Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested Thursday that the Justice Department should decide whether the 2020 presidential election should be delayed after President Trump floated the idea in a tweet earlier in the day.
When pressed by Sen. Tim Kaine, Virginia Democrat, on the matter in a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Pompeo said that “in the end, the Department of Justice and others will make that legal determination.”
Mr. Trump said Thursday that the November election should be delayed due to “fraudulent” expanded mail-in voting and the coronavirus pandemic.
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” the president tweeted. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
The presidential election is fixed by law and could only be delayed by Congress changing the law. The Constitution decrees that the incumbent president’s term ends at noon on Jan. 20.
Mr. Kaine reiterated the constitutional procedure during the Senate hearing and said “there is no ability for a president to delay an election.”
“I don’t think it’s that hard a question or one that should lead to any equivocation by somebody who’s fourth in line of succession to be president of the United States,” he said.