What Trump Might Do If He Loses the Election: From Pardoning Friends To Sabotaging Transition

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Ffollowing his coronavirus hospitalization, Donald Trump spent the weeks leading up to polling day in front of thousands of his supporters at marathon rallies, promising a “red wave” by doubling his vision of the carnage and grievances against his political and cultural opponents .

And if he loses, Joe Biden inherits a declining economy and mass unemployment, a public health crisis and a flood of executive orders and other administrative policies that he will seek to reverse.

Watch groups have meanwhile prepared for the days following November 3 – in the event the president concedes and steps out of the White House in January – and have been considering how he will frame his legacy as the 45th. president and the first lame duck to lose re-election since George HW Bush.

“Whatever he does will be aimed at undermining the new Biden administration,” Rajan Menon said in The nation. “This includes working to make the climb as steep as possible for the rival he described as a semi-senile incompetent. He will only want one thing: to see his successor fail.

“Sabotage” the transition

The president’s transition documents due to be submitted to Congress were late, thin, and facing legal proceedings for their release.

Mr Trump has already made it clear that he will depend on the conservative majority in the US Supreme Court to rule in his favor following an avalanche of mail-in ballot lawsuits, and he has not been in. able to guarantee a peaceful transition of power, should he lose. his re-election, suggesting that the president is ready to “sabotage” the transition process, said Donald K Sherman, deputy director of the non-partisan monitoring organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

The organization has filed hundreds of lawsuits against the administration, ranging from searching for cases of forced sterilization and human rights violations in migrant detention centers to violations of the foreign emoluments clause, which prohibits the president and federal officials from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments.

“It seems clear that Trump is trying to get everyone and anyone in his administration to help him,” including Attorney General William Barr and the Department of Justice, he said.

“We are talking about a Department of Justice stepping in” to quash a libel action against E. Jean Carroll, which accused the president of raping it in the 1990s, Mr. Sherman said.

“There is nothing to suggest that it will not stop them from trying again.”

The Trump campaign merged with the White House, which the Office of the Special Advisor began investigating after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech from Jerusalem at the 2020 Republican National Convention.

But the fact that the president is relying on a national security apparatus to launch attacks on Mr. Biden and the Democrats “really raises concerns that if the president challenges the election or refuses to accept the results, or even if he accepts the results, national security and diplomatic functions at the highest level of government have been politicized in such a way that they will not guarantee a smooth transition of power, ”said Mr. Sherman.

Destroy records

The Trump administration has been repeatedly condemned for its mismanagement and destruction of documents, with good government groups and congressional oversight committees warning the National Archives and Archives administration of critical documents – including deaths and conditions of migrants in the custody of Immigration and Customs. that the Environmental Protection Agency’s water quality reports – could be threatened.

Staff members should even have recorded together documents that the president tore up, violating the Presidential Archives Act, which requires the preservation of “activities, deliberations, decisions and policies that reflect the performance of the president constitutional, statutory or otherwise.” official or ceremonial functions. “

“Not only have they not been transparent, but they have made a mistake if they have something to hide,” Mr. Sherman said. “If he loses, there could be attempts to destroy federal archives for embezzlement and potential crimes”

Members of the administration have also relied on social media accounts and messaging apps for government communication, prompting CREW to urge Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to preserve accounts and posts on the platform.

In a statement, CREW Director Noah Bookbinder said that “in preserving President Trump’s Twitter account and those of his staff, the company would play a vital and necessary role in ensuring that the historic Trump administration record is accessible to the American public, Congress and other government institutions for years to come. “

Self-negotiation

While the president publicly announced his presidential salary donations to various government agencies, he refused to divest himself of his business empire, which has continued to raise millions of dollars each year.

Financial disclosures also revealed that President Ivanka Trump’s daughter and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who also hold White House positions, earned at least $ 36 million last year.

As the president’s licensing and hotel business faded, his golf club and resorts grossed hundreds of millions of dollars during his first years in office.

Its Trump National Doral golf resort in Miami, Florida raised $ 228 million from 2017 to 2019, and its properties in Scotland and Ireland and its headquarters in Mar-a-Lago raised nearly $ 200 million during this period.

Mary Trump predicts what will happen if Trump loses election

The president is “funneling money from government to businesses,” Sherman said, as taxpayers have paid more than $ 2.5 million at his Mar-a-Lago complex and other businesses in Trump since 2017, according to Le Washington Post.

CREW found that 150 foreign government officials had visited Trump’s properties since he took office.

His last days in office could cause a “mad rush” for the president to host government events at his properties, milking the last of his cash cows, Mr. Sherman said.

His presidency marked a new era for the Trump family and its relentless flu, one that sees its empire as a taxpayer-subsidized dynasty, with its children in a line of succession.

“He’s someone who puts his name on everything,” Mr. Sherman said. “What regulations, what decrees, what kind of policies has the administration put in place in recent days and how do they overlap with Trump’s business?”

He added: “If this ends up being the last days of the Trump administration, he will always be someone with an eye on the business – ‘How can I use the power I still have to create my company before leaving? ‘

Pardons

The president commuted the sentence of campaign adviser and longtime Republican agent Roger Stone following his campaign-related felony convictions, while the Justice Department has expelled federal prosecutors close to investigations involving the president.

Mr Trump has awarded worshipers – from Arizona Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to right-wing filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza – and headline-grabbing legacy pardons, such as suffragist Susan B Anthony and Alice Marie Johnson, in Kim Kardashian’s emergency room.

His latest acts could bail out his convicted allies who are still serving sentences following prosecutions for campaign crimes in 2016, or preemptively pardon loyalists, family members and even himself before he leaves office.

“Leniency, as structured by the Constitution, has no control or balance other than politics,” said Mark Osler, former federal prosecutor and Robert and Marion Short professor emeritus of law at the University of St Thomas. “And, in yet another political cycle, we completely fail to employ this unique control over this power of kings. Our intense focus on leniency should happen in the heat of the campaign, rather than after it is over. ”

Members of Congress and watch groups like Keep Our Republican and the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law have demanded that presidential and large-scale “emergency” executive powers be subjected to “emergency” attacks. ‘a survey before election day.

But there are still others in Trump’s circle who are likely asking for favors, both inside and outside the prison, which could shed light on the scope of the investigations and the potential charges against it. ‘wait after he leaves office.

“Who are the people we don’t know?” Said Mr. Sherman. “We don’t know all the details or all the players. Who he forgives, if that’s the end of the road for him, will reveal information or provide breadcrumbs, if not affirmative clues as to who is involved.

There is a chance – in the sense that it is something that could happen – that the President would step down to receive pardon from new President Mike Pence, but that would force Mr. Trump to resign more than a moment before the day of the investiture on January 21.

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