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Trump said he would run for a third presidential term: can he do it

US President Donald Trump said that he has the right to run not only for a second, but also for a third presidential term. Washington is sure that the head of the White House is really ready to violate the constitution in order to stay in power. Writes about it with the BBC.

Photo: Shutterstock

The fact that he “deserves” re-election not only for a second, but also for a third presidential term, Trump once again announced, speaking at a rally of his supporters in the state of Nevada.

“In 52 days we will win another four years in the White House,” the US President said. - And after that we will start negotiations, right? Considering how we were treated, we probably deserved four additional years after that. ”

For the first time, Trump mentioned that he did not intend to limit his stay in the White House to only two terms during the 2016 election campaign and then, after the election, he constantly returned to this topic. In the last month alone, for example, he announced three times that in 2024 he was going to run for the next, third presidential term.

Washington believes that the head of state speaks of these plans quite seriously.

"Trump has publicly explained more than once that he is just joking to, as he puts it," annoy the liberals, "said Marvin Kalb, a senior expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “But it is very likely that the president is testing the possible reaction of his supporters and is seriously preparing them for just such a scenario.”

Presidential "compensation"

Since the end of the impeachment proceedings initiated by the Democrats in the US Congress, Trump has repeatedly argued that due to the almost two years of investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, he “lost” at least half of his first presidential term and can now count on compensation.

According to him, legal procedures and hearings in the House of Representatives took too much of his time, making it difficult to fully focus on public affairs.

“Despite the incredible success I have achieved as president, they stole two years of presidency that we can never get back,” he tweeted in early May 2019.

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A few days earlier, speaking to his supporters in Wisconsin, Trump clarified that he intends to seek an increase in his first term in office from four to six years.

“I promise that at the end of these six years I will be very happy,” he said to thunderous applause from the audience.

Several months later, answering questions from reporters at the White House, Trump made it clear that he did not intend to limit himself to the requirement to add two years to his first presidential term, and was ready to stay in the presidential chair much longer.

“I won't be here in six years, or maybe in ten or fourteen,” he said in response to a question from a New York Times.

In September 2019, at a joint press conference with the head of FIFA Gianni Infantino at the White House, Trump announced that he plans to stay in power for a third term - in order to personally host the participants of the FIFA World Cup, which will be held in the United States in 2026.

“We will have to extend my second term to 2026,” he said then. "I'll have to renew it for a couple of years."

“I think that none of you will have a problem with this,” the US President said, addressing the journalists gathered in the hall.

The next day, the head of the White House posted an image of his 2024 campaign poster on his Twitter.

Prior to that, Trump's messages often featured a video claiming that his reign would last until the end of the XNUMXst century.

All these messages were perceived as a whim of the president famous for his eccentricity. But in December 2019, former Arkansas governor and ex-Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee tweeted that Trump has the legal right to be re-elected for a third term, and Huckabee himself has already received an offer to head his campaign headquarters.

“It is a great honor that I have been asked to lead Donald Trump's election campaign for re-election to the presidency in 2024. This gives me enough time to plan everything, ”he wrote.

However, Hakkabi did not provide any evidence of the existence of such a headquarters.

Three times president

When asked whether Trump can claim a third presidential term, lawyers in the United States usually answer very briefly.

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“No,” said Richard Frolick, professor of law at Columbia University. “According to the constitution, his first term ends at noon on January 20, 2021, and the second, in case of re-election, at noon on January 20, 2024. There can be no other terms.”

According to the tradition introduced by the first President of the United States, George Washington, one and the same person could not hold the presidency for more than two terms. This rule, however, was not legislatively formalized for a long time, which allowed several heads of state, including Ulysses Grant and Theodore Roosevelt, to try to run for a third term.

The only president in the history of the United States to be re-elected for a third, and in 1944 for the fourth time, was Franklin Roosevelt.

Only in 1947, the US Congress adopted the 22nd amendment to the Constitution, officially limiting the presidential rule to only two terms - it does not matter, in a row or after a break. The amendment was ratified four years later, having received the approval of the required number of states, and entered into force.

For its abolition, according to the Constitution, the approval of two thirds of legislators in each of the houses of Congress is required. Until now, this has happened only once in the history of the United States, when in 1933 21 amendments were adopted, canceling the effect of 18, which introduced the famous "dry law" on the territory of the country.

Last year, however, President Trump made it pretty clear that he could stay in power not as a result of a constitutional change, but only because his supporters demand it.

"Don't you think people will ask me to stay after my second term ends?" - he wrote on Twitter in June 2019.

Screenshot: Twitter / @ realDonaldTrump

Speaking at a congressional hearing in February 2019, Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who was subsequently sentenced to prison on financial fraud charges, said his ex-boss would never voluntarily leave the presidency.

“I am afraid that if he loses the 2020 elections, then there will be no peaceful transfer of power,” the lawyer said.

In the foreword to his book, written in prison, Cohen tried to explain why Trump, in his opinion, uses every opportunity to stay in power.

“I’m sure Trump knows he’s going to jail if he leaves the White House,” wrote Cohen, accusing the head of state of a whole bunch of crimes and delinquencies, from financial fraud to participation in orgies with minors.

Judicial Wars

It seems that the opinion that Trump will refuse to voluntarily surrender if he loses is shared by both supporters and opponents of the US president.

Trump himself declined to answer questions about whether he would be willing to admit defeat if US voters cast their votes to ex-Vice President Joe Biden in November 2020. “I’m not going to say yes or no now,” he said. - We will see".

The president's closest advisers, meanwhile, are already recommending that Trump declare a state of emergency in the country if he loses the election. A longtime friend and adviser to the head of the White House, political strategist Roger Stone, in an interview with the infamous Infowars portal, urged the president to use the law passed in 1807 allowing the use of troops in the United States.

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“By election day, he must prepare the operation, using the FBI, federal marshals and GOP officials across the country to be ready to formally challenge the election results in court and, if necessary, use physical force against criminals,” Stone advised ...

Trump himself and representatives of his campaign headquarters have repeatedly stated in recent months that if Biden wins, the so-called antifa units and activists of the ongoing protests in the country against police violence could open real hostilities in the prosperous suburbs, populated mainly by white voters.

In an interview with Fox News in early September, Trump did not substantiate the theory, but said that he personally would “be happy to deal with” leftist protesters. “We will calm them down very quickly if they agree to this,” the US President said, referring to the inevitable mass unrest if Biden wins.

Democrats, in turn, are preparing for protracted legal battles.

According to the New York Times, the former vice president's campaign headquarters has already formed a "special team" of several hundred lawyers, including former US Attorney General Eric Holder, key legal advisers in the Barack Obama administration and former senior Justice Department officials.

“Trump and his allies are pushing for a catastrophic election scenario,” former Obama legal adviser Bob Bauer told the publication. “Our task is to prevent them from intimidating voters.”

Miscellaneous In the U.S. Donald Trump election 2020

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