POLITICS: A week before the official vote of the big voters, the chances of Donald Trump succeeding in challenging the presidential election results appear to be weaker and weaker
- More than three weeks after the presidential election, Donald Trump still refuses to admit the victory of Joe Biden and continues to denounce “a massive fraud”.
- Since November 8, the outgoing president and his team have increased the number of legal remedies. But of the 35 appeals filed by his lawyers, 34 were challenged by the courts.
- With the big voters due to vote next week to officially nominate the winner, what remains for the incumbent president as a solution?
The appeals filed by Donald Trump to denounce “rigged elections” fail one after the other. Worse yet, his personal lawyer, who pilots the complaints, Rudy Giuliani tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday. A week before the vote of the big voters, which must officially designate the next President of the United States, the chances of winning his legal battle are diminishing for the billionaire.
The more days go by, the future of Donald Trump darkens. Yet the US president still refuses to recognize the victory of his successor, Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
The hope of the Supreme Court
Travelling to Georgia on Saturday, where he held his first meeting since the US presidential election to campaign for two senatorial elections, Donald Trump dedicated a good part of his speech to “electoral fraud”: “We have not lost . This election was rigged. Believe me, if I had really lost, I would have been a good loser, ”he insisted despite the results. However, of the 35 appeals filed by his lawyers, 34 were challenged by the courts. Only Pennsylvania agreed to study the complaint. Donald Trump’s Justice Minister Bill Barr said in early December that no fraud “likely to change the outcome of the presidential election” had been observed.
For James Cohen, professor at the Institute of the English-speaking world of the Sorbonne (Paris 3), the outgoing president knows that his legal battle will not succeed: “It’s a diversion. These are efforts to sabotage Joe Biden’s voice and legitimacy ”. But not only. “This diversion also distracts attention from a series of manoeuvres in progress aimed at imposing, in all areas of executive decisions which can only make the situation even more difficult for the Democrats and for the country”, adds the professor. , referring to environmental deregulation measures allowing new oil operations in protected areas, sanctions against Iran, the dismissal of certain officials and the reclassification of other officials “to impose on the future administration its loyal servants,
Donald Trump still hopes to plead his case before the Supreme Court, so that “the law is respected and used appropriately”, as he had declared after the results of the votes. But there is little chance that the latter will seize it, believes Jean-Eric Branaa, lecturer at the Sorbonne (Paris 2) and specialist in the United States: “The Supreme Court has very little chance of taking the file in hand, because it is not an electoral court and it is not its purpose. The method of referral to the Supreme Court means that it can accept or refuse requests, without even having to justify itself. ”
Congress, Donald Trump’s Last Chance?
And the calendar is not going to help Donald Trump’s business. Two months after the results of the votes, the legal battle will end on December 8. On this date, the designation by the States of the electors can no longer be contested. Six days later, on December 14, the voters will meet as an electoral college in their respective states and vote to elect the president of the United States. On January 6, the Senate and the House of Representatives will meet to recount the votes of the voters. And, as tradition dictates, Vice President Mike Pence will then officially announce the name of the next President of the United States.
This is where things can get complicated, warns Jean-Eric Branaa. Believing that there has been fraud in several states, Donald Trump considers some major voters illegitimate and their votes, in fact, illegal. He could, through the voice of his vice-president, refuse to recognize the major voters and their votes, fears the specialist: “If we witness this scenario, the Trump team will ask Congress to settle the issue by a vote of representatives room. It is a vote which is made on the basis of one vote per State delegation. And in terms of states, Donald Trump is in the majority: there are 30 who are favourable to him, 17 for Joe Biden and 3 tied. “” His bet is to go to Congress. The appeals filed are just a strategy to block the machine and let Congress rule, because he knows he will be a winner, ”explains Jean-Eric Branaa. If it is legally possible, this scenario remains very unlikely, according to the specialist.
The hypothesis of candidacy in 2024
Once all avenues have been exhausted, will Donald Trump bet on candidacy for the next US presidential election in 2024 ? In any case, this is what he suggested last week at a Christmas party with officials of the Republican Party: “It was four fantastic years. We are trying to do four more years. Otherwise, I will see you again in four years, ”he said. For James Cohen, this option leaves some doubts: “A candidacy of Trump in 2024, that’s part of the noise made by his team obviously, but we must be aware that he will be 78 years old. And then other Republican candidates will want to run as well. It’s not that simple ” .
Why is Donald Trump trying so hard? Because he has a serious chance of representing himself in four years and winning the election, explains Jean-Eric Branaa. “He wants to keep this manna of 73 million voters for 2024. What better way to keep this electorate than to tell them ‘we stole your election, your vote, we did not want to hear your word’. We must not forget that Donald Trump was elected on a breeding ground of people who no longer trust political speech. These are the same people who think the election was rigged, or even that there was a conspiracy. He knows it and he plays on this ambiguity, ”analyzes the specialist.