“Trump’s efforts to overthrow the election are unparalleled in US history,” headlines The New York Times. Those efforts consist mainly of filing lawsuits and demanding recounts in several states.
There is no concrete evidence and authorities call these elections the safest election in the history of the United States. Yet Trump continues to refuse to accept Joe Biden’s victory.
So far, Republicans have brought more than 30 legal proceedings. Judges have dismissed, denied or settled most of those lawsuits, The Guardian writes. Two lawsuits are pending in Michigan, in Wisconsin the necessary $ 3 million has been paid for a partial recount that will last two weeks, and Team Trump is still trying to get it right through lawsuits in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Arizona.
Trump seems to have run out of legal options. “It’s all about the deadlines,” explains lawyer and US constitutional law expert Kenneth Manusama in NPO Radio 1 program News and Co. Trump tries to disrupt the normal course of events through lawsuits.
“They want to slow things down to ensure that after December 8 there is still a lack of clarity about the outcome.” That’s why Trump has summoned two Michigan senators to the White House to discuss how they can influence the outcome in their state.
If there is still uncertainty after December 8, the senators can try not to follow the election results, but appoint the electors themselves. Manusama: “In Michigan, Republicans have the majority in the legislature, so instead of Biden electors, they could designate Trump electors. That gets controversial and then it goes to Congress on January 6, because that’s when they go. all results from all 50 states to Congress. “
‘Coup within the lines’
In this exceptional situation, according to state law expert Manusama, Congress could receive two lists of electors per state: one from the Republican legislature and one from the state governor. “In that case, the electoral count act that the governor’s vote is preferred. So you don’t just need a Republican legislator, you also need a Republican governor. ”
All this is legally permitted. “It’s a kind of coup, but within the lines,” says Manusama. “Formally technically it is possible, but of course it is political cynicism at its best.”
Manusama considers the likelihood that this will not only happen in Michigan, but also in other states. “The determination of the results continues as usual. Even if they manage to still be unclear after December 8, and even if they manage to convince the Republican majority in that local legislature to appoint Trump electors, then.” I think Congress will still say, sorry, this is not true. ”
On January 6, Congress will meet to determine the final outcome.