Three things Trump could do after Electoral College votes for Biden

Monday vote expected to make Mr Biden the president-elect as Mr Trump vows to fight on

John T. Bennett
Washington Bureau Chief
Monday 14 December 2020 20:40
Trump vows to continue to fight election result after loss to Biden

Donald Trump is vowing to continue his fight to overturn the results of last month’s election even after an Electoral College vote declares Joe Biden his replacement – but his options are running out.

Electors are voting across the country on Monday but the president and his loyalists are vowing to send their own Electoral College votes to Congress, suggesting a shadow presidency is ahead once he departs the White House next month. His top spokeswoman, Kayleigh McEnany, declined on Monday to say whether her boss will accept the Electoral College result.

“The only date in the Constitution is Jan. 20. So we have more than enough time to right the wrong of this fraudulent election result and certify Donald Trump as the winner of the election," White House domestic policy adviser Stephen Miller told "Fox & Friends."

"As we speak, today, an alternate slate of electors in the contested states is going to vote and we're going to send those results up to Congress," he added. "This will ensure that all of our legal remedies remain open. That means that if we win these cases in the courts, that we can direct that the alternate state of electors be certified."

That echoed what his boss told the network on Saturday during an interview before the annual Army-Navy college football game.

“No, it's not over. We keep going and we're going to continue to go forward. We have numerous local cases,” Mr Trump said.

“We're going to speed it up as much as we can, but you can only go so fast,”he said, acknowledging he and his legal team are running out of time. “They give us very little time. But we caught them, as you know, as fraudulent, dropping ballots, doing so many things, nobody can even believe it.”

Mr Trump alleged – falsely and without proof – that he defeated Mr Biden in Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania because there were “tens of thousands of ballots” illegally cast.

Here are three things Mr Trump might do after the Electoral College votes are in.

Joint session

The House and Senate will meet together on 6 January to certify the Electoral College vote.

At least one conservative House Republican, Mo Brooks of Alabama, has said he intends to challenge the result expected later Monday, a 306-232 win by Mr Biden. (It takes 270 votes to become president-elect.)

But his search for the required one senator to join his challenge appears to have come up short, for now, of securing a dance partner.

The chambers, if Mr Brooks finds a second, would then split up to review the merits of the challenge.

Once Mr Trump has tweeted or spoken about all his grievances with the College, expect him to begin pressuring congressional Republicans to refuse certifying Mr Biden’s electoral win.

“GET TOUGH REPUBLICANS!” the president tweeted on 4 December.

Court shopping

Mr Trump is signalling his legal team plans to continue filing cases in those swing states, saying he needs a few judges to show some “courage.”

“We keep going and we're going to continue to go forward. We have numerous local cases,” he told Fox News on Saturday before the Army-Navy college football game.

“We've proven it, but no judge has had the courage, including the Supreme Court,” he said falsely and without proof. “I am so disappointed in them.”

That comment came after the high court, which now has a 6-3 conservative lean after he has nominated three right-leaning justice, refused to take a case pushed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton arguing millions of ballots should be tossed.

Shadow presidency?

Mr Trump typically heads to his Mar-a-Lago resort in South Florida for a holiday “working vacation.” And rounds of golf aplenty.

He could remain there after 2021 begins.

Neither his aides nor the Biden transition team are saying whether they expect Mr Trump will attend his successor’s inauguration on 20 January.

That gives Mr Trump ample time to set up shop in the Sunshine State and continue acting as the leader of the Republican Party and setting the agenda of ideas for the 74.2m people who voted for him.

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