How much of a problem is a post-President (or lame duck) Trump?

At some point, Donald Trump will no longer be President. Aside from the case where he might die in office, that means that we will have Former President Trump doing whatever he’s going to do. It seems to me he could cause a lot of trouble for the next administration, particularly a Democratic administration, and on a number of fronts.

Let’s start with the “cleanest” case - that of removal from office by the Senate. As unlikely as this seems, it is a possibility. The upside (to my mind) of this case is that upon removal Trump no longer has the powers of the Presidency with which to do damage. On the other hand, he will be pissed, and inclined to vent his spleen far and wide. I could see him continuing to hold rallies of various flavors, and I’m sure he’d find a home on Fox News, in both of which venues he can fire up his base to…well, I’m not sure what ends exactly, but likely not constructive ones.

In addition, he will continue his quest for as much attention and money as he can acquire. What are the chances that he will divulge sensitive, perhaps even highly classified, information in order to sell books and secure speaking gigs? What mechanisms are in place to put reins on an ex-President who feels unbound by convention, common sense, and patriotism?

Should Trump leave office due to losing the 2020 election all of the above applies, but in addition he will have 2-1/2 months in which he will feel completely free to do whatever he feels like doing with the powers of his office. Pardons a-plenty would seem likely. I’m sure there would be a ton of executive orders enacting I’m-not-sure-what awful policies, but the President has broad authority within the national security, defense, and homeland security areas, and I could see things getting real ugly in those spheres.

Would the outgoing administration cooperate with the incoming administration’s transition team? Given that Trump put very little stock in the concept of his own transition team, why would he put any effort into making the incoming President’s job any easier?

What are the chances that significant numbers of documents and records get destroyed or, “misplaced?” What mechanisms and safeguards exist to prevent such sabotage?

I’m sure there’s plenty else that this particular bull in our china shop could do. What do y’all think is likely, and what can be done to curb Trump unbound?

For classified information it is more than convention, common sense, and patriotism that constrains disclosure. It is federal criminal law.

A president has access to all classified information without going through a background check or receiving a security clearance. All power to classify and declassify derives from the executive power they hold. They can disclose whatever they want without it being criminal because of that.

Once they are no longer president that special power is in the hands of someone else.

I doubt very much that Trump would be able to remember any classified information. Or know what it is. Unless, of course, Putin has asked him for specific data. Which I think is a real possibility. Check his suitcase and pockets. He should be frisked when he leaves. Does he even use, have a computer of his own? I’m sure his family does. Lots of money to be made releasing this data. That’s all they care about.

As far as fucking up the country, expect the EPA to get torn down even more. Lots of money to be made there too.

Highly doubt he’ll ever be invited to those functions where once a while all the living presidents convene.

It’ll be awkward as fuck if he is re-elected as the Obama Presidential Library will probably be built and opened by 2024 and typically the sitting president gives a nice little speech of recognition.

Having read of Trump’s lack of effort for his own incoming transition, if it were directly up to him, I doubt there would be any effort put forth on his (inevitable) outgoing transition, as regards helping the new incoming administration. With the likelihood that he will be replaced by a Democrat (whenever that might happen), that doubt of mine raises to a near-certainty. In fact, judging by his past actions and attitudes, I’d say he would put real effort into making the transition as hard as possible.

Luckily, for most of the various agencies in question, career employees will make great strides in ‘passing the baton,’ despite even having their own department heads directing them to do otherwise. I certainly hope they will, anyway.

I think he will tweet a lot but otherwise lose interest.

Right. President Trump can disclose whatever he wants. Mr Trump would likely be arrested for disclosing classified information.

Agreed. Any problem with transition will be with the White House staff only. That’s the only place where there is 100% turn over. Other departments are filled with career bureaucrats and mostly run by deputies. You know, the Deep State. Business will continue even with a change at the top.

I understand that, but will Trump care, or even think about it? I think the most likely scenario is him just blurting out something he heard while in office, without any thought for the consequences (like when he dropped some sensitive stuff to the Russian Ambassador). Threats of legal action only work when the target thinks you’re serious, and cares about the law.

I could definitely see him rescinding a lot of regulations, firing important personnel, and other such actions. Nothing permanent, because the incoming administration can reverse the actions, but it will put the new President further behind in the rebuilding effort.

What happens if Trump actively directs these career employees not to assist? I honestly don’t know, but I could imagine him raging about the illegitimate new President, and telling everyone not to cooperate in any way.

