Donald Trump Might be Serious about his ‘President for Life’ Aspirations
There is a big question in the mind of many US citizens regarding the next elections. What if Trump won’t accept defeat in 2020?President Donald Trump has repeatedly joked about staying in office beyond the two terms the Constitution allows. Even the president’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, has warned that “there will never be a peaceful transition of power” should Trump fail in his re-election bid. An article on Politico explores the possibility that Trump could contest the 2020 results if they do not go in his favour.
“It’s been a worry in the back of my mind for the last couple years now,” said Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Pennsylvania Democrat quoted in the article.
However, constitutional experts and top Republican lawmakers have dismissed these fears as nonsense;they say that the forces of history, law and political pressure would be too many working against a sitting president clinging to power.
According to George Washington University professor and constitutional law expert, Jonathan Turley an incumbent president who refuses to accept the new results, not in his favour, would simply become irrelevant once the duly elected president is sworn in. At that point, he says, the defeated president is nothing more than a guest, "if not an interloper," in the White House, he noted.
“The system would make fast work on any president who attempted to deny the results of the election,” he said.
However, he says a court battle would not be surprising, seeing as the president has already shown himself to be someone who likesto engage in winding litigation.
“All candidates have a right to contest results in federal court,” Turley said. “It’s not up to the candidate to decide if an election is valid. It’s not based on their satisfaction or consent. They have every right to seek judicial review.”
Bradley Shrager, a lawyer who specializes in election litigation says contesting the results of the election in more than one state would be “a massive undertaking,”Adding that “given the time frames to launch recounts and election contests, you’d have to be preparing months in advance to be able to do that.”
However, is all this enough to deter a determined man like Trump? In the past, he has talked about living in the White House for 20 years.
“We ran one time and we’re 1-and-0. But it was for the big one. Now we’re going to have a second time. And we’re going to have another one. And then we’ll drive them crazy,” Trump said. “And maybe if we really like it a lot — and if things keep going like they’re going — we’ll go and we’ll do what we have to do. We’ll do a three and a four and a five.”
It is worth noting that there were also similar questions about President Barack Obama holding on the power beyond his tenure, however, unlike Obama, Trump has constantly fanned these concerns with his rhetoric. Do the people believe him though?
“As untraditional a president as he is, I think he understands if you lose an election you lose an election and the other person wins,” said Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot, a senior member of the powerful House Judiciary Committee. “There’s no chance of anything like that possibly happening. That’s just hysteria. No way would that ever happen.”