Will the President invoke the Insurrection Act?
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Critics fear the President could use any violence to justify invoking the Insurrection Act, which would enable him to bring in the military. All 10 former U.S. Secretaries of defense still alive today, including Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfield, have cautioned against the use of the military to settle an election dispute. All ten men cosigned an open letter published by the Washington Post, in which they warned:
The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the Electoral College votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived.
The secretaries which include both Democrat and Republican Pentagon Officials agree that “Efforts to involve the US armed forces in resolving election disputes would take us into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory.”
The letter cited acting Secretary of Defense, Christopher C. Miller, who stated in October that “there is no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of a U.S. election.” Pentagon officials fear any violent clashes could be the pretext for sending in active troops and supporting a White House narrative enabling Donald Trump’s hold on power. In preparation for this, they have been keeping track of nightly episodes of civil unrest across the nation, to counter any claim that local law enforcement cannot handle the turmoil.