And Trump advisers are ready to challenge the legitimacy of the election results, especially with the expected late wave of Democratic mail ballots. They’re also ready to defend against Democratic lawyers who mount their own election challenges.
- One Trump campaign source told Axios that their lawyers will litigate where needed, including suing in key states that have changed election laws to allow for an extended period of time to vote or to count ballots.
- “There are a lot of options if it turns out that the election results aren’t fair and free,” the source said.
The big picture: Trump’s own advisers are providing a reality check: the Constitution makes it clear that, even if Trump chooses denial, if Joe Biden is elected president he will be president on Jan. 20.
- “Trump can say ‘I don’t concede, I think it’s rigged,’ but he would not be the president,” a Trump legal adviser told Axios.
But legal experts are increasingly worried about how the next president will be chosen if the mechanics for democratic elections fall apart and we face a constitutional crisis.
- Some lawyers, especially Democrats, don’t like to talk about it because they don’t want to discourage voters who already feel their votes won’t matter — but they’re still gaming out different scenarios so that they are prepared to respond for any event….
Between the lines: Trump’s answer to the question about the peaceful transfer of power — “we’re going to have to see what happens” — is a catchphrase he uses often when he doesn’t want to answer a question.
- But it would have been an easy answer for any other president, and he forced the GOP to spend Thursday doing cleanup. Nearly every Republican insisted there will be a peaceful transition of power, and how any assertion otherwise would be a rejection of American democracy.
- Aides to the president argued Thursday that Trump is being misinterpreted, and that he instead was refusing to say whether he’d accept a losing result without a legal fight.