Michael Flynn: Trump could use 'military capabilities' and 'rerun' election in swing states

Donald Trump

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said President Trump has the authority as president to "rerun" elections in swing states he lost.

During an interview with Newsmax host Greg Kelly on Thursday, the recently pardoned former White House national security adviser said the commander in chief could use the power of the U.S. military and dispelled arguments that invoking martial law to do so wouldn't be unprecedented.

"He could immediately, on his order, seize every single one of these machines around the country," Flynn began, referring to machines built by Dominion Voting Systems, which demanded on Thursday that his longtime attorney, Sidney Powell, retract her "baseless" election claims about the company.

"He could also order, within the swing states, if he wanted to, he could take military capabilities, and he could place them in those states and basically rerun an election in each of those states. It's not unprecedented," Flynn said.

"I mean, these people out there talking about martial law, it's like it's something that we've never done," Flynn continued, claiming the United States has declared martial law 64 times throughout history. "I'm not calling for that. We have a constitutional process. We clearly have a constitutional process. ... That has to be followed."

Flynn was picked by former President Barack Obama to serve as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2012, but he was pushed out of the position after clashing with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and others. He retired from the Army in 2014, a year before his stint was supposed to end.

Martial law has been used in the U.S. a total of 68 times by federal and state authorities in response to war, foreign aggression, riots, and insurrection, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared martial law in Hawaii after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. However, there is no record of martial law being declared by a U.S. president to hold a new election.

Defense officials and scholars have decried the idea of Trump invoking the military to hold a new election. "As general officers, these men spent long careers committed to defending the Constitution. Calling for martial law and a suspension of the Constitution is a direct violation of their oath to uphold it," Risa Brooks, civil-military relations expert and associate political science professor at Marquette University, said to the Military Times.

Bill Banks, a Syracuse University professor specializing in constitutional law, also told the Military Times that the idea was "preposterous."

“Apart from the fact that state and now federal investigators have found no evidence of election fraud that would change the election outcome, martial law has no place in the United States absent a complete breakdown of civil governing mechanisms,” Banks said.




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