Joe Biden Is the Projected Presidential Winner, So What Happens Next?

Pro-Trump demonstrators in North Carolina over the weekend.
Pro-Trump demonstrators in North Carolina over the weekend. Getty

Joe Biden is now the projected winner of 2020's intense presidential election, but what happens next, given incumbent Donald Trump has declared thus far he has no intention of conceding?

Well, for one, the counting goes on in three contested states that are currently too close to call: Georgia, North Carolina and Arizona, according to CBS News.

The network, along with other major news outlets, declared Biden the presumptive victor Saturday after projecting Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes put Biden's tally at 273 and Trump's at 214. Biden later claimed victory in Nevada, bringing his total number of electoral votes to 279. The necessary number of electoral votes to win the presidency is 270.

But less than 30 minutes later, Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, stood in front of a landscaping business in Pennsylvania vowing the election was not over. He claimed, without evidence, that vote counts were riddled with fraud and that Trump would continue filing lawsuits seeking to invalidate results not in his favor.

As of Monday, roughly a dozen lawsuits had been filed by the Trump campaign. On Twitter Sunday night, Trump declared, again without evidence, there was a "mail-in ballot hoax."

Several lawsuits were filed in the tightly contested states of Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and Michigan, seeking to either stop voting tabulations or to throw out batches of ballots.

Judges have thrown out several of those cases, citing a lack of evidence. State officials continue to count ballots in Nevada, North Carolina and Arizona, but the Trump campaign has not yet filed post-election suits there. 

There remains three active Trump suits in Pennsylvania.

Trump has said he will ask for a recount in Wisconsin, though state election officials have said they doubt a recount would change the count of Biden ballots. A recount is pending in Georgia.

Though Trump has vowed to not go quietly, Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris are pressing forward to prep the way for January's inauguration, with Biden announcing he is forming a coronavirus task force to address the country's pandemic and that he has compiled a list of immediate executive actions, including rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and rejoining the World Health Organization.

The task force will be led by Dr. Vivek Murthy, a surgeon general under former President Barack Obama, Biden announced. Other members include David Kessler, a former FDA commissioner and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a professor of public health at Yale University.

Pundits took to social media after the chaotic weekend, saying Trump could embark on a scorched-earth policy of rewarding followers and punishing perceived enemies in the waning days of his administration.

Supporters have urged Trump to fire FBI Director Christopher Wray, and news agencies, in recent days, have reported that Defense Secretary Mark Esper had prepared a letter of resignation. Trump tweeted Monday afternoon that Esper had been "terminated."

Esper had been helping to draft Congressional legislation that would remove the names of Confederate leaders from military bases, something the president opposes.

“He’s going to fire anyone who’s ever looked at him crosswise,” said George Conway, the husband of former top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, the Huffington Post reported Monday.

Michael Cohen, the president's former fixer, told MSNBC he thinks Trump will decamp to his Florida estate.

“I would not be shocked if there is no concession speech at all. My theory is that at Christmas time he goes to Mar-a-Lago," said Cohen, who was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison for, in part, arranging hush money to women who claimed they had affairs with Trump.

"I think he will stay there through the inauguration. I would not be shocked if he will not show up to the inauguration, either," Cohen said.

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