Ex-White House Ethics Director Accuses Trump of ‘Laying Groundwork’ for Refusal to Leave Office

Ex-White House Ethics Director Accuses Trump of ‘Laying Groundwork’ for Refusal to Leave Office


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On Friday, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that would allow voting through mail-in ballots for the 2020 US election due to the COVID-19 pandemic. US President Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted criticism of the state’s voting process by claiming that Democrats are “trying to steal another election”.

The former director of the United States Office of Government Ethics (OGE), Walter Shaub, on Saturday accused US President Donald Trump of “laying the groundwork for a refusal to leave office”.

The former White House staffer’s comments came in response to Trump’s condemnation of the election process in California.

“So in California, the Democrats, who fought like crazy to get all mail in only ballots, and succeeded, have just opened a voting booth in the most Democrat area in the State. They are trying to steal another election. It’s all rigged out there. These votes must not count. SCAM!” Trump tweeted on Saturday.

In a series of nine tweets, Shaub, who worked in both the Obama and the Trump administrations, suggested that the Republican president’s “effort to interfere in the election will escalate dramatically”. The former OGE chief listed over a dozen examples supporting his claims, including Trump’s recent labeling of California’s election system as “rigged”.

“Trump, who is trying to rig the election, is spreading a rumor that the process is rigged against him,” Shaub wrote. “… and right on cue, here he is laying the groundwork for a refusal to leave office”.

Hours later, Trump again tweeted comments on California’s 25th district congressional special election on Tuesday for an open House seat, in which the mail-in ballot system will be used along with some voting locations. Two candidates are running for the seat: Republican Mike Garcia and Democrat Christy Smith.

“Governor @GavinNewsom of California won’t let restaurants, beaches and stores open, but he installs a voting booth system in a highly Democrat area (supposed to be mail in ballots only) because our great candidate, @MikeGarcia2020, is winning by a lot. CA25 Rigged Election!” the president tweeted.

Trump is seeking re-election for a second term in November against the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, former US Vice President Joe Biden.

The California vote-by-mail election, in which all registered voters receive mail ballots ahead of the Election Day, came into light recently due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as a means of preventing the health risk of going to voting locations. This voting method is allowed in 20 US states under certain conditions.

The GOP has repeatedly criticized the mail-in ballot system, arguing that mail-in votes “undermine election security”. Trump has claimed, “A lot of people cheat with mail-in voting”.

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