President Donald Trump said Thursday evening during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity that he is considering sending law enforcement officials to polling places to guard against voter fraud, suggesting that the administration is willing to actively engage in voter intimidation in order to keep Trump in office for a second term.
Trump was asked by Hannity if the president would be employing poll watchers. The president responded:
“We’re going to have sheriffs, and we’re going to have law enforcement, and we’re going to have, hopefully, US attorneys, and we’re going to have everybody and attorney generals (sic).”
Trump says that on election day he’s going to send law enforcement to polling locations pic.twitter.com/OpaYvUBY8P
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) August 21, 2020
But as CNN notes, Trump has no power to deploy any law enforcement personnel, and if he attempted to, such a move would immediately be challenged in federal court:
“Trump has no authority to deploy local law enforcement officials to monitor elections, although his campaign could hire off-duty police to work the polls, said Rick Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California at Irvine.
“If Trump did so, it likely would trigger legal action from Democrats, who would claim the move amounted to a voter-suppression tactic. And it would have echoes of a case that resulted in a federal court decree that for decades sharply restricted the Republican National Committee’s ‘ballot security’ work without prior judicial approval.”
And Marc Elias, an election attorney working for Democrats, made it clear that Trump is facing immediate resistance if he attempts to place police at polling places, tweeting out:
BREAKING: Trump tells Hannity that he will send law enforcement to the polls.
Not without a legal fight he won’t!pic.twitter.com/avRoWh5Qfo
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) August 21, 2020
Donald Trump and the Republican Party are terrified that Americans will vote in record numbers and boot them from office. And though they’re trying everything possible to prevent that from happening, the dedication and bravery of people across the country is stronger than all the obstruction the GOP has in its bag of tricks.
Featured Image Via NBC News