As reported by CNN, there’s been a lot of talk in the last few hours about the CIA Russia election accusation, in which the CIA reportedly has confirmed that Russian operatives interfered with the United States election process to ensure the defeat of Hillary Clinton and the election of Donald Trump. If proven and made public, officials would then have to ask themselves if the United States should have a new presidential election — overwriting the results of the previously tainted one.
CIA Russia Election Evidence
At this juncture, the CIA has yet to make public the proof it claims to have regarding Russia’s alleged interference in our election. Of course, the spy agency is always reluctant to reveal its sources and methods for gathering information, since making them public might compromise them in the future. On the other hand, when the Russians put missiles in Cuba, President Kennedy decided to release those photos.
As noted by one ex-CIA employee on CNN, the seriousness of Russia compromising the United States election process would be a situation in which revealing assets and losing sources of information might be worth it if it cleared up what happened. Certainly, no new election could be held without clear proof being presented of Vladimir Putin’s Russia having a hand in the 2016 election results.
Is a Do-Over Possible?
While it would seem to be a matter for the U.S. court system to decide, those courts have in the past occasionally voided the results of elections when the fairness and honesty of the result were questionable. Yes, no one has ever done this on the presidential level before, but the precedent at least exists.
But if the result of this presidential election were voided because of proof that tampering had occurred — whether carried out by Russians or someone else – we would almost certainly have to hold another election. President Obama can’t stay in office, Hillary Clinton couldn’t just be given the presidency and the legislature doesn’t have the authority to appoint a president in these circumstances. Ipso facto, a new election would be necessary.
Donald Trump and the CIA
Russia election interference has been vehemently denied by the Russians themselves — of course. But more interestingly, Donald Trump has also attacked the CIA for its findings regarding Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
In fact, Trump in his response and tweets has suggested that the CIA is simply too unreliable to be trusted, pointing to their mistaken impression that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Who he thinks we should rely on instead isn’t made clear. More than this, how will the new head of the CIA that Trump will be appointing respond if his agents insist this conspiracy is real?
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin
The rather obvious bromance that’s been brewing between Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin shows no sign of cooling off. Putin has praised Trump from time to time, and a preening Donald Trump has returned the compliment. For instance, Trump has frequently referred to Putin as a “strong leader.”
The fact that Putin demonstrates this strength by strangling the Russian media and imprisoning his political opponents doesn’t seem to bother Trump. On the contrary, he apparently finds these traits quite admirable. Perhaps that’s why he wants to change the laws so he can more easily file lawsuits against news organizations that say mean things about him.
The Russians themselves do seem ecstatic about the idea of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States. And it’s not particularly difficult to discern why. Donald Trump has made statements so pro-Russian that they might as well have been written by Pravda.
This includes Trump’s suggestions that the Russians aren’t going to invade the Ukraine — when they already have, that the Japanese need to carry their own weight and that NATO might be obsolete. Trump is not even in office yet, and he has already done everything short of actually surrendering to the Russians. The CIA Russia election interference accusations might be the only thing standing in his way — assuming President Obama will release the results of an upcoming investigation reported by CNN.
[Featured Image by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images]