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What if Donald Trump won't leave the White House if he loses?

Donald Trump
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Donald Trump

Highlights

Most believe that he will ultimately vacate the White House on his own.

The President has repetitively hinted that he won't accept the election result - but can he refuse to leave?

Donald Trump has strongly signalled that if he loses, he won't accept the election result.

Questioned during the tense first televised discussion of the 2020 Presidential Election whether he would advise his supporters to stay calm, and would wait until votes are tallied, he said he would be unable to vow to do that.

He told moderator Chris Wallace: "I am urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully because that's what has to happen."

He further added: "I hope it's a fair election. If it's a fair election, I'm on board.

"But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can't go along with that."

The President added, in a chilling moment: "This is not going to end well."

Here we consider what could be done if he won't step down.

Trump laid the legal groundwork to challenge an election result, but could he grip on to power?

Trump has no power to cancel the election or to hold on to office. Even if he holes up in the White House, his term will end on January 20.

As per the 20th Amendment of the US Constitution a president and vice president's term "shall end at noon on January 20… and the terms of their successors shall then begin".

If he rejects, then what?

A president immediately loses their constitutional authority on the expiration of his term or after removal via accusation. Trump will not have the power to direct the US Secret Service or other federal agents to protect him.

While even former presidents enjoy Secret Service protection, agents may not follow an illegal order to safeguard one from removal from office.

Joe Biden could direct federal agents to eliminate Trump from the White House forcibly.

Could Trump demand the army to protect him?

Trump would also lose his control as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Could he be arrested if he rejects to leave?

Now he could be arrested and charged with trespassing in the White House as a private citizen and not immune to prosecution.

A possible scenario?

Most believe that he will ultimately vacate the White House on his own.



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