Ok, students of government.  How would this thing work?

More and more is being written about Trump using some cataclysmic event to invoke martial law and attempt to become a dictator here.

We Have At Most a Year to Year to Defend American Democracy

Beware a Trump Reichstag

How Republics End

American Dictator

The Path to Dictatorship

There are differing viewpoints as to whether or not he is actively trying to cause such an event, but it’s not implausible that something will happen on his watch that can be used to fan the flames of fear.

He’s in a nice spot.  If they continue to hold the line on the travel ban and something happens he can say, “I tried to protect you.”

If he gets the travel ban reinstated, it’s almost as good because he’s given the middle finger to Muslim countries but left the door half open and he can say “oh well, I tried.”

Regarding a power grab, Trump supporters will say “oh, he’d never do that.”  But given his lack of respect shown thus far for many government norms, I think we’re justified in at least considering the possibility that he does feel empowered to grab for absolute control.  (Bannon has suggested that “they” would rule for the duration of the “Fourth Turning” but that’s a whole other thing.)

Let’s do this scenario: a large bomb is planted in LA and wipes out a bunch of people with ISIS quick to take ownership and to threaten bombs in other large cities.

Can Trump invoke martial law or suspend parts of the Constitution?  All this “we will resist” stuff is great until we’re suddenly facing the power of our own military.

I’m not hugely optimistic about our vaunted “checks and balances” right now as they seem to be rather ephemeral once they’re actually put to the test.

The Constitution does not seem to explicitly talk about martial law (or the equivalent thereof) but what stands in the way of Trump declaring “war powers” and going from there?  I’m looking for reasoned responses, not just paranoid rantings.  What branch(es) of the government stand between Trump and such a power grab and how would such a check work?  I’d like understand the scenario beforehand instead of trying to figure it out when there’s a large scale panic.  Is there anything we can do in advance to control this path?