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Donald Trump is declaring martial law to prevent Biden from being sworn in.

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

A pastor from Texas, Wade McKinney, went on Facebook Live on January 9 to claim that anonymous sources had told him that the outgoing president, Donald Trump, would declare “martial law” before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20, 2021.

The video went viral very quickly before Facebook could remove it. Snopes accessed the video before it was taken down. In the video, the pastor said: "I have got a lot of contacts the lord has helped me build over the last few years, and those contacts are people who have given me intelligence and given me information that has to do with our nation and it’s future, so I could use it for Bible prophecy teaching. […] We are looking imminently — and when I say imminently, I’m talking about the next two or three days — we’re looking at a martial law being declared. This is coming straight from my contacts in D.C., ya’ll. We are going to see martial law declared. What level, what degree of martial law? Whatever they have to do to bring things under a corrective mode. So, basically, what I’m trying to tell you is, you need to be prepared for there to be a martial law declaration."

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." Giving a general definition 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 martial law, and no credible evidence shows that he has been preparing to do so. Moreover, Trump talked about a smooth transition in a January 7 speech after the Capitol riots. Thus, the evidence shows that the claim is false and unsubstantiated.

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