What would actually happen if Trump tried the 'martial law' idea?

For one, his co-conspirators would likely end up in prison

President Trump.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock)

President Trump could "basically rerun an election" by sending the military into swing states, said Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, in a Newsmax interview last week. Martial law isn't a big deal, Flynn continued. "It's not unprecedented," he said. "I mean, these people out there talking about martial law like it's something we've never done — martial law has been instituted 64 times."

Flynn isn't alone in his open enthusiasm for precisely the military junta scenario the president's supporters have spent four years dismissing as a fever dream of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Lin Wood, an attorney who sued to prevent the certification of the Georgia presidential election results, tweeted Saturday that "[p]atriots are praying" Trump will "impose martial law in disputed states." Commenters at TheDonald.win, an online forum for supporters of the president, thrilled at the idea of a "mostly peaceful martial law declaration" but wondered, absurdly, whether it would accommodate their teenagers' travel home from college or their wives' scheduled c-sections. And then there's Trump himself, who met with Flynn and other allies in the Oval Office this past Friday. The president reportedly expressed interest in Flynn's idea.

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Bonnie Kristian

Bonnie Kristian was a deputy editor and acting editor-in-chief of TheWeek.com. She is a columnist at Christianity Today and author of Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community (forthcoming 2022) and A Flexible Faith: Rethinking What It Means to Follow Jesus Today (2018). Her writing has also appeared at Time Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and The American Conservative, among other outlets.