Like normal Republicans actually Donald Trump

The American elections of November 3, 2020 and the unworthy end of the Trump era

On November 3, 2020, the American President Donald Trump was clearly voted out. However, the latter claimed, without providing any concrete evidence, that the election had been falsified and was able to convince millions of his voters and a large proportion of Republicans. His attempt to steal the election from Joseph Biden failed with his supporters storming the Capitol. While there is great relief worldwide that Joseph Biden is reigning a president who will bring normality, professionalism and a sense of responsibility into American politics again, there remains great concern that the mood heated by Trump will continue and poison politics in the USA.

In the Presidential election from November 2020, a clear majority of the electorate voted out President Donald Trump. However, without presenting conclusive evidence, he insisted that the election was rigged and he was able to win over millions of his supporters and a great part of the Republican Party officials with this lie. His attempt at stealing the election from Joseph Biden faltered with his supporters trying to storm the Capitol. While there is a widespread relief that with President Biden normality, professionalism and a strong sense of responsibility will again mark US policy, there are concerns that the rage that was fueled by Donald Trump will continue to poison US politics.

1 Introduction

The elections of November 3, 2020 in the USA can rightly be described as “elections by fate”, at least as far as the presidential election was concerned. The 45th President of the USA, Donald J. Trump, was voted out by a clear majority because his record as president was catastrophic. He performed his office in an amateurish way, massively damaged US democracy, deepened the division in society and endangered the international order and the reputation of the USA. Worst of all, Trump denied the result of the presidential election and continually dished up the unsubstantiated claim that he won a landslide victory that was stolen from him. What he and his supporters initiated was without parallel in American history and represented the systematic attempt to disregard a clear election result and to make the loser president through legal and political tricks. The end of this lie was the storming of radicalized and partially armed Trump supporters on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, which did not prevent Congress from certifying the election of Joseph R. Biden as the 46th President of the United States.

In the following, the results of the election are presented and evaluated after taking stock of Trump's tenure. This is followed by an analysis of the efforts of Trump and large parts of the Republican Party to question the result of the presidential election. The delegitimization of Biden's election by his predecessor and large sections of the Republican Party, as well as the continued existence of Trumpism in the USA, remain a heavy political burden. In this context, the question of how American domestic politics could shape in the shadow of an angry loser Trump is examined. The focus is also on the international implications of the change in power in the White House. Internationally, the election of Joseph Biden was received with great relief, because with him a predictable man interested in cooperative relationships with allies will determine politics. In this context the question is asked what the Federal Republic of Germany should do or should not do if it is interested in improving transatlantic relations.

2 The results of the elections against the backdrop of four years of Trump's presidency

On November 3, 2020, the vote was not only on the office of President, but also on the appointment of new members to the US House of Representatives and a third of the US Senate. There were also elections to the composition of 88 legislatures in 44 states as well as the election of new governors in 11 states. In addition, 120 referendums were held in 32 states, as well as elections for a large number of other offices (judges, mayors, interior ministers, deputy governors, etc.). The dominant theme, however, was the presidential election, which turned into a referendum on Donald Trump's administration.

2.1 Review of the Trump presidency

From the beginning, Donald Trump's presidency was largely different from that of previous presidents. It began with a chaotic transition phase and an induction ceremony in which the new president announced a “revolution” that would primarily affect the “deep state”. (deep state) and should hit the establishment. He wanted to drain the "swamp of Washington". At this point he was under the influence of the colorful prophet of conservative revolutionism, Stephen Bannon.[1] Later, Trump temporarily relied on tried and tested forces who tried, on the one hand, to follow his guidelines, but, on the other, to pursue serious politics. In most cases, the two could not be combined, as demonstrated by the resignation of Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and the departure of National Security Advisor John Bolton.[2] In fact, the longer Trump was in office, the more he trusted his instinct or the objections of media representatives from the conservative spectrum (especially from Fox News). He hardly read files and could briefings only follow occasionally.[3] His administration of office was correspondingly chaotic. He courted authoritarian leaders of the world (such as Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping or Kim Jong-un) and alienated the political leaders of allied states and called the European Union an enemy. In addition, he repeatedly mixed politics with personal interests. This was most evident when, in a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, he threatened to suspend economic and military aid that had already been promised if he did not initiate a public prosecutor's investigation into the son of the democratic presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden. The subsequent impeachment-Proceedings against Trump were unsuccessful because the Republicans in the Senate stood by him.

