Martial law could be the last resort for Trump to stay in the White House

December 21, 2020 - 10:56

TEHRAN – U.S. President Donald Trump, who is struggling to remain in office for four more years after he lost the presidential election in November, has reportedly held an explosive meeting at the White House to discuss how to overturn the election results.

During the meeting, Trump heard a piece of advice that could prove to be the last resort for him to remain in the White House for another term: declaring martial law. 

The meeting, first reported by The New York Times, was held on Friday with lawyer Sidney Powell and her client, former national security adviser Michael Flynn in attendance.  

Flynn had suggested earlier this week that Trump could invoke martial law as part of his efforts to overturn the election that he lost to President-elect Joe Biden -- an idea that arose again during the meeting in the Oval Office, according to CNN. It wasn't clear whether Trump endorsed the idea, but others in the room forcefully pushed back and shot it down.

“There is no way in the world we are going to be able to move forward as a nation,” Flynn told Newsmax. “He could immediately, on his order, seize every single one of these machines, on his order.”

The former national security advisor added, “He could order the, within the swing states, if he wanted to, he could take military capabilities, and he could place those in states and basically rerun an election in each of those states. I mean, it's not unprecedented. These people are out there talking about martial law like it's something that we've never done. Martial law has been instituted 64 times.”

Flynn repeated this advice in the Friday meeting.

Trump, however, rejected the martial law report as fake news. 

“Martial law = Fake News. Just more knowingly bad reporting!” the U.S. president said in a tweet. 

Since the election, and even before the election, Trump has kept saying that the election would be rigged and thus he will not concede defeat. He kept saying that he had won the election even after his rival Joe Biden won the election. 

The Trump campaign has tried many ways to overturn the election results. First of all, the campaign sought to stop counting what they called “illegal votes.” And then it demanded a recount of votes in swing states where Trump lost to Biden by a narrow margin. After they initially failed to change the election result, they resorted to the Supreme Court, which, in turn, disappointed Trump and his supporters. 

In early December, the state of Texas filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court in a bid to invalidate results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. 18 state attorneys general and 106 Republican members of Congress supported the lawsuit. This lawsuit was part of lawsuits questioning the results of the election. None of them succeeded in handing the presidency to Trump.

The lawsuit of Texas was ultimately rejected by the Supreme Court, a move that disappointed Trump.

“The Supreme Court really let us down. No Wisdom, No Courage!” Trump tweeted on December 12. Nearly a week later, he once again railed against the Supreme Court. He tweeted, “I am very disappointed in the United States Supreme Court, and so is our great country!”

After the Supreme Court ruling on the Texas lawsuit, some of Trump allies, most notably Flynn started to float the idea of imposing martial law, which could be the last resort to extend Trump’s stay at the White House, because he exhausted almost all other legal and political options to overturn the election results. 

Martial law is designed to maintain order in times of crisis. It is imposed when civil rule fails.  Martial law is the replacement of civil rule with temporary military authority. While its imposition is rare, martial law has been imposed several times in the history of the United States. The president and Congress both can declare martial law. The governor of a state also can impose martial law if it is included in that state’s constitution. Martial law has been declared at least 68 times in the history of the United States, according to the Brenan Center for Justice. 

But there is no precise definition of martial law and it’s not clear what condition its imposition creates. However, it’s believed that the imposition of martial law would result in the suspension of certain civil liberties such as the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, freedom of association, and freedom of movement.

Trump has campaigned on maintaining law and order following the mass protests that swept over the U.S. after the killing of George Floyd. And this has caused concerns among some pundits that Trump may resort to martial law under the pretext of maintaining law and order in a bid to overturn the election results. 

However, invoking martial law requires the failure of civil institutions. But this is yet to happen as civil institutions are still working and Trump would find it difficult to justify declaring martial law. 

“A really important limitation in the event that there is martial law is that it’s highly unlikely to be tolerated in a situation where our civilian institutions are working,” Bill Banks, a Syracuse professor with an expertise in constitutional and national security law, told Military Times in October. “Martial law requires a complete meltdown. It requires the inability of our civilian institutions to manage government. It’s hard to imagine that.”

But some former Trump allies say that Trump has not read the U.S. constitution and that he may move forward with what his advisor told him at the Friday meeting. 

“This is appalling. There is no other way to describe it. It’s unbelievable. Almost certainly, completely without precedent. But I think it’s important to understand this is just another day at the Oval Office…. I don’t think he’s ever read the constitution. If he has, he clearly doesn’t understand it and he did understand it, at one point he’s forgotten it,” former Trump national security advisor John Bolton told CNN.

Trump hit back at Bolton, calling him “one of the dumbest people in Washington.”

SM/PA
 

Comments

  • 2021-01-07 03:52
    I think Donald Trump should call Martial Law the election was rigged.
  • 2021-01-11 07:14
    Hell yes ..CALL MARTIAL LAW..DO IT DONOT ..SHOW THESE SO CALLED POLITICIANS ..CALL IT MR PRESIDENY
  • 2021-01-13 06:11
    Do what God is leading you to do!! In God we Trust!!!
  • 2021-01-17 14:54
    I also think Trump should enforce Marshall Law. The Election was definitely RIGGED

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