Dan O'Heirity

Is Donald Trump Trying to Stage a Presidential Coup?

Yesterday I was writing about Donald Trump and I reported that there are some political commentators who believe that Trump is attempting to stage a coup. One of the main points that was made came from an academic quoted in The Guardian, was that this attempted coup is not “bound to fail”. It must be “made to fail”. I offered my own “amateur” opinions on the way in which Trump’s coup might be made to fail. Today, there was another article in The Guardian that goes into a lot more detail about just how Trump is attempting to steal the election. The heart of the argument is simple. Trump and his cronies are doing everything that they can to create the public perception that there was widespread fraud in the election process. Sky news is helping in this respect.

If successful in creating that “impression” then – evidence of fraud or not – Trump may be able to influence state’s legislatures to invoke Article II of the Constitution to appoint the state’s presidential electors directly. The “electors” seem to me to be what I would call “seats”. For example, one state might have ten electors whilst another state might have twenty electors. The number of electors is continent on a number of criteria including the population of each state. Next, the two legislative chambers in any particular state might call electoral fraud. These legislative chambers in these states might then step in and override the actual vote in favour of declaring Trump the victor in the election. However, this would be only the first step. Congress would have to decide whether to accept the decisions.

The article from The Guardian makes the following point. Trump and is aides “are trying to normalize the idea that regardless of how Americans actually voted, a second Trump term is inevitable because state legislatures and Congress will ultimately hand him the electoral college“. In other words, Trump will secure enough “seats” relative to all the “seats” in the electoral college to give him a win. Again, we have a news story, this time from 9 News Australia, that gives air time to the idea of electoral fraud and a Trump win.

There is another story from The Guardian that provides for a little more hope. First the article makes the point that the Electoral College meets on the 14th December and that states use the state wide popular vote to allocate their electors. Secondly, the article argues that whilst the scenario that I have just outlined – overthrowing the popular vote – is in principle possible if a state has failed to come to a decision, there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud. That said, Republicans in the Pennsylvania legislature along with Republicans in the Michigan and Wisconsin legislatures have called for investigations into the voting process. However, and here is more good news, these states all have democratic governors who would submit the results from the popular vote to the electoral college. It would then be up to the electoral college to make the final decision.

I didn’t follow the American presidential race in any great detail and so I don’t know how much “mud slinging” went on between the candidates an in the media. However, there is a story today from ABC News which quotes House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi as saying that, “Mr Biden, has spent five decades in public life as a senator and vice-president, ‘knows the territory’ and will be ‘just fine’ in the transition”. The broader story covers the fact that the Republicans are not allowing Joe Biden see security briefings in wake of US election. Nancy Pelosi along with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer also called on Republicans to join them in passing legislation to address the Covid-19 situation in America and to try to repair the economy. Just after I read this story I came across a story from World Is One News (WION) that paints a pretty damning picture of Joe Biden as a person.

I’ve followed WION during their reporting of the pandemic and I rate them pretty highly for the integrity of their reporting. Sure there anti-China but really, who isn’t these days. I am going to withhold my judgement on this report because this is the only story that I have come across that is critical of Joe Biden. Even so, the claim that Biden supported segregationists in the 1970’s is a difficult one to ignore. The same is true of claims by 8 women that Biden either “touched them inappropriately” or “violated their personal space”. Kind of sounds like Donald Trump land.

First Published November 13th, 2020

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