New Reasons To Believe Trump Will Not Attempt A Coup

New Reasons To Believe Trump Will Not Attempt A Coup

 Officially Trump continues to hold a hard line of denying he has lost, with most GOP officeholders continuing to support his denials publicly, and he is likely to continue to not officially concede in various ways, including such as blocking official support for the transition process to a future Biden admin, which is potentially damaging in various ways.  Nevertheless, after some important developments in the last day or so and Trump’s presser today (well, technically yesterday as it is now early morning on Saturday, Nov. 14), I think there is good reason to believe that whatever irresponsible and damaging things he may yet do, I think it is now seriously unlikely that he will attempt a coup to block the transition.

I think the most important development that has triggered this is one I did not foresee: the sudden withdrawal of law firms supporting his legal efforts to demand ballots to be thrown out and to block certification of results, with those efforts becoming less able to overturn the electoral results given the calling of both Arizona and Georgia for Biden. A crucial part of the scenario I posed was Trump piling on endless lawsuits, however frivolous and vacuous, in various crucial states in a way to block clear certification of results in those states, leading ultimately to a confused or contested outcome when the Electoral College votes in mid-December, all of this opening the door for him to refuse to step down while bringing in various forces to support him.

What I did not know is that courts can punish attorneys for bringing clearly ridiculous lawsuits, especially repeatedly, with judges able to actually throw them in jail for contempt of court, not to mention them possibly losing their licenses to practice.  Add all this to just more general public embarrassment as these suits became increasingly absurd, we have now seen several major law firms that were making these suits for Trump decide to withdraw from doing so.  This has crucially undercut Trump’s strategy, such as it was.  He has always liked to sue and sue and sue, but I do not think he has ever so overdone it that his own lawyers have abandoned him.  But they have been doing so now, and I think this is the bottom line fatal development for any coup effort by him, with others supposedly under his authority in various parts of the government beginning to openly refuse to do his bidding.

 

On the sort of positive side is this alternative that he has been reported increasingly considering seriously, to let Biden get in, even if he continues not to allow a proper transition and engages in other inappropriate and damaging conduct, but not to concede and continue to claim he deserved to win, but then to use this as a basis for running for president in 2024.  For various reasons, such a run may well run into serious problems quite quickly once he is out of office, but they hope to be able to do so, bolstered by his 89 million Twitter followers, may be sufficient to allow him not go to the extreme move of trying to remain in office by means of a coup.

While he certainly did not clearly concede in his remarks in his presser (in which he showed up with gray/white hair with the orange gone), one aside remark suggests he knows that the end has arrived.  In talking about future Covid policy, he referenced “whatever administration will be in charge” after Jan. 20 to carry out the policy, obviously a recognition of the possibility it might not be his administration.  Let us hope indeed that the reality he has lost the election really is penetrating and Donald J. Trump will not attempt to remain in power via a coup.

Barkley Rosser

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