Donald Trump desperately needed to win the presidential election, as whatever fraud that has occurred for the past decade is bound to be uncovered soon. He has relied upon gaslighting, lies and straight up threats to accomplish this and so far everything has failed.
The electoral college voted as they were supposed to, so Biden is president-elect.
Except… there is a way this can turn into a disaster.
It’s not exactly a simple plan, and the legal side of it is dubious at best, but Lawrence Lessig describes in “Team Trump’s Endgame” how they might actually do it. And if you read it, you will see that the team has been working according to that plan since the day of the election.
The gist of it is – but go read Lessig’s article –
- argue that the presidential election in a state has failed (general perception of fraud or whatever)
- let the republican state legislatures determine when the election has failed
- let the same legislatures appoint alternative electors and certify them
- have the current vice president present the real electors and the alternative electors at the joint session
- have Congress choose the next president
Now again, to be crystal clear, I think as a legal matter, all this is bullshit. A state legislature has no constitutional authority to “appoint” electors after election day — except as Congress has allowed. And 3 USC §2 allows a much narrower range of “failure” than the ravings of self-interested conspiracy theorists. Properly interpreted, as a legal matter, this election is over.
But here’s the key that the Trump team is banking on: whether the courts would ultimately police this question is itself a very hard question.
If, on December 31, 3 state legislatures declare that they’ve become convinced that the November election had “failed” in their state, as specified in 3 USC §2, and if they, therefore, claim the power Congress has purportedly given them to appoint a slate in whatever “manner” they choose, it is not at all clear that any court would have any power to question this act by these legislatures. No doubt, lawyers would run the circuitous race to the Supreme Court — an injunction in a district court, directly appealed to the Supreme Court—but what if the legislatures do this on January 5? My point is not that it is clear that no court could stop them. My point is that it is not clear that any court would have the time (or capacity) to stop them.
The only thing that could stop them then would be the resolve of Republicans in the United States Senate. This is why we’ve been petitioning for weeks now to get key Republicans to commit that they would never recognize the vote of a slate of electors chosen against the legitimate vote of the people in a state. If we could get just 5 to make that commitment—openly and publicly—then that would take the wind out of the sails of this insanity. But so far, the Senators have not made that commitment. So that leaves the Trump team with ample motive to continue this fight.The plan of Team Trump