Domestically, Trump goes down in the annals as the president who massively deepened the division in American society and made it in some cases irreconcilable. By making regulated political discourse almost impossible through daily polemics, the spread of falsehoods, unwavering friend-foe thinking and disregard for institutions, it has massively damaged the US political system.[4] A regulated political discourse is the basic condition of a functioning representative democracy.[5] Under Trump, the Republican Party - one of the two "system parties" of the USA - has largely become dependent on extreme political forces and social milieus that ignore or completely despise the state and the democratic political process. A Christian fundamentalist milieu (traditionalist evangelicals), which is widespread especially in rural regions and whose members see Trump today as a kind of “savior”, although his way of life in no way corresponds to a Christian model, has proven to be particularly influential.[6] But right-wing extremist and racist milieus and the groups associated with them, some of which appear martial, have gained in weight under Trump and are now more confident than ever to influence the political process. Traditional republican positions - such as reducing the state's indebtedness and respecting the rule of law - have largely been abandoned. Under Trump, the Republicans have largely become a right-wing populist and partly right-wing anarchist party, in which xenophobia, religious fundamentalism, racism, nationalism and contempt for the state are commonplace and in which democratic virtues such as compromise and good governance are common. to be despised.

On the positive side, Trump could point to sustained economic growth, which, however, he adopted from the era of his predecessor Barack Obama. His contribution to this was the 2018 tax cut, which largely eased the burden on businesses and wealthy citizens and boosted the economy. However, the price should prove to be very high:

  • Federal debt rose $ 7 trillion under Trump, a 37 percent increase since the end of the Obama era.

  • Trump's fixation on economic growth and stock market prices contributed to the fact that the management of the corona epidemic turned into a fiasco under him. Trump refrained from doing anything that could have alienated him from his base (e.g. recommendations on wearing a mask or on lockdownsthat endanger the economic upswing) and preferred to listen to counter-experts who suggested to him that everything was not so bad and that the epidemic would soon pass. No reasonable political impetus to fight COVID 19 came from the White House.[7] At the end of Donald Trump's tenure, the US was the country with the highest number of infections (25 million) and deaths (410,000) worldwide.

Incidentally, Trump did everything to curtail and damage the state apparatus that he described as too big and too omnipotent.[8] Thousands of political positions in ministries and federal agencies remained unfilled.[9] Trump also abolished around 80 environmental regulations. The reductions in public health became apparent in the face of the corona pandemic. And because of the savings at the Bundespost (Federal Postal Service) it was unclear at times whether the post would be able to transport the expected postal voting envelopes for the election in November in full.[10]

At best, Trump had “successes” in rejecting migrants - one of his main topics in the election campaign. The number of refugees accepted annually fell from 85,000 to around 12,000 per year. About 400 miles of fence were built in the south of the country to ward off illegal immigrants - but without the money from Mexico that Trump promised. Success also includes Trump appointing more than 220 federal judges, including three to the Supreme Court. The judges concerned were usually very conservative and the American Bar Association qualified more of them as unsuitable than was the case with all previous administrations.[11]

In terms of foreign policy, the balance sheet was even more chaotic. During Trump's four-year term in office, weaknesses in the US as a leading power that had already emerged under Bush and Obama were accentuated. Trump had no clear ideas about international relations and the prominent role that the US has played in the functioning of the international order.[12] Rather, he despised everything that looked like globalization and the United States' restricted ability to act:

  • Trump questioned important alliance agreements and alienated partner governments with rude demands. He also issued statements that made US security guarantees appear questionable at a time when the military threat from China and Russia was growing in East Asia and Europe.

  • Under Trump, the US withdrew from 13 international organizations, agreements and treaties, including the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The World Trade Organization (WTO) was largely paralyzed because the Trump administration refused to fill vacant positions in the arbitration tribunal. Trump loudly announced his exit at UNESCO and WHO.

  • In order to improve the US trade balance, Trump started a trade war with China - without a concept and without considering the consequences.[13] He also issued extensive trade restrictions vis-à-vis the European Union. The promised improvement in the trade balance has not materialized. In the last year of his term in office (2020), the trade deficit was $ 679 billion. That was the highest deficit since the crisis year 2008 and was almost 200 billion US dollars more than in 2016.[14]

  • Trump tried to come to terms with the Russian President in a completely opaque way and achieved nothing.[15]

  • He met several times with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in order to slow down his nuclear program. Trump's success was zero, while Kim was upgraded internationally as a result.

