At this point, Trump has “given up on legal issues,” Bolton said, noting that Trump’s campaign has lost almost all the legal challenges it has brought around the country.
“I think what he’s trying to do now is bring in enough confusion to be able to break through the so-called ‘safe harbor’ in the Electoral College process,” Bolton said. “I think he’s playing as long as he can, hoping something will happen.”
“This is no longer a legal exercise,” Bolton said. “As we saw on Friday when Michigan lawmakers were called to the Oval Office, this is now an exercise of harsh political power.”
Still, voters are unlikely to oppose the election results and vote for Trump for Biden. Many states have laws that punish or prevent voters from voting against the elected candidate, and US parties tend to choose party loyalists as voters.
Appearing separately in CNN’s State of the Union, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, said he was “embarrassed that more people in the party are not speaking out” against Trump’s actions to influence voters.
“I thought the pressure from lawmakers to try to change the outcome with voters in some way was completely scandalous,” Hogan said. “We were the most respected country in terms of elections. And now we are starting to look like we are a banana republic.”
Hogan acknowledged that Trump’s fear of repression could be a factor in Republicans not speaking out against the president.
“We all know how vindictive the president can be, how powerful his Twitter account is, and how he can really put pressure on and persecute Republicans,” Hogan said. “Very few of us are ready to stand up.”
But the number of critics is growing, he added. “And I think the others are talking quietly and telling the president their advice on what to do. He just doesn’t follow any of the advice.”
Both Bolton and Hogan have expressed confidence that Biden will be sworn in as president on January 20.