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Tom Zawistowski, leader of We The People Convention, is championing “limited martial law” to complement a re-run of the November election. He described Joe Biden as “an illegitimate president”, adding: “We are not asking for the president to contest the current election results because they are so fraudulent no one can figure out which votes count and which ones don’t because that is exactly what the Democrat/Socialists wanted.” These claims are disputed and numerous legal challenges put forward by US President Donald Trump have failed.
Mr Zawistowski told Express.co.uk: “We have no choice but to do a re-vote with the US military overseeing the election so that we actually have a fair and trustworthy vote.”
He claimed the use of martial law is not wholly unprecedented.
He said: “Martial law has been declared 68 times by US Presidents and using martial law they have limited the scope of their actions, sometimes to one state or even to one community to break up strikes or in the case of a natural disaster.
“So, basically martial law can be whatever the president says it is, so if it only applies to the military overseeing a vote, that is all it is used for.”
However, this was also disputed.
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Speaking to Express.co.uk, professor William C. Banks of Syracuse University College of Law said: “There is no provision in the US for martial law, and it has not been declared by a US official since the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
“It is widely understood to be available only in the event of a complete breakdown of civil institutions.”
A recent full-page advertisement in the Washington Times, paid for by Mr Zawistowski, included a 1,500-word manifesto invoking Abraham Lincoln’s use of martial law during the American Civil War of the 1860s.
The manifesto argued for a new vote overseen by the US military to avoid a “shooting civil war” involving right and left-wing factions.
Mr Banks also disputed the threat of conflict.
He said: “There is no realistic way that any chaos or bloodshed will accompany this election.
“It has not so far, president-elect Biden is preparing in the transition, and he will be inaugurated on January 20.”
The controversial advert was retweeted by retired US general Michael Flynn, who captioned his tweet by saying, “freedom never kneels except for God”.
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The group alleges the US presidential election saw “massive” electoral fraud.
They also claim “China is behind Joe Biden” and Beijing “wants Donald Trump gone”.
Mr Zawistowski said suspending the consitution and having a limited period of military rule would not damage the democratic integrity of the US.
He argued this would not be seen as a dilution of the democratic process, arguing: “Explain to me how having a fair and free vote overseen by the military is a ‘dilution of democracy’?”
He added: “Isn’t that the protection of democracy?
“Or are you proposing that a clearly fraudulent election is democracy?”
Much has been made of a technical mechanism in the US constitution that could allow for a contingent election, where the House of Representatives has one vote per state.
However, Professor Banks has shot down Republican hopes of using such a mechanism that could help see the incumbent Mr Trump back in the Whitehouse.
He said: “As long as the Electoral College votes on December 14 to confirm Biden as President-elect, the matter is over.
“The House may be involved only where the Electoral Collage result is disputed by individual states.
“There is no indication that will happen.”
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