  • Trump canceled the multilateral agreement on the Iranian nuclear program (JCPOA) without international agreement and tightened sanctions against Iran. The result: Iran has moved closer to China and no longer sees itself bound by the agreement. Iran now has more enriched uranium than in 2015 and will therefore be able to manufacture nuclear weapons sooner.[16]

  • The only halfway positive achievement may have been that it promoted the rapprochement between Israel and the leading states of the Arab-Sunni world that was already emerging.

From the beginning to the end of his tenure, Trump's politics and style remained controversial, especially his careless handling of facts and his tendency to say things that were only halfway true or simply lies.[17] Critics counted around 25,000 false or misleading statements during Trump's presidency.[18] His political mistakes, his rude attacks against political opponents (the Democrats, the fake news-Media and their representatives) and against critics from their own ranks showed that he has neither character nor intellectually the skills that an American president should have. The ability to act and the legitimacy of the American system of government depend to a large extent on the president assuming a leadership role that is also accepted across party lines.[19] Trump, on the other hand, exemplified how an incompetent, domineering and narcissistic president can cripple the system of government, destabilize society and shake the US-led international system. The former Republican governor of California and ex-film star Arnold Schwarzenegger called Trump in a video from early 2021 as the "worst of all American presidents" and received a lot of approval.[20]

2.2 The results of the November 3, 2020 election

As with the 2018 midterm election, most predictions were that Trump and the Republicans would suffer a major defeat. According to the election researchers, a great deal of unwillingness has built up against Trump.[21] From this many concluded that there would be a resounding Democratic victory. With a predicted lead of seven to ten percentage points, the Democrats calculated that they could expand their majority in the House and achieve a majority in the Senate. As in 2018, these assumptions turned out to be wrong.[22] The “blue wave” did not materialize. Obviously there was and is a considerable potential for Trump voters who either pretend to be polled or systematically refuse.[23] But it can also be assumed that many voters in the face of the sometimes violent Black Lives Matter Demonstrations and the criticism of the police by many Democrats then preferred to vote for the Republicans. It was also astonishing that in the constituencies where the corona virus infected and killed the most people, approval for Trump and the Republicans was higher on average than in other constituencies.[24]

The high voter turnout was remarkable: It was 66.7 percent of registered voters and was thus the highest since 1900. In no presidential election had so many people participated, a total of almost 159 million US citizens (in 2016 there were almost 130 million). By the morning of November 3, more than 100 million of them had already cast their votes - either by postal vote or by voting early in election offices. Even the elections of 1960 (Kennedy versus Nixon) and 2008 (Obama versus McCain) fell far short of this turnout.[25]

The result of the presidential election was somewhat paradoxical: President Trump received almost 74.223 million votes, more than any other president who is running for reelection has so far been able to unite. He improved his 2016 score by more than 11 million votes.[26] Still, he was voted out because his challenger Joseph Biden got 81.284 million votes, over 7 million more than the incumbent. That means a lead of 4.5 percent (significantly lower than the election researchers had forecast). Expressed as a percentage, Biden received 51.3 percent on a national scale, while President Trump received 46.8 percent. Biden was able to get the support of 306 electors in the electoral college secure, Trump received 232 votes.[27]

An American who expresses his satisfaction with Trump's defeat

If you look at the results of voter surveys that were made when leaving the polling stations, it turns out that Trump was able to win over the majority (53 percent) of the male voters (61 percent of the male whites). Among the female voters, Joseph Biden did better than Trump, who, however, managed to win over the majority of white women. In addition, Trump's voters were on average older and richer than Biden's voters. For the latter, issues such as equality of all races, the fight against corona and public health had priority, the Trump voters relied on the economic situation and homeland security.[28] These survey results are only valid to a limited extent because they are based on samples taken on election day, when just over a third of the electorate cast their votes, including relatively many Republican Party voters. It was amazing that Trump and the Republicans were able to win over 12 percent of blacks and 32 percent of Latinos - significantly more than four years ago.[29]

