV claiming automatic mail-in ballots for everybody in some states is just the same as absentee ballots.

This will be a total nightmare and if Joe Biden and Democrats pull this scam of it will begin the destruction of USA.

Supreme Court should get involved and BAN accepting ballots that do NOT have November 3rd or earlier postmarked on them and that arrive later than Nov 5th and Supreme Court should mandate that signature verification must be conducted for each mail-in ballot and that those votes made by dead people must be discarded by getting up to date info for each mail-in ballot voter whether he/she was alive when they supposedly voted.

Last news I read about the dead voters stated that almost 10 000 dead people vote every election and that there are 500k dead voters among the registered voters so with automatic mail-in ballots there might be 100k-200k dead voters this year which is enough to flip many states.

El Capitano
El Capitano

Liberals love to wonder if conservatives will do the same thing that the liberals already did. Does anyone think that the Obama-Hillary deep state transitioned power to Trump? Fuk no. They attacked him from before he even took over. There was no peaceful transfer. But Trump doesn't have enough support to avoid a power transfer if Biden wins fairly. And I don't mean innuendo and suspicion of fraud. It must be caught red handed and undeniable. What I have to wonder is how many people think Biden would be any better than Trump when the Global Debt Ponzi collapses. I expect Biden to go into hiden. I think Trump is a loud arrogant a-hole but the dems should have brought someone other than brain dead biden. Biden thinks he deserves his turn at the throne just like Hillary did. I suspect it will turn out the same as in 2016. But if biden wins then he wins. Who cares, the prez is just a figurehead these days anyway. The real ones running the show are the banksters at the fed.