Trump's former national security advisor says the president should impose martial law to force new elections in battleground states

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Donald Trump and Michael Flynn
President Donald Trump and Michael Flynn. John Locher/AP Photo
  • Former national security advisor Michael Flynn said on Thursday that President Donald Trump should impose martial law to overturn the results of the 2020 US election.

  • Specifically, Flynn told the pro-Trump network Newsmax that the president should deploy the military to "rerun an election" in battleground states that he lost to President-elect Joe Biden.

  • The former national security advisor, who was recently pardoned by Trump, made a similar suggestion earlier this month when he shared a message calling on the president to deploy the military for a "national re-vote."

  • Flynn's comments are not based in reality — the election results have already been certified, the president does not have the power to unilaterally change the date of an election, and declaring martial law does not suspend the Constitution.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Former national security advisor Michael Flynn said this week that President Donald Trump should impose martial law to force new elections in battleground states that he lost.

Speaking with the pro-Trump network Newsmax on Thursday night, Flynn said the president should deploy the military and "seize" voting machines to hold a new election.

"There is no way in the world we are going to be able to move forward as a nation," said Flynn, who was recently pardoned by Trump after pleading guilty to a felony count of lying to the FBI. "He could immediately, on his order, seize every single one of these machines, on his order."

Flynn appeared to be referencing the far-right conspiracy theory that Democratic operatives and election officials somehow rigged voting machines across the country to switch votes from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden.

There is no evidence that this allegation holds any merit. Voters in the battleground states where the Trump campaign contested election results voted on hand-marked paper ballots, ballot-marking devices that produce paper ballots, or voting machines with voter-verifiable paper trails.

"He could order the, within the swing states, if he wanted to, he could take military capabilities, and he could place those in states and basically rerun an election in each of those states," Flynn told Newsmax. "I mean, it's not unprecedented. These people are out there talking about martial law like it's something that we've never done. Martial law has been instituted 64 times."

The former national security advisor's remarks are not based in reality.

First, despite Republican claims of fraud and election rigging, nonpartisan officials and election experts have confirmed that the 2020 election was the safest and most secure in US history. The president does not have the power to unilaterally cancel, delay, postpone, or change the date of an election, even if he declares martial law. As Business Insider previously reported, that power lies with Congress.

Declaring martial law also does not suspend the Constitution, and the military has no role in administering elections. Even if it did, it would not be able to run new elections because the right to vote is not specified in the Constitution or by a federal statute.

This isn't the first time Flynn has called for a military takeover to throw out the election results. On December 1, he shared a message on Twitter from a right-wing Ohio activist group calling for Trump to "suspend the Constitution," declare martial law, and have the military hold a "national re-vote."

As of this month, all 50 states and Washington, DC, had certified their election results. On December 14, the Electoral College convened across the country, and electors cast their votes for Trump or Biden, depending on how their respective states voted. The final tally showed that Biden won 306 electoral votes - and the presidency - while Trump notched 232.

The Trump campaign, Republican officials, and Trump voters have filed dozens of lawsuits contesting the election results since November 3 and won just one case, a minor victory that did not affect the overall results in any state. The Supreme Court also rejected a long-shot bid by the state of Texas to throw out the election results in four states that voted for Biden.

On January 6, Congress is set to officially count up the electoral votes for each candidate and certify Biden as the winner, and on January 20, he will be sworn in as president.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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