Jul 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Federalist Society co-founder calls Trump's tweet about delaying election "fascistic"

President Trump during a roundtable at the American Red Cross National Headquarters on July 30.
President Trump during a roundtable discussion at the American Red Cross National Headquarters on July 30. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Steven Calabresi, co-founder of the Federalist Society, called President Trump's suggestion to delay the November election "fascistic" and grounds for the president’s impeachment, in a New York Times op-ed on Thursday.

Why it matters: The Federalist Society is an extremely influential conservative and libertarian organization that advocates for a text-based and originalist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Calabresi said he voted for Trump in 2016 and defended the president during the Mueller investigation and impeachment trials.

What he's saying: "I am frankly appalled by the president’s recent tweet seeking to postpone the November election. Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist," Calabresi wrote.

  • "But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate."
  • "Election Day was fixed by a federal law passed in 1845, and the Constitution itself in the 20th Amendment specifies that the newly elected Congress meet at noon on Jan. 3, 2021, and that the terms of the president and vice president end at noon on Jan. 20, 2021."

The big picture: Calabresi called on every congressional Republican to tell Trump he cannot postpone the election and added that those who say otherwise "should never be elected to Congress again."

The other side: Trump said during a Thursday press conference that he does not want to see the election delayed, regardless of the coronavirus pandemic, but also does not "want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesn’t mean anything."

  • “Do I want to see a date change? No. But I don’t want to see a crooked election. This election will be the most rigged election in history, if that happens," the president said.

Worth noting: There is no evidence that mail-in ballots will lead to widespread voter fraud, as Trump has repeatedly claimed.

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