Although Joe Biden is ahead in the election results with 253 votes, according to BBC data at the time of publication of this article, of the 270 that are needed at the Electoral College to secure entry into the White House, Donald Trump will continue to have full powers until the successor’s inauguration on 20 January 2021.
This is due to the fact that the United States Constitution states that the presidential term lasts exactly four years and since Donald Trump took office on January 20, 2017, it will only be on January 20, 2021 that he will abdicate. powers if opponent Joe Biden even gets the 270 votes to win the American elections.
“He has exactly all the powers he had, nothing changes,” explained Portuguese-American political scientist Daniela Melo, who teaches at Boston University, according to TVI24, which cites the Lusa agency.
During the transition period, the presidents of the United States are usually what is called “lame duck president”, or “lame duck president”, because it is an impasse season in which the president is expected to do nothing. relevant. However, in the case of Donald Trump, the expression may not be literal in practice.
“He loses legitimacy, in a way, but that doesn’t mean he loses his powers. From a president like Trump we can expect him to use and abuse his powers to the fullest”, warns the Portuguese-American political scientist.
Donald Trump can then continue to make appointments, layoffs, pardons, executive orders, veto or sign legislation prepared by Congress and everything that the post gives him – which could be a danger, for example, to Anthony Fauci, a doctor who is ahead of the White House’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as during the Donald Trump campaign it threatened to fire him.
Daniela Melo also makes other projections of what may happen. One possibility is to try to protect yourself and grant pardons to friends and allies and the other is “to try to use your position as president to make last-minute deals to benefit financially,” he says and adds that these deals may even involve negotiations with other countries.
The political scientist believes that Trump does not accept the result and maintains legal disputes over the elections “at least until December 14” – date when the electoral college formally votes for the next president. However, the process can still pass through the Supreme Court and end in Congress where, according to the Constitution, a President must be chosen, who must take office on January 20.
This not only means a troubled transition, but a breach of the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 that set the parameters by which the peaceful transition of power between administrations must take place, which includes access to highly classified information.
This transition should take place in the period of two and a half months from the results of the elections in November until the inauguration of the new or renewed president in January, but this year, with the dispute raised by Donald Trump, the The administrative transition process may be fragmented or even non-existent.
For all these reasons, the new US president may only be known in January, on the day of his inauguration, on January 20.
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