President Trump Floats Possibility Of Refusal To Leave White House in January

Regardless of how you feel about President Donald Trump, you'd likely agree that he can often be quite impulsive and difficult to predict.

And in recent months, that's become particularly clear in the various ways he's reacted to losing the 2020 presidential election. Back in September, he told a crowd at one of his rallies that they would never see him again if he lost, but reports that he was considering another presidential run in 2024 indicate that he's changed his mind about that.

More immediately, he's also reportedly made inconsistent statements on whether or not he'll willingly leave the White House by the time President-Elect Joe Biden is inaugurated. As The Washington Post reported, he said that he would do so in the event that the Electoral College confirmed Biden's win.

However, recent reports suggest another possibility may unfold by the time January 20 rolls around.

A recent CNN report indicates that the atmosphere in the White House is particularly hectic as the final days of Trump's presidency wind down.

As his advisers told the outlet on condition of anonymity, hundreds of the president's remaining allies have been busy calling and emailing the White House in the hopes of securing a presidential pardon.

Apparently, so many of these requests have come in for pardons and sentence commutations that staffers have had to create a spreadsheet to keep track of them all.

And these potential pardons are reportedly a matter of great interest to Trump.

As CNN reported, his aides have noted that he's been eager to hear who is making these requests and has welcomed feedback on who should receive his pardons after he's gone over various case summaries.

Nonetheless, these aides also report that Trump's denial over his loss is deepening despite efforts to convince him to accept the results and focus on his potential 2024 run.

As CNN reported, this refusal to accept his loss has led him to tell some advisers that he has no intention of leaving the White House by the time Biden takes office.

Although this has alarmed some aides, most of them reportedly do not believe that he will commit to this mindset.

As one adviser put it, "He's throwing a [expletive] temper tantrum. He's going to leave. He's just lashing out."

Although the U.S. Constitution has avenues for removing a president from office, there's nothing in it that addresses this specific scenario.

According to National Geographic, both the document's impeachment measures and the 25th amendment that allows Congress to remove a president who is unable to perform their duties from office don't apply if they simply refuse to leave the White House after losing an election.

This suggests that none of its framers had ever imagined such a scenario.

However, the fact that they had imposed a hard limit on how long a president's term can be renders this oversight essentially meaningless.

As Rick Pildes at the New York University School of Law told National Geographic, President Trump simply becomes a private citizen again as soon as Biden's inauguration takes place.

Should Trump attempt to remain anyway, Biden will have the authority to treat him as a trespasser and have him physically removed by the Secret Service or the military.

So even if Trump does follow through on his refusal to vacate the premises, it seems that would only amount to making things harder for himself.

h/t: CNN, National Geographic

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