Presidential tradition dictates that every Inauguration Day, the former president’s belongings are swiftly removed from the Oval Office and replaced with those of the incoming president. That process will occur regardless of any protest on President Donald Trump’s part, and PBS NewsHour White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor noted that people she’s spoken to who are close to the president say it’s highly unlikely that military intervention will be necessary to force his departure.
But how long Trump will refuse to green light a formal transition remains an open question. The transfer of power between two presidents is a time, money and resource-intensive process and history has demonstrated the potential consequences that can result when that transition is held up.
After the 2000 presidential election, Americans waited for 37 days before former President George W. Bush was declared the victor and began the transition process. A commission that examined the 9/11 terror attacks, which occurred less than a year later, found that the delay “imperiled” the nation’s response to that crisis.
“While this might seem bureaucratic, there are real consequences to transitions being slowed down,” Alcindor explained while answering audience questions about the state of Trump’s lawsuits alongside fellow PBS NewsHour correspondent Amna Nawaz on Nov. 13..
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