This Is What Happens If Trump Stays Put In The White House

The contentious 2020 presidential election season formally came to end on Tuesday, November 3. American citizens headed to the polls in record numbers to cast their votes for the leader of the country. But in reality, Americans had already been submitting their ballots for weeks. Through a combination of early voting and mail-in ballots, over 22 million votes were already cast in the weeks leading up to election day, marking the highest number of early votes ever submitted in U.S. presidential election history, according to AP News.

The tight race was finally called in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden, on November 7, four days after the polls closed. Yet this did not end the contention around the election, and the high number of mail-in ballots has proved to be an easy target for accusations of voter fraud and ballot stuffing. As of this writing, President Donald Trump has refused to concede the race to now President-Elect Biden. Instead, Mr. Trump has taken to Twitter to express his rejection of the election results, claiming, "DEAD PEOPLE VOTED" and saying this was the "Most fraudulent Election in history!" Over two weeks after the election, Mr. Trump has only doubled down on his claims that Biden's victory is a fraud. On November 15, he adamantly declared on Twitter: "I WON THE ELECTION!"

President Trump could be forcibly removed

Former Vice President Biden officially becomes the 46th president of the United States once he is sworn in at noon on January 20, 2021. But with Donald Trump still contesting the election results and claiming the process was rigged, many people have started to wonder: What would happen if Mr. Trump tries to stay in the White House past January 20?

Basically, the short answer is, he can't. The rules on this are quite clear. With or without Mr. Trump's agreement, power will be transferred to the new president after the inauguration, and Mr. Trump will effectively become a trespasser in the White House.

If necessary, the Secret Service will forcibly remove Mr. Trump from the residence. According to Columbia Law School professor Richard Briffault, "at noon on January 20, he becomes a trespasser and possibly a security risk and could be removed," Pix 11 reports. Rebecca Green, co-director of the Election Law Program at William & Mary Law School, concurs, saying, "If Joe Biden is duly elected president and Trump refuses to leave the White House, Biden will order that Trump be escorted from White House grounds."

Simply put, it's the American voters, not the president, who decide where the power of the presidency lies — no matter how vocal the current president might be on Twitter.