Trump's former national security advisor shared a message asking the president to suspend the Constitution, impose martial law, and hold a new election

Trump's former national security advisor shared a message asking the president to suspend the Constitution, impose martial law, and hold a new election

December 2, 2020
  • Former national security advisor Michael Flynn shared a message calling on President Donald Trump to invoke martial law and have the military hold a new election.
  • The message was an ad from a right-wing activist group asking Trump to "declare limited Martial Law to temporarily suspend the Constitution … in order to have the military implement a national re-vote that reflects the true will of the people."
  • Flynn shared the press release about the ad on Twitter, tagged several Trump-supporting lawyers and media personalities, and wrote, "Freedom never kneels except for God."
  • The president does not have the power to unilaterally cancel, delay, postpone, or change the date of an election even if he declared martial law, and declaring martial law does not suspend the Constitution.
  • The military also has no role in administering elections, and even if it did, it could not "implement a national re-vote" because the right to vote is not specified in the Constitution or in federal statute.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Former national security advisor Michael Flynn shared an ad this week calling on President Donald Trump to "suspend the Constitution," declare martial law, and have the military hold a new election.

The ad came from Tom Zawistowski, the president of a right-wing Ohio activist group called the We The People Convention (WTPC). In the ad, Zawistowski asked Trump "to exercise the Extraordinary Powers of his office and declare limited Martial Law to temporarily suspend the Constitution and civilian control of these federal elections in order to have the military implement a national re-vote that reflects the true will of the people."

Fact check: Zawistowski's demand is not based in reality. The president does not have the power to unilaterally cancel, delay, postpone, or change the date of an election, even if he declares martial law. As Business Insider previously reported, that power lies with Congress.

Declaring martial law also does not suspend the Constitution, and the military has no role in administering elections. Even if it did, it would not be able to "implement a national re-vote" because the right to vote is not specified in the Constitution or by federal statute.

The November general election also reflected the "true will of the people." In addition to notching 306 Electoral College votes (a candidate needs 270 to win), President-elect Joe Biden won the national popular vote, with nearly 81 million votes compared to Trump's 74 million.

Flynn shared the WTPC ad in a tweet and tagged several Trump-supporting lawyers and media personalities. "Freedom never kneels except for God," he wrote.

The former national security advisor was recently pardoned after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI as part of the bureau's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 US election.

Before that, Flynn was a frequent surrogate for Trump on the 2016 campaign trail and made headlines for encouraging chants to "lock her up," referring to former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who has not been charged with any crime.

Now, Flynn is one of several people in Trumpworld who have amplified unfounded claims in recent weeks that the 2020 election was "stolen" from Trump, that there was widespread voter fraud, and that the Democratic Party conspired with "big media" to rig the election in Biden's favor.

Fact check: There is no evidence to support these claims, and Trump's own Department of Homeland Security has a website dedicated to swatting them down. In fact, as Business Insider has reported, the 2020 election was the safest and most secure in US history because of the use of paper ballots and voting machines with verifiable paper trails.

The Trump campaign and Republican officials have filed more than two dozen lawsuits across the country seeking to nullify the election results by making vague and ambiguous allegations of electoral malfeasance. They haven't won a single case so far. And as of this week, the six battleground states that decided the election — Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania — have all certified their results, confirming Biden's victory.

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