*****Disclaimer: This is not legal advice and is for educational purposes only. This does not create an attorney-client privilege.
If you have been watching the news or following the election at all, you are probably aware that President Trump has made baseless claims that there has been widespread voter fraud. Well this Thursday he took his egregious and dangerous lie further.
Though it might seem impossible to do with the president`s current track record of being dishonest, Trump's Thursday speech may have even surpassed his own records for the severity and quantity of dangerous lies asserted.
The president read from a prepared statement, declaring, “If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try and steal the election from us.” In a totally unprecedented and dangerous move, the current President tried to cast doubt on our democratic process.
This move has the potential to really destabilize things. He is essentially casting doubt on our most important process and right as US citizens. And it also begs the question of how far he will go. Since he will not be able to procure evidence for his various, and inconsistent, lawsuits in states where he is losing, what does he actually hope to achieve? Does he just want to have the final word? Is he setting the stage to try and refuse to concede? Or is he trying to spitefully get his base riled up and sabotage the Biden administration.
We already see how members of Trump's base have already taken the streets to protest our legal, democratic electoral process, though with little coherency. In some states the chant to keep counting and others they chant to stop. It is convenient that Trump's stance on this matter is entirely dependent on what favors him. But with people already in the streets, Trump`s groundless assertions have the real potential to incite violence from his supporters.
We already can see Trump's history of inciting violence. From saying police should rough up suspects or encouraging violence at his rallies, to the rising threat of armed militias and white supremacists, we are dealing with someone who galvanizes people's violent impulses.
Trump referred to these illegal votes as, “If you count the votes that came in late- and we`re looking at them very strongly, a lot of votes came in late.” This of course, is completely inaccurate. The votes are entirely legal and postmarked prior to election day. They were submitted legally and as has been done for years and years in many states.
We have actually never had the official count announced and the president declared on the night of the election. So for President Trump to state that it is illegal for counting to continue past election day is ridiculous.
President Trump referring to it being “suspicious” that in some states he was ahead on election night, but then ‘somehow’ they “found thousands of votes for Biden” is not logical. The initial “red mirage” that showed Trump leading in some areas in many cases was due to the in person vote being largely conservative. Because Trump has discouraged vote by mail and because his followers don't take Covid seriously, many more voted in person. Whereas democrats take Covid precautions more seriously and know that vote by mail works. So in states where the in person vote was counted first, Trump showed an edge. But of course as mail in (and totally legal) ballots were tallied, Biden closed leads and came out on top in places like Georgia and Pennsylvania.
It is clear the claims of voter fraud are entirely baseless. But it is relevant to point out that not only is there zero evidence, but in many cases Trump is asserting that it is wrong to count legally cast votes. Even if they were late (which they were not), how is it acceptable to ignore a valid and valuable vote cast by a citizen? Everyone deserves a voice and the president shouldn't attempt to use legal gymnastics to try and steal a win against the desire of his own people.
Regardless of whether you are a fan of President Trump or not, anyone who considers themselves a patriot or cares for their own freedom, should condemn a president who refuses to follow the will of the people and threatens to destabilize the country going forward. A peaceful transfer of power is something so fundamental.