Recently, a senior US government figure claimed Mr Trump could use some sort of “emergency” measures in order to cling to power, regardless of the result of the November 3 vote. US House Majority Whip James Clyburn has said he does not think Mr Trump “plans to leave the White House.”
Instead, Mr Clyburn said he believed Mr Trump would plan to “install himself in some kind of emergency way to continue to hold onto office.”
However, an expert in US governance has said if Mr Trump did try to remain in the White House in the event he lost the election, then he would be forcibly removed.
John Hudak, senior fellow in governance studies for US think tank the Brookings Institute, told Express.co.uk he could not see any way in which the president could hold onto power in any case.
He said it is “not clear” what sort of emergency measures Mr Clyburn was referring to in his statement.
Donald Trump would be “physically removed” from the White House if he ignored the election result
Mr Hudak said: “The easy answer is that the president doesn’t have the power to do anything even remotely close to that. It’s not clear to me what Mr Clyburn is talking about – there’s no constitutional or statutory basis for a president to invoke an emergency that then allows him to continue his term in office beyond what would be the moment that it naturally would end.
“So I don’t know if this is the congressman’s effort to just be hyperbolic, but there’s nothing in the law that would allow the president to do that in any manner other than something unconstitutional and essentially dictatorial.”
Mr Trump has in the past refused to confirm whether or not he would recognise the results of the upcoming election if he lost.
Mr Hudak went on to explain what would happen if the president decided to simply physically stay in the White House on the day the next president is due to be inaugurated on January 20 2021 – even in the event he did lose.
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The US Secret Service would apparently get involved if Mr Trump did not accept the election result
Dramatically, the expert said the US Secret Service would get involved to physically take care of the matter – because the president would no longer have any power of them.
The US governance expert said: “If Mr Biden is elected president, and president Trump is sitting in the White House and he’s not accepting the election, at noon on January 20th, no matter what, he is no longer president.
“And so then, it would be the same as if you or I were at the White House and refusing to leave; the Secret Service would physically remove us from the building.
“At noon on January 20th, if Biden wins, he is president, and he is the person in charge of the Secret Service.”
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Donald Trump has previously suggested the election could be delayed
At other times, Mr Trump suggested that the election should be postponed, citing concerns over the accuracy of mail-in voting.
The president has repeatedly blasted mail-in voting as a method of casting ballots.
In a tweet last month, he said: “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history.
“It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
US election graph
Joe Biden is considered the main opponent to Donald Trump in the upcoming election
Mr Hudak addressed this issue, insisting that such a delay is not in the power of the president to decide – though it is technically possible.
The research fellow said: “One of the things that has popped up over the past few days is this idea that the president could delay the election.
“The president does not have the power to delay the election. Congress can do that. It’s in the constitution that congress has the power to choose when a federal election happens, and they do that through statute.”
If Joe Biden won the November election, he would be inaugurated in January
Indeed, Mr Hudak said the presidential election has been set at the same time since 1788, and has never been changed.
He said: “The president doesn’t have a role in that, other than the ability to sign that law or to veto that law. He can’t change it in any way.”