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CLAIM ID

195d99c5

Trump will declare martial law in the U.S.

Trump has not indicated that he will impose martial law to prevent Joe Biden from swearing-in on January 20.

Trump has not indicated that he will impose martial law to prevent Joe Biden from swearing-in on January 20.A claim stating that outgoing president Donald Trump will invoke the martial law before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration has been widely spreading online. CNN reported that a Telegram account falsely purporting to be run by Gen. John Hyten, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: "that the moment they'd been waiting for, the moment Trump would finally act and use the military to crush his enemies, was coming." NBC reported that the "QAnon community has turned to a variety of smaller messaging apps and YouTube to keep spreading conspiracy theories, evidence-free reports of a nationwide blackout and impending martial law have become a last stand for true believers that Trump will be president after Inauguration Day."

According to a report by Brennan Center for Justice, "The concept [martial law] has never been well understood. What should be clear, however, is that the president lacks the authority to declare it." But to give a general understanding of the term, the Center says martial law "describes a power that, in an emergency, allows the military to push aside civilian authorities and exercise jurisdiction over the population of a particular area. Laws are enforced by soldiers rather than local police. Policy decisions are made by military officers rather than elected officials. People accused of crimes are brought before military tribunals rather than ordinary civilian courts. To some observers, a deployment of troops under the Insurrection Act might look and feel very much like martial law. Given the degree of confusion over the term, some within the media or the government itself might even call it martial law."

At the time of writing, there is no evidence that Trump will invoke the martial law, and no credible evidence showed that he was preparing to do so. Moreover, Trump talked about a smooth transition in a January 7 speech after the Capitol riots incident. Thus the evidence shows that the claim is false and unsubstantiated.

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