President Donald J. Trump applauds the crowd and gestures with a fist pump as he disembarks Air Force One Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, upon his arrival to Reading Regional Airport in Reading, Pa., the second of President Trump’s 4 stops in Pennsylvania. Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

Lame Duck Session: A closer look at what to expect from incumbent President Trump during his last days in office

2 mins read

While president-elect Joe Biden and vice-president elect Kamala Harris await taking their positions on January 20, 2021, the time between now and then has left many Americans anxious about what to expect from incumbent President Trump as his time winds down after a long four years.

It has been a week since the race has been called and it appears as though Trump will not concede to the election results any time soon – or, if ever. President Donald Trump tweeted, “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” 

Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the election results has led to officials not complying to the transition of power. NBC News reports that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said it would not interface with the Biden Administration until the General Services Administration decides it’s clear on who won the election. Therefore the progress of Biden’s pending administration is being hampered by Trump’s stalling. 

To worsen the lulls in the change of power, the  Washington Post reports that Senate Majority Mitch McConnell and other Republicans are in full support of Trump’s efforts to contest his loss. Further, U.S Attorney General William Barr gave federal prosecutors the go ahead to pursue allegations of voting fraud. 

Not disappointing the days of allegations by Trump and his supporters, his son, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted, “America Won’t Trust Elections Until The Voter Fraud Is Investigated.”

Lawsuits by Trump

Continuing his challenge of election results, the Trump team filed a lawsuit claiming that observers were excluded from the counting room in Philadelphia. Additionally, they filed a lawsuit alleging that 600 mail-in ballots were invalid in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. But, the Trump Administration’s lawsuits were not isolated to that state. In Michigan, Trump’s campaign filed a lawsuit with claims that hundreds or thousands of ballots have been changed and falsified as a result of certified election challenger, Eric Ostergen being excluded from the counting room. 

NPR reports that a lawsuit was also filed in Arizona with allegations that some ballots were incorrectly rejected due to voters using sharpies to fill them out. In Georgia the Trump team filed a lawsuit asserting that ballots that were collected after 7:00 p.m. on Election Day were mixed in with legitimate ballots. Thus far, all cases were dismissed due to lack of evidence and inadmissible hearsay. 

. . . .

Aside from widespread voter fraud allegations, lawsuits and refusal of passing intelligence to the new administration, President Trump has been engaging in major administrative changes. Defense Secretary Mark Esper was removed from his position and replaced with Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Christopher Miller. President Trump tweeted, “Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.” 

As it stands now, there are more firings on the horizon. According to the N.Y. Times, F.B.I Director Christoper Wray and C.I.A. Director Gina Haspel could be next on deck to be terminated, putting the national security of the country at risk.

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While speculations are made about why the President would fire key officials with less than 70 days left in office, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated during her weekly press conference that she spoke with Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and president-elect Joe Biden about passing a bipartisan stimulus during the lame duck session. If passed, the stimulus would include resources to fight the pandemic and provide relief for working families, small businesses, as well as relief for state and local governments. 

“The longer the Republicans keep up the charade, the further out of control the Covid crisis will spiral…I urge our Republicans to accept the facts, acknowledge the crisis and immediately come to the table to work on Covid relief,” says Speaker Pelosi.

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