Donald Trump is on course to battle former Vice President Joe Biden for the Presidency in this year’s elections, as the US looks likely to embrace a Democratic candidate. If this should transpire, could Trump refuse to concede?
Trump’s Presidency seems under threat in the US, as a perpetual mishandling of national crises starts to erode his already fragile leadership. The November elections will determine whether the country approves of his recent conduct enough to entrust the reigns of the Oval Office to him for another term. Should they decide not to forgive and forget, however, the President may find it difficult to concede defeat.
Trump danced around the subject of conceding the election when questioned by Fox News journalist Chris Wallace last Sunday.
He seemed cagey when speaking to the interviewer, but declared he was “not a good loser” and may choose to challenge the results in November.
The interview likely left more questions than it answered, one of them being whether he can test the limits of the Presidency in this way.
Speaking to the Express, Scott Lucas of the University of Birmingham revealed what the US may expect from Mr. Trump come November.
He said Trump is not a man who likes to lose and does not accept the US political system, as recently proved with his false accusations mail-in voting is “rigged”.
Trump has always broken the mold by not only implying he might not accept the results but also by saying, even before an election took place, that it was rigged.
He said the election was rigged even when he won in 2016.
Trump’s ego hates losing anything.
Escorted from the White House?
Indeed, soon after entering the White House, Trump set up an electoral commission to investigate potential fraud, which Professor Lucas dubbed a “complete sham”.
The commission collapsed within a year but highlighted Trump reluctance to concede defeat in any way.
Should he lose again, Professor Lucas said there is a way he could contest the result, but ultimately his position would become untenable.
Trump could say that he wants the election postponed, but that is not in his gift.
Presidential elections are covered by an 1845 Act of Congress, and it is only Congress that can postpone elections.
With that unlikely due to a Democrat-dominated lower chamber, Trump could contest the result if there was no wide margin in the Electoral College, which seems unlikely.
If he defied the democratic process to replace him, officials may have to escort him from the White House.
How they would go about doing so is difficult to call, as it would either depend on a court order or act of Congress.
Should they pursue a court case against the President, this would take time, and it is uncertain as to what exactly would happen to Mr Trump or his power while proceedings take place.
If he does attempt to hold on to power, he will likely rely on “Senate and House Republicans causing trouble”, according to Professor Lucas.
He would also count on various television pundits and public supporters to keep him in place as well, but legal precedent or current policies would not allow him to stay in office.