Saturday November 7, 2020
By Finlay Greig
Joe Biden has won the US presidency – so what now for Donald Trump
Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post | Getty Images/President Donald Trump
Joe Biden has won the 2020 US Election, defeating incumbent president Donald Trump.
Mr Biden won’t immediately be handed the keys to the White House - and Trump doesn’t look set to go quietly.
The 45th US President declared himself the winner on election night and has signalled that he will file several lawsuits against states on fraudulent voting activity - a claim that he has provided no evidence for.
So what now?
A concession speech
Traditionally, the loser of a presidential election has conceded victory with a pre-prepared speech, wishing the victor well and providing assurance of a peaceful transfer of power.
Mr Trump has already prematurely declared himself the winner of the election, and alleged widespread voting fraud without any evidence, but he would be breaking from a 124-year tradition if he was not to deliver a concession speech.
It has been suggested that by failing to do so he would undermine the election results and potentially lead to civil unrest.
Following her defeat to Trump in 2016 following a bitter campaign, Hillary Clinton delivered a concession speech, addressing supporters: "I know how disappointed you feel because I feel it too, Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.
"Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power and we don't just respect that, we cherish it.”
Between now and January 2, when congress is sworn in, President Donald Trump will service as president in what is known as a lame-duck session.
During this time the president will, in theory at least, prepare to hand power over to Joe Biden, ensuring as smooth a transition of power as possible.
Trump could opt to leave a few final gifts for the Republican party during this lame-duck session, swearing in judicial nominees. The life appointment of federal judges could help to assure conservative control of federal courts for years to come.
On January 20, 2021, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th US president.
Prior to the inauguration Biden and his family members will visit the White House where, in theory, they will be greeted by Mr Trump and his family.
Following this union, Mr Trump and Mr Biden will share a limousine motorcade to the Capitol for the inaugural ceremony.
Mr Trump, like Mr Obama did in 2017, will be expected to attend the ceremony.
The Trumps are then expected to take part in a departure ceremony from the White House’s East Wing.
What lies ahead for Donald Trump?
It’s unclear what the future will hold for Trump when he leaves the presidency behind.
Mr Trump has joked about leaving the country altogether if he loses, while some experts have speculated that he could be deployed as a disruptive political force by the GOP given the fervent support of his base.
He will also need to face up to difficulties facing his business empire, with the New York Times recently documenting $1 billion of debt owed by Trump and the Trump Organization.
Speaking to Politico, journalist and co-author of The Presidents Club, Nancy Gibbs, suggested that Trump could break convention when he leaves office.
“It’s a safe bet that many of the rules and patterns of past presidents will not apply to him,” she said.. “I long ago stopped putting limits on what he might do or sell. There are no boundaries.”