Americans, and indeed concerned humans the world over, have spent the week wrestling with the enlightening information by the bipartisan intelligence agency known as the CIA that recently reported to the Washington Post that the nation-state of Russia has interfered with Elections 2016, in a way that clearly favored one candidate over another. Most countries that reached this kind of international crisis post-election would either start from scratch with a new election or overturn the results to the erstwhile political candidate.
The national popular vote tracker has Hillary Clinton with a 2.8 million vote lead following Elections 2016. She certainly does have a strong mandate to lead and become the next president of the United States. The Huffington Post reports there is at least one legal precedent in the United States that could still install the erstwhile opponent, in this case, Hillary Clinton, without an electoral college revolt.
Many Americans, including high ranking Senators from both parties, want answers about the CIA’s most recent revelations about a nation-state interfering