'Tradition as opposed to a law': Local expert weighs in on presidential peaceful transfer of power
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — As President Trump continues to claim election fraud and refuses to concede in the presidential election, experts are looking ahead to the weeks before Inauguration Day and weighing in on the process of a peaceful transfer of power.
“We should remember there’s no law that requires it, the way President Trump is behaving, he is simply not following a tradition as opposed to a law,” UW-Milwaukee Professor Emeritus Mordecai Lee said. “President Trump has been the kind of president who breaks norms, he doesn’t behave or talk in the same way that we have expectations of previous presidents.”
Lee said it wouldn’t be surprising if President Trump doesn’t follow traditional paths the next few weeks, like inviting President-elect Joe Biden to the White House.
“I’m expecting the sitting president will not promise a smooth transition,” Lee said. “Promising a smooth transition is what every outgoing president does, but Joe Biden doesn’t necessarily need to have a smooth transition from the Trump side. He can design his White House staff, he can start having contacts with the bureaucracy, there’s nothing that requires it.”
Once the election results are certified, Lee said he believes the President will accept the situation.
“I suspect that after he gets a chance to prove or disprove the results of recounts or elections or claims of fraud, that he’s going to face the music,” he said. “I think maybe as we get a little further from the election, as people settle in to accept the results, I think things will slow down, but President Trump is such an unpredictable president. Who knows what tumultuous things might be happening over the next two months and I think we have to take them in stride and let the process work.”
Lee said even with possible recounts and litigation, he expects it will all be finished by January 20 and Inauguration Day will go on as expected.