The result of the House elections was not at all successful for the Democrats. Although they were still able to collect 50.8 percent of the votes nationwide with 77.532 million votes, this was significantly less than in 2018, when they were able to achieve 53.4 percent. It was noticeable that the Democrats here received 4 million fewer votes than Joseph Biden. Republicans received 72.835 million votes for their candidates, 1.4 million fewer than Trump received. This corresponded to 47.7 percent and meant an increase of 2.9 percent compared to 2018 (2020: 44.8 percent). The Democrats remained in the majority with 222 seats, but they lost 14 seats to the Republicans and were only able to gain three. The Republicans received 213 seats, a net gain of 11 seats from the 2018 election, which they took from the Democrats. There was also a seat that the Libertarian Party lost.[30] Here, too, there was no sign of a “blue wave”, rather one must assume a small “red wave”.[31] The Democrats' lead shrunk by a further three seats to 219 because President Biden brought three House Representatives into the administration.[32] However, two Republican MPs died of COVID-19 in January and February 2021. These five seats will remain vacant until by-elections.

In the Senate, the Democrats were able to win one seat net on November 3rd. The final result of the Senate elections was a long time coming, because in the state of Georgia, where candidates must achieve at least 50 percent of the vote, two runoff elections had to be held on January 5, 2021. Surprisingly, the Democratic candidates were able to prevail over the Republican incumbents.[33] Thus there is a stalemate of 50:50 seats in the Senate, which favors the Democrats and the Biden administration, because if the votes in the Senate are divided, Vice President Kamala Harris can make the difference with her vote.

The gubernatorial and parliamentary elections in individual states also showed the image of a consolidation of Republican positions rather than a “blue wave” in favor of the Democrats. Of the 11 governor posts, 10 remained under the control of either Democrats or Republicans (mostly confirmation of the incumbent), only in Montana the Republicans were able to take the post from the Democrats. With 88 elections in 44 states to the respective legislatures (House of Representatives and Senate), there were no major shifts. Only in New Hampshire were the Republicans able to wrest control of both houses from the Democrats. Before the election, there were 36 in the 50 states trifectaswhere the governor's institution and both houses of parliamentary representation were in the hands of one party. Of these, 21 were Republicans and 15 Democrats. There were in 14 states divided government. These relations have shifted slightly in favor of the Republicans: 23 states are now subject to a Republican and 15 to a Democratic one trifectawhile only 12 states remain divided government exhibit.[34]

All in all, the elections reflected increased voter mobilization on both sides of the political spectrum. But the elections also highlighted the growing gulf between cities and suburbs on the one hand - who vote largely democratically - and rural and small-town areas on the other, which largely voted for Republicans.[35] It also became clear that some of the gains the Democrats saw in 2018 were lost, sparking controversial discussions among the Democrats about the causes.

3 Trump's campaign to falsify election results

The defining and worrying moment of the presidential election was Donald Trump's refusal to admit defeat. Even before the election, he was certain that he would be re-elected with a large majority. Any other result could only be the product of massive election fraud.[36] On the evening of the election, the possibility of a victory for Trump became temporarily apparent and he indicated in a televised address that he had probably won the election. Most of the postal ballot papers had not yet been counted. After a few days it became clear that Biden had won the election. They were decisive swing states Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and Nevada, in which this was in some cases quite close. Trump refused to acknowledge Biden's victory, claiming instead that the large-scale elections had been rigged to his disadvantage.[37] Trump went so far as to claim that the victory was "stolen" from him. As unfounded and absurd as this allegation was, it was believed by a majority of Trump voters and led to demonstrations and harassment (including death threats) by political officials and officials in the United States swing statesin which Trump had lost.[38] Worse still, the majority of the Republican Party politicians supported Trump, which opened up the prospect of a constitutional crisis.[39]

Trump's legal advisory board, led by former New York mayor Rudolph W. Guliani, has filed lawsuits in a variety of courts and appeals courts alleging irregularities and electoral fraud. All lawsuits were rejected because of a lack of evidence or even solid evidence. In no case was it possible to prove that election fraud had occurred. Even by means of recounts and renewed checks, no significant changes in the election results could be determined. Still, Trump, Guliani and supporters steadfastly claimed that the election had been massively falsified.

All of Trump's attempts were aimed at challenging Biden's majorities, especially in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin. With that he wanted to prevent this swing states Electors for that electoral college to name.[40] Without this, Biden would not have achieved the constitutionally required majority of at least 270 electors. The consequences would have been foreseeable: In the event that there was no candidate in the electoral college receives a majority of the votes, the US Constitution provides that the House of Representatives elect the President and the Senate the Vice President. The House of Representatives would vote in such a way that each state only has one vote. In both the old and the new composition of the House of Representatives and the Senate (at least until January 6, 2021), this would have meant a majority for Trump and his Vice-President Mike Pence.

