According to recent reports, President Donald Trump is now resorting to the option of declaring martial law in an attempt to subvert the outcome of the presidential election.
As reported by the New York Times, there was a meeting recently amongst top aides about his efforts to subvert the election. Trump was also accompanied by his top national security advisor, Michael Flynn.
Flynn appeared on a news channel to encourage the president to impose martial law and conduct an election in the key battleground states again, but only in the ones that he lost to Biden.
Trump inquired about this approach at the meeting. There were many other approaches to overturning the election discussed as well at the meeting according to the reports.
One of them included Sidney Powell, who made national news earlier for propagating conspiracy theories. The Trump team had distanced themselves from her, but the president is now considering hiring her as a special counsel to claim election fraud.
Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani also proposed that the Department of Homeland Security seize and investigate voting machines in various states.
According to Axios, Trump is considering Flynn’s approach. However, several White House officials were worried about Trump taking advice from controversial people spreading conspiracy theories and proposing an abuse of power.
As reported by CNN, the meeting erupted in loud arguments as the White House officials strongly opposed Powell’s and Flynn’s approaches. The White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows as well as Counsel Pat Cipollone were a part of the officials firmly opposing the proposals.
Trump replied to the reports of him endorsing the idea of martial law by declaring that it is fake news and a result of bad reporting.
Trump as the president holds a vast amount of power that exceeds the usual legal limitations and he is allowed to impose them in the case of a national emergency. This could include a national disaster or a terrorist attack. He also has the power to use the US military troops to handle situations of unrest and help the police.
A fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice explained that the laws and legal proceedings for the president to declare martial law is not very clear. There are no legal rulings about the conditions of its use, including any from the constitutional laws or Supreme Court. He concluded that according to the current laws of the US, Trump cannot impose martial law.