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OPINION

If Trump loses, expect him to exact revenge on his way out

During a July 21 speech, Trump asserted that Article II of the Constitution gives him “the right to do whatever I want as president.”

President Donald Trump and Chris Wallace in their interview that aired on "Fox News Sunday" July 19. In the interview, Trump suggested he may not accept the results of the November election should he lose, “I have to see.”
President Donald Trump and Chris Wallace in their interview that aired on "Fox News Sunday" July 19. In the interview, Trump suggested he may not accept the results of the November election should he lose, “I have to see.”Fox

Beware of the perils of President Trump’s infernal interregnum between Nov. 4 and Jan. 20, 2021, should he lose the election. During a speech in July, Trump asserted that Article II of the Constitution gives him “the right to do whatever I want as president.” In an interview with Fox’s Chris Wallace last month, he suggested he may not accept the results of the November election should he lose, saying “I have to see.” Some have walked out the possibility of Trump creating a post-election constitutional crisis.

If he is defeated, he may demonstrate his vengeance in the 77 days between the election and inauguration. Here are some actions that he could unleash:

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▪ Expand the revoking of existing corporate regulations, however illegal that may be.

Issue executive orders overriding statutory requirements and establishing sweetheart policies for his business and political friends.

▪ Continue to deny pending freedom of information requests made by citizens and the media and destroy other requests.

▪ Accelerate the destruction of documents, forbid transcripts, and alter other records that may incriminate his dealings as president.

▪ Expand the funneling unexpended monies to favored corporate interests that may enrich his family business interests.

▪ Open even further the floodgates of corporate welfare, subsidies, handouts, giveaways, and bailouts.

▪ Increase minimal settlements with corporate crooks or drop the cases altogether in the Justice Department. He and Attorney General William Barr could close out civil and criminal cases and grand jury proceedings against companies like Boeing for its 737 Max disaster.

▪ Award billions of dollars in contracts to favored companies or cronies and pull out of contracts already awarded to people and companies he doesn’t like or wants to punish.

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▪ Give the Presidential Medal of Freedom to odious characters either for hush purposes or future advantage.

▪ Push the Justice Department to issue subpoenas for bogus vindictive purposes against his critics so as to stigmatize and cause his targets to incur legal costs and even jail time.

▪ Continue to pardon large numbers of people, drop charges against, and commute their sentences to satisfy whatever nefarious motives he harbors.

▪ Intensify the use of the Justice Department and his personal lawyers to challenge in every frivolous, obstructive way the results of the election in selected states, no matter what the margin of his defeat.

▪ Make a living obstructive hell for the Joe Biden transition team to impair the work of the new administration, while Trump allies engage in coverups and petty harassments.

Pave the way abroad for his family’s business deals.

Of course, some of these destructive eruptions would be short-term and revocable by the incoming administration — but not all. Still, it won’t deter Trump, who relishes the chaos, confusion, and disarray he inflicts on each day’s news cycle. He’s honed that skill right up to his impulsive, disastrous bungling of the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s why the widespread demand for his resignation is important. With his disastrous, daily mishandling of the pandemic as well as his drop in his polls, he may find an excuse to leave because he can’t stand losing. But if he doesn’t, prepare for his revenge on his way out of office.

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Ralph Nader is author of “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State” and is a four-time presidential candidate.