For this reason, the Trump camp tried to persuade the courts to have all postal votes cast in predominantly democratically dominated counties and cities declared invalid.[41] When this failed, it set about preventing the certification of the election results in the above-mentioned states. Trump personally called Republican certification committee members in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. He put pressure on the Republican governor in Georgia and on his home secretary Brad Raffensperger, whom he even asked in a phone call on January 2, 2021, to change the result by 11,780 votes so that he would win.[42] In these efforts, Trump was supported by senior Republican politicians (e.g. Senator Lindsey Graham, surprisingly also Senator Ted Cruz).[43] In Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Michigan, Trump and his "army of lawyers" did not succeed. The results were certified - in some cases after intensive recounting operations - and the head of the cybersecurity department in the Ministry of Homeland Defense, Chris Krebs, and later Attorney General William Barr, made it clear that the system was working properly and that there was no evidence of fraud on the scale which allow to speak of election fraud. Cancer was immediately enraged by Trump twitter message fired,[44] the exasperated Barr submitted his resignation on December 15, 2020.

3.1 Trumps attempted "coups"

Until mid-November, Trump's behavior could be justified with major restrictions as an attempt to use all legally permissible means to ensure that there were no irregularities to his disadvantage. On November 12, 2020, according to research by the New York Times, his campaign managers informed Trump that the legal steps and recounts would not result in any substantial changes in the election results. Thereupon he dismissed them and transferred the matter to his lawyer Rudolph W. Guliani and other lawyers who thought similarly with the obvious aim of extending his term of office by another four years by means that were clearly outside the law and that can be described as attempted coups.[45] The first attempt took place on December 9, 2020, the second on January 6, 2021. Both failed miserably, not only because they were poorly planned and poorly prepared, but also because the democratic and legal institutions of the USA turned out to be much more resilient turned out to be as Trump imagined. The defense against Trump's attempts to falsify the election result would not have been so successful had it not been for efforts by very different forces (trade unions and employers, Democrats and Republicans) to prepare for Trump's contestation in the run-up to the elections and to counteract these attempts.[46]

A few days before the meeting of the electors (December 14th), the Trump camp launched the first big coup. Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court on Dec. 9, 2020, challenging the outcome of the presidential election in four states. The application was, according to research, the New York Times, formulated in the White House by Trump attorneys and passed on to Paxton.[47] The core of the lawsuit was the allegation that the elections in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin were so flawed and corrupt that these states were not entitled to electors named by the election electoral college to post.[48] Rather, the legislative organs of the four states would have to appoint the electors as a substitute - which would have resulted in Trump voting for the electors swing states would have gotten. The state of Texas saw itself as entitled to sue because the allegedly corrupt elections in the four states mentioned violated its right to an overall faultless election for the office of president. In addition, the lawsuit cited a "scientific opinion" by a mathematician who calculated that Biden could never have won the election in any of the four states, because the probability of his victory was 1 in a quadrillion.[49] This sometimes erratic lawsuit was supported by the attorneys at law of 18 Republican-ruled states and 126 members of the House of Representatives (60 percent of the Republican MPs), some US senators, as well as numerous MPs and senators from different states and, of course, President Trump himself. The broad support was based on an appeal by Trump, which Republican MP Michael Johnson distributed on December 9th on his behalf. Attorney General Barr refused to support the lawsuit.[50]

Such a large contingent of supporters, it is expected, will have to convince the Supreme Court to allow the trial and schedule hearings. The consequence would have been that on December 14th the votes of the electors of these four states would have become meaningless. Trump hoped that the three newly appointed Supreme Court justices would show their appreciation to him. That hope turned out to be in vain, as just a day later the Supreme Court dismissed the action as inadmissible. The court did not conduct a substantive legal review of the allegations. It merely stated that the state of Texas had no legal interest in reviewing the electoral process in other states, because sovereignty over the electoral process in all aspects lay with the individual states.[51] Trump's supporters among the Republicans were left at a loss.[52] With this decision and the election of Biden as President by the electoral college on December 14, 2020 (306 votes to 232), this coup attempt collapsed.

The second, equally amateurish, attempted coup took place on January 6, 2021 and had been announced for weeks. The intention here was the certification of the election results of the swing states thwarting Congress and getting Trump to be elected president instead of Biden.[53] On December 19, 2020, Trump had asked his followers in a Twitter post to come to Washington on January 6, 2021. It will be "very wild" there.[54] In addition, Trump called on all Republican MPs and Senators to speak out openly for him on January 6, 2021 and to include the election results in the swing states void. Otherwise, they would run the risk of failing the next upcoming primaries.[55] At the same time, pressure was put on Vice President Pence. It is its constitutional duty to read the envelopes with the names of the electors of the individual states in front of both chambers of Congress - a purely ceremonial function. Trump and his advisors tried to convince Pence that in this role he also had the right to reject the electors of individual states and to propose others instead. As a precaution, "alternative electors" for four have also been used swing states determined by the Republican Party on December 14, 2020.[56]

But Mike Pence wasn't keen on the idea. In order to put him under pressure, the Republican MP Louie Gohmert - probably also on behalf of Trump - filed a lawsuit in a Texas federal court at the end of December, which should induce the Vice President to review the election results in several on January 6, 2021 swing states to question. Under that lawsuit, the federal judge should find that that provision of Electoral Count Acts of 1887 is unconstitutional, which gives the Vice President a purely ceremonial role in reading the results of the presidential election before Congress. Rather, Vice President Pence should be granted the right to reject electors from the individual states.[57] This should probably ensure that Biden loses so many electors that he falls below the minimum number of 270. Then it would be the turn of the House of Representatives to elect the president - where Trump would surely have a majority. These ideas bordered on the absurd and were rejected by the Justice Department and Vice President Pence. The Texas federal judge also dismissed the lawsuit.[58]

During the storm on the Capitol

Trump's last option was then to have the tens of thousands of his supporters gathered in Washington, D.C., prevent the certification of the election result from Congress. At noon on January 6, 2021, Trump gave a seditious and inflammatory speech to his supporters near the White House, in which he re-dished out his unproven and largely disproved allegations of election fraud (and, in terms of the numbers, inflated fantastically). At the end of the speech, he urged his supporters to move to the Capitol to support the orthodox Republicans there - whatever he meant.[59] He combined this with the demand that something could only be achieved by fighting and even announced that he wanted to go there with the group himself. After being persuaded by his security officers, he evidently did not do the latter after all.[60] Trump wasn't the only one inciting the crowd.Radical Republican MPs in the House of Representatives had called on their supporters in the days and weeks before to violently disrupt the session of Congress on January 6 - in the spirit of the revolution of 1776.[61]

As a result, thousands of Trump's radicalized and agitated supporters stormed the Capitol. They broke into the rotunda, occupied the Senate Chamber and many MPs (including that of the President of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi), and were only deterred from occupying the Chamber of Representatives by threats of guns.[62] This storm on the Capitol was predictable, because in the chat groups of radical Trump supporters like the Proud boys, the Three-percenters, the Oathers, the QAnons and others, these actions had been considered over and over since December 19, 2020.[63] Plans were also made to have MPs executed and to hang Vice President Mike Pence if he did not do what Trump had told him to do, namely the electors' votes swing states void.[64]

The storm on the Capitol was unique in American history and was made possible because the federal police force protecting Congress was too weak to withstand the onslaught. The management had misjudged the situation and offers to strengthen the Metropolitan Police of Washington, D.C., rejected.[65] During the several hours of occupation, one of the Trump activists died as a result of a gunshot wound, a police officer was beaten to death by the mob, and three other people died in the crowd. President Trump, it was reported, watched the events on television with satisfaction. It was not until late that his employees and closest companions were able to convince him to send a video message via Twitter in which he asked his followers to end the occupation of the Capitol and go home.[66]

Trump was extremely consistent in his attempts to change what he saw as a fake election result with all the tricks and hooks in his favor. In the process, other ideas were hatched, but they were not implemented: For example, the former security advisor to Trump, Michael Flynn, spoke out in favor of declaring a state of emergency in view of the allegedly obvious electoral fraud and, under the supervision of the military, of the controversial elections swing states to perform again.[67] In this context, Trump has probably also seriously considered using the lawyer Sydney Powell, who had previously been conspicuous by shrill and unproven accusations, as a special investigator to check the integrity of the election result.[68]