Kermit Roosevelt explains Trump's US Postal Service "strategy"

4 November 2020, 06:32 | Updated: 4 November 2020, 06:35

By Fiona Jones

Constitutional lawyer and great-great-grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, Kermit Roosevelt, explains Donald Trump's US Postal Service "strategy" whereby the service started taking away its mail-sorting machines in some swing states.

The United States Postal Service has told a judge it could not complete an order to sweep mail processing facilities on Tuesday afternoon for delayed election ballots, including in close-fought battlegrounds like Pennsylvania and Florida.

Kermit Roosevelt, constitutional law professor and great-great-grandson of US President Theodore Roosevelt, explained the "strategy" used by Donald Trump to enable him to disqualify said it looks like the US is heading into a scenario "almost no one wanted" as "everyone wanted a clear winner."

"It does look as though it's going to come down to a few states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania. In those states we've got a lot of ballots that were mailed in, we have a lot of election rules that were changed because of the coronavirus.

"We've already seen challenges to the different procedures."

Professor Roosevelt remarked that something Donald Trump did which "didn't seem smart at the time but may pay off for him" is he discouraged his voters from using the mail-in ballots.

"What that's done for him is separate out the votes, so now he knows if he can disqualify mailed in votes, he's getting Democratic votes...so it's a very viable strategy," he said.

People requested a lot of mail-in ballots and the postal service, "which is in the hands of Donald Trump's administration", started taking away its mail sorting machines, Professor Roosevelt said.

"A federal judge ordered them to put them back and his administration said 'sorry we've broken them up and sold them for scrap'. This afternoon the federal judge ordered the postal service to go through its facilities and find votes from Pennsylvania and deliver them.

"The postal service simply refused, so some of the votes just haven't been delivered on time," Professor Roosevelt said, "some states including Pennsylvania have extended the deadline."

However, Republicans are now saying this is a violation of the constitution.