It’s two weeks since Election Day and congratulations have been pouring in to Joe Biden from all over the globe. Even Marco Rubio has referred to Biden as “president-elect.” Everybody else but Donald Trump and his inner circle is willing to concede defeat and so that raises the question of what if he won’t leave the White House grounds voluntarily on January 20? Business Insider:
A worst-case scenario that appears unlikely but not entirely out of the question: A newly sworn-in President Biden shows up at the White House on January 20, ready to sign a pile of executive orders. But Trump insists he’s still president and won’t leave his desk in the Oval Office.
“That’s when you really get to the ultimate flashpoint,” one former senior DHS official said. “I can’t imagine it ever getting to that point, but in this environment, there’s a lot of firsts.”
There’s usually a clear script for presidential power handovers. The departing president hosts the president-elect at the White House on the morning of January 20 before they ride together to the US Capitol for the inaugural ceremony. Afterward, the ex-president and his family fly away in a helicopter. Meanwhile, staffers back at the White House swap out the outgoing president’s belongings for the new first family’s.
But it’s unclear whether those formalities will take place in January, or whether a spurned Trump would even attend the inauguration ceremonies. There’s speculation he might opt to leave town entirely or that he might not leave the White House and continue to dispute the election outcome.
One fact that does not bode well for the usual civilities that attend a transfer of administrations is that Melania has not telephoned Jill Biden to invite her to the White House for tea, as is tradition. It’s anticipated that this particular civility will not take place. This is truly a shame. Even in the instances of Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush’s presidencies, both the presidents and their wives graciously welcomed the incoming president and wife. But then Bush and Carter respected the institution of the White House and put country above self, and we know that’s not going to take place here. We already know who we’re dealing with, so contingency plans are being discussed.
The process for removing Trump from the Oval Office has been a hot topic of discussion lately on a group chat with former Secret Service officials and other DHS alumni from both Republican and Democratic administrations, said Douglas Smith, who served as assistant secretary for the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama administration.
One scenario that’s been floated: The Secret Service detail charged with guarding Trump would “sort of close their eyes” while Biden’s new Secret Service team comes in and walks Trump out the door, Smith said.
There’s also been speculation that the FBI could get involved, or that the US Marshal Service, a branch of the Justice Department, could come in and escort Trump out, Smith said. The US Marshal Service did not respond to a request for comment.
“This has never ever ever happened before,” Smith said. But ultimately, it could work just like any other eviction.
This could take place, because it would be an ultimate insult to Trump and his followers to see Trump walked out by the forces of the Deep State and so Trump may want to stage it that way, so that he can go out as a martyr.
What has happened to America? We used to be a decent and honorable people and now there’s a crazy man in the White House who doesn’t know the meaning of those words. Maybe America is in for more disgrace. It would not be surprising. It would merely be another scene in Trump’s script.