THE FACTS: The president did not invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 in an effort to stay in office. To do so he would have to make a public declaration giving clear reasons for the move, which allows a president to call on the military to address a domestic crisis.
Posts circulated before the inauguration saying the move would keep him from being removed from office or being impeached.
The U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump for a second time on Wednesday. This time the charge was “incitement of insurrection” for the deadly siege on the Capitol.
Posts circulating a video making the claim urged Americans to stock up on food, gasoline and prepare for a lockdown under the act. The false posts say that they obtained their information from government sources.
“The president is in control of the military,” one Facebook video said. “I told you he wasn’t done yet.”
In the past, presidents have invoked the act in response to domestic disturbances or following natural disasters to restore order and supplement civilian authorities and not supplant them, said Stephen Vladeck, constitutional law professor at the University of Texas Law School.
In order for Trump to have invoked the act, he would first have to have announced that those responsible for the insurrection must disperse within a designated amount of time. Then, he could have activated federal troops if there was an emergency without approval from state governors.
Related false posts claimed to be from the president himself.
However, the president made no such declaration. “They have no basis in fact and it’s legally implausible,” Vladeck said in response to the posts. “Even if somehow this happened anyway, it would not actually do what the conspiracy theorists say it would do.”
— Beatrice Dupuy