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Iberdrola

Opinion

Latest manoeuvres to boycott Biden

Donald Trump

Will Joe Biden be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States of America on 20 January at 12:00 noon Washington time? Such a question would be totally illogical under more or less normal circumstances. But, although the president-elect's team takes it for granted, serious doubts remain as to whether the still occupant of the White House, Donald Trump, will not surprise the world with some unexpected performance before that date. 

Admittedly, one after another, the judges have dismissed all the lawsuits for alleged electoral irregularities that could have altered the result of 3 November. With the same pace, the supporters of the Republican Party deputies and senators have progressively ceased to endorse the accusations of their chief of staff, most notably Mitch McConnell, head of the Republican majority in the Senate and the architect in the past of all the political manoeuvres to form a conservative majority among the nine Supreme Court justices. However, Mr McConnell was emphatic once the 538 representatives of the states that make up the Electoral College confirmed Biden's uncontested victory on 14 December. "The Electoral College has spoken, and I would therefore like to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden", said Mr McConnell in a statement that was as brief as it was decisive. This was the turning point on which the great world leaders, who had not yet done so, joined in congratulating the future president, leaving practically only Trump in his dreams. 

Now, is everything really decided? Trump thinks not, and is playing his last cards. At the end of November, on the occasion of the traditional address to the armed forces on Thanksgiving Day, he announced that he would leave the White House if the Electoral College voted for his rival, but immediately added a worrying caption: "I think a lot of things are going to happen between now and 20 January... a lot of things". 

In any event, the defeated president managed to establish in the minds of 80% of his voters that the elections were fraudulent and that they stole his victory. Such a strident percentage, as confirmed by various polls, injected a lethal dose of poison into those who internalize this slogan and justify any assault on it in order to "restore the good order of things". 

Attempts to involve the military

These radicalised bases are filling the social networks with messages trying to involve the Armed Forces in an operation that would delegitimise Biden's victory, which in Roman Paladin would be tantamount to a coup d'état. The repeated appeals to the military invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act, under which the president still in office could take control and deploy troops in the states where he allegedly lost irregularly. This is an exception to the rule prohibiting the armed forces from acting within the country, which is rarely used: the Civil War and racial protests following the assassination of Martin Luther King. 

The call and subsequent manifestos have been joined in recent days from former generals, now in the reserve, by some congressmen, such as North Carolina Senator Bob Steinburg, backed by a large group of emerging local leaders, who have come together in what they call the Trump Movement, which is increasingly drawing a radical wing of the Republican Party, called upon to be the basis for supporting Donald Trump's future political aspirations. 

So strident is the media noise these platforms are spreading that the Pentagon has had to step in. "The Army has no role in determining the result of an American election", the chief of staff, General James McConville, and the army secretary general, Ryan McCarthy, told Politico. 

But if these statements were reassuring, the decision of the acting (defence) minister, Christopher Miller, to suspend cooperation between the Pentagon and the president-elect's transition team until January has aroused fresh concerns in Joe Biden's ranks.

Miller argues logistical reasons for suspending these meetings, which among other consequences result in confidential national security reports not being provided to the president-elect. The pretext of "overworking" the military in charge of meeting with Biden's transition team and preparing the handover sounds very suspicious and strange, to say the least. The networks themselves also echo this, and point out that this cooperation between presidential administrations will not be re-established, at best, until after 5 January, the date on which the elections in Georgia are aired to fill the two senatorial posts that correspond to this state. If both seats were to fall on the Republican side, Trump's party would retain its majority in the Senate, which would be sufficient to slow down, or even make it impossible, for Biden to implement his government programme.