What happens if Donald Trump won’t leave the White House?

We’ve wondered what would happen if President Donald Trump won’t concede if Joe Biden wins the election. But what if Trump refuses to physically leave the premises? CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper weighed in on Friday with his thoughts: “Whether or not Donald Trump acts like an adult, if Joe Biden becomes the next president, Joe Biden will become the next president and Donald Trump will be, if it comes down to it, physically escorted from the building … if he just refuses to acknowledge reality” (via Mediaite). 

Trump gave his own version of events during his speech Thursday, claiming that observers from his side were denied access to the count in Detroit (they were not) and that the democratic process of counting mail-in ballots was corrupt (via NPR). With Trump expecting “a lot of litigation” and his campaign already filing lawsuits in states including Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, it doesn’t seem outlandish to think that Trump doesn’t plan to pack his bags anytime soon.

Here's who would escort Donald Trump if needed

With Trump making it clear that he’s not going down without a fight, the Biden campaign addressed the issue on Friday. “As we said on July 19th, the American people will decide this election,” Biden’s team said in a statement (via Newsweek). “And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.”

Unfortunately for Trump, if he turns out to be a lame-duck leader, his term will have a hard end date of Jan. 20, 2021 at noon thanks to the 20th Amendment. “If Biden is projected to win and is then formally certified as the winner in the Joint Session of Congress on Jan 6, he is officially going to be the next President, whether Trump concedes or not,” says Georgetown Law professor Rosa Brooks, J.D. “Once Biden is sworn in on inauguration day, power transfers to him, and the Secret Service will indeed escort former President Trump out of the White House.” Adds former U.S. Navy intelligence and counter-terrorism specialist Malcolm Nance, “The transition process is automated. There is no ‘do-it yourself’ move.” So if the former real estate mogul overstays his welcome, he can expect to be evicted. “Basically, the systematic things will happen whether he’s a willing participant or not,” Nance says.

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