'Sedition': Lawyers condemn call for Trump to declare martial law and hold new election

'Sedition': Lawyers condemn call for Trump to declare martial law and hold new election
White House

Lawyers across the United States are pushing back against the growing list of President Donald Trump's allies calling for him to invoke martial law as a last-resort attempt to overturn the outcome of the election.

National Security Advisor and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, whom Trump recently pardoned, along with Atlanta-based Trump campaign attorney L. Lin Wood have joined the list of Trump supporters urging the president to force the military to oversee a new presidential election.

Both Flynn and Wood took to Twitter to offer their support of the idea which stems from a full-page Washington Times ad presented by Tea Party leader Tom Zawistowsk. As previously reported by AlterNet, Zawistowsk urged the president to consider invoking martial law to push for a new vote.

Lawyers, legal experts, and observers have expressed concern about Flynn and Wood's support of the initiative, describing the proposal as a "military coup," according to Law and Crime. In fact, University of Texas School of Law professor Steve Vladeck also noted that Flynn's actions could possibly be a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

"The Uniform Code of Military Justice defines as 'sedition' one who, 'with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of lawful civil authority, creates, in concert with any other person, revolt, violence, or *other disturbance* against that authority," Vladeck wrote. "To be sure, there is an open question as to whether *retired* servicemembers like [Gen. Flynn] can constitutionally remain subject to the UCMJ (and my own view is that the answer should be no). But the government's consistent position has been—and remains—that the answer is 'yes.'"

UCLA law professor and former U.S. Attorney Harry Litman weighed in via Twitter, outlining the differences between Flynn and President-elect Joe Biden's selection for the position of national security advisor.

"This simply was not written by a sane cogent person. Imagine if he had remained as national security adviser," Litman said, adding, "And now compare him in judgment and experience to [Jake Sullivan]. Foreign countries', especially allies', long nightmare also ending."

Brad Heath, a Washington D.C., law and justice reporter, described the latest push as "pro-authoritarian energy."

Heath said, "Big pro-authoritarian energy in Trumpland today: The president's (recently pardoned) former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, shared a message encouraging President Trump to 'temporarily suspend the Constitution,' impose martial law and 'silence the destructive media.'"

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