President Trump: Election or Eviction

Presidential Rhetoric Hints He May Refuse to Accept Defeat and Leave Office

Lila Caminiti, Features Editor, Senior

This election cycle, Americans are facing an outcome far different to what we have seen before. In the face of a pandemic and resulting economic crisis, Americans have chosen their president: former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Meanwhile, the sitting president has confused opponents and allies alike with his decision not to concede. His handling of the election, although unconventional, is not illegal — yet. However, Americans are left to wonder — could President Trump choose not to leave office, and if so, what could happen?

Although on November 23, the General Services Administration allowed the Biden-Harris Administration to begin their transition into office, President Trump’s “concession” has been anything but smooth. His initial refusal to concede spanned seventeen days, and left Americans wondering if he would even be willing to leave office. However, when Michigan certified their election results on November 23, it became clear that an underdog victory for the sitting President was not only unlikely, but virtually impossible.

Despite an apparent lack of evidence, President Trump has continued his claims of voter fraud in battleground states. As recently as November 30, the President retweeted information about Arizona voter fraud hearings; hearings that were not covered by any major news networks, except for the notoriously right-leaning One American News Network. In fact, just an hour after he tweeted out about the hearings, the result was yet another ruling to certify a Biden-Harris win. His claims of fraudulent voting have stoked the flames of his base, causing many Trump supporters to insist that the incumbent will not leave office on January 20. Because the definition of treason is to “levy war” against the United States or “adhere to their enemies,” some of President Trump’s opposition suggested that to stay in office would be treasonous — however, it is unclear whether or not that conflict would even escalate to that level.

While some initially believed that the President was also considering staying in office, the president hinted that he would leave office if the Electoral College votes Biden, which is slated to occur mid-December. Although this eased some fears regarding an even rockier transition, a new fear has risen among Democrats — a possible Trump bid for the Republican nomination come 2024. In fact, some say that Trump is considering announcing his bid on January 20, 2021 — the exact day of Biden’s inauguration.

According to The Daily Beast, sources close to President Trump say that not only has Trump not come to terms with his loss, but is already planning a run in 2024. Additionally, he may hold his first campaign event on Inauguration Day in a desperate effort to upstage the Biden Administration. No matter what the sitting President ends up doing, it has become clear that the Trump Administration, as well as its effects on the Republican Party, have no plans of leaving the American political scene quietly.