In my fantasy of the 2020 election, part of the winner’s acceptance speech on election night would be a public exhortation to everyone working in the Federal government to follow records retention laws and regulations, and a reminder that these records belong to the American people, not to Trump and his family. I could definitely imagine the shredders working overtime beginning the instant he loses the election.

AFTER he’s gone? He’s not going to go quietly. In fact, he has on more than one occasion made thinly veiled threats about what his followers are capable of if the Democrats “cheat” him out of a second term.

Near the end for Nixon the Sec of Defense told the commanders to check with him if Nixon sent them orders to attack a country or do similar things. That will probably happen with Trump if he loses.

In the event of re-election Trump is likely to raise the issue of removing the Presidential term limit just for him.

As soon as President Trump becomes Mr. Trump he will be immediately investigated and likely indicted on a number of cases that have been held in limbo because of the “a sitting president can be neither investigated nor charged with any crime” nonsense that has kept so many cases tied up in the courts, while trying to get access to his tax records, for example, or Russian collusion, or charity fraud, or bribery by paying hush money to porn stars, or any number of other things. The State of New York has several pending matters being held up entirely by the assertion that the president can neither be investigated or charged. He’s trying to run out the clock on campaign finance violation charges he could be facing when he leaves office, which would have passed the statute of limitations if he wins a second term. It’s my fervent belief that, while he likes the prestige and power of being president, his main reason for fighting and cheating so hard to hold on to his office has a lot to do with the certain knowledge that his office is the only thing keeping him out of jail.

The Don may actually be a big problem for the GOP if he loses this November, sitting on the sideline and enthralling millions of followers with his particular brand of nativist bullshit. He will cast as much aspersion on moderate Republicans as he will Democrats, seeking only to make the most noise and generate the most personal attention possible. But his supporters will continue to shrink in number and this bloviating will serve only to obstruct the necessary rebuilding job the party will require should it get trounced this year.

Well, this is certainly possible, too. What could be more terrifying than four more years of a mentally declining DJT? Eight more years.

A Constitutional Amendment is the hardest of things to do.

I’ve been thinking about this problem since word of all the troubles of the Trump transition came out in the early days of his administration.

My thought is the next Democratic Chief of Staff is going to have a tremendous list of chores to accomplish to repair the damage caused by Trump. Especially to the State Department, Department of Education, the EPA, and those other departments and agencies that rely on science.

In another thread I suggested Andrew Cuomo, the kickass governor of New York for the post. No matter who is elected. He isn’t a nice guy, but he gets things done. I wonder if his ego would allow him to step into a subordinate-unelected position.

At this point one could point to Elizabeth Warren, who had experience running a cabinet level position and has DC experience, Michael Bloomberg who ran the largest city in the country and a giant successful corporation, and Joe Biden former vice president and long time DC insider as the three candidates most qualified to pick up the post-Trump mess.

At this point some combination of two or three of them looks pretty much impossible, but maybe patriotism will exceed ego.

For sure, the next Democratic administration has a lot of work to do. I like the idea of Cuomo’s take-no-prisoners attitude, but I’d prefer someone with prior Washington (and, ideally, White House) experience - someone who can step in already knowing which levers to pull, who to bully, who to sweet-talk, etc. God help me, if I were the incoming President, I might be looking for Rahm Emmanuel’s number. The guy is a gigantic horse’s ass, but if he’s your pit bull, he’s effective.

I mentioned in a previous thread that, regardless of who is President, I would hope that they would take a similar approach to Cabinet appointments, for exactly the same reasons, especially Secretary of State. The next Democratic SOS really will have to go on an, “apology tour,” all the while bringing the State Department back up to strength. Hopefully the next SOS hires his or her own pit bull of a Chief of Staff.

He does not need a 3rd term. He has Don Jr, Eric, Ivanka, Tiffany, Barron and other people who worship him and would be just like him if they are elected.

Cuomo served in the Clinton administration, including four years as HUD secretary.
Not sure that quite gets him up to the bar you’re describing but he’s not unfamiliar with Washington.

Well, the GOP has not been really keen on following any other part of the Constitution. Why would they let that stop them? Look at how the Senate Republicans have pissed all over the Impeachment trial. People tend to forget Trump is the symptom, but the cancer is the entire GOP and they can stil do a lot of damage.

If you cant beat a mentally declining DJT in TWO elections…you deserve eight more years of him.