[Independent, Getty Images]
President has previously floated idea of delaying 2020 vote
Donald Trump could use emergency powers to extend his term in the White House, a senior Democrat has said, as fears grow that the president may attempt to hold onto office should he lose November’s election.
James Clyburn, the House majority whip, said he believes Trump has no intention of “peacefully” transferring power to presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden, who is well ahead in several major polls in the race for the Oval Office.
“I don’t think he plans to leave the White House,” Mr Clyburn, the Democrat Rep. for South Carolina, told CNN on Sunday. “He doesn’t plan to have fair and unfettered elections. I believe that he plans to install himself in some kind of emergency way to continue to hold onto office.”
Last week, Mr Trump floated the idea of delaying the upcoming election amid the coronavirus crisis, suggesting that the vote should be postponed “until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
In a message posted on his Twitter page, the president also claimed the 2020 election could fall foul to voter fraud, with millions of Americans set to cast their ballots via postal services due to the coronavirus.
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But experts have since cast doubt on those claims, citing previous research showing that voter fraud in the US is extremely rare. Two studies by Arizona State University in 2012 and 2016 found only 10 cases of voter impersonation fraud nationwide from 2000-2012.
By Matt Mathers