If Trump loses this election but just refuses to leave the Whitehouse, as commander in chief he presumably can't be made to leave until he loses that position. Exactly when would be the first moment when he could be forcibly removed?

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    Exactly when would be the first moment when he could be forcibly removed? Any time now, if a majority of the President's Cabinet decide to invoke the 25th amendment. (This won't happen.) Or a while from now if the House impeaches and the Senate convicts. (This won't happen.) Or perhaps noon January 20 2021 if Mr. Trump is defeated, or perhaps noon January 20 2025 if Mr. Trump is not defeated, or perhaps noon January 20 2029 if Mr. Trump is defeated in this election but is elected as President in the 2024 election. – David Hammen Nov 6 '20 at 22:39

Assuming he is not re-elected, President Trump's term comes to an end at 12:00 EST on January 20, 2021.

It is at this moment that President Biden would be sworn in if he wins the election, and thus, if Mr. Trump is still in the White House by that point, he can be removed if President Biden does not wish him to be there.

  • Is it just the time 12:00 that means the president has changed or does the swearing in ceremony have any legal standing? – Anush Nov 7 '20 at 7:46
  • That's the time as set out in the Constitution that the term of the President ends. They time the oath of office so that the President finishes reciting it right at midday. – Joe C Nov 7 '20 at 11:03
  • Does he complete it at 12:00 or start it then? And does it matter if he does it five minutes later? Has power transferred nonetheless? – Anush Nov 7 '20 at 11:52
  • The Constitution seems a bit contradictory on this one. On the one hand, Article II says that the President must take the oath/affirmation of office before taking up his duties. On the other hand, the 20th Amendment says that his term begins at noon without such a condition. I'm not sure which one prevails, but the fact that they finish taking the oath right on midday makes this a moot point. – Joe C Nov 7 '20 at 12:24
  • It's an interesting point because some event might delay the taking of the oath so we should know who is president under those conditions. – Anush Nov 7 '20 at 12:36

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