9th November 2020 – (Washington) What if Trump refuses to recognise the results of the election and refuses to leave the White House? Biden’s campaign manager issued a statement saying: ‘I believe the US government has the ability to remove the “intruder” from the White House. The implication is that after Biden is sworn in on 20th January, he will let the Secret Service of the Department of Homeland Security to evict Trump. Trump is not the first president to dispute the results of the election, but no president in American history has refused to leave the White House because of his defeat. The US Constitution clearly stipulates the termination of the term of the previous president and the beginning of the term of the new president. The 20th Amendment to the Constitution reads: The term of the President and Vice President ends on 20th January, and the term of the new President begins. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell made it clear that he would firmly defend the Constitution.

According to tradition, when Biden delivers his inauguration speech, his predecessor will sit behind him to symbolise the peaceful transfer of power to the new U.S. government. However, if Trump refuses to recognise the results of the election and continues to stay in the White House, Biden has the right to instruct the Secret Service to forcibly expel Trump from the White House after he takes office.

Trump will no longer have permission to enter the White House. It needs to be pointed out that the Secret Service does not belong to the U.S. military, and the U.S. military does not play any role in the general election, even if Trump refuses to hand over his power. The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, made it clear that when an election dispute occurs, the dispute needs to be resolved through the courts and Congress, rather than the US military intervention.

There may be also another scenario, what if there is still no official result of the U.S. general election before 20th January? In this case, Trump can continue to stay in the White House until the result is announced. However, this is a completely unknown area, and it has never happened in American history. US Naval War College national security expert Lindsay Cohn said that if the President refuses to make concessions and leave, then Biden has no options until the results are announced. If Trump’s lawsuit enters the Supreme Court, the situation will be more complicated. At present, there are six conservative justices in the Supreme Court. Three of them are appointed by Trump himself. In the most extreme cases, they can make judgments favourable to Trump’s reelection. But the premise is that the lawsuit filed by the Trump camp is valid, evidence-based, and convincing. And this is not the worst case. What if the US Congress had declared Biden the victory before the Supreme Court made a decision? This is the most worrying situation: the United States will fall into a constitutional crisis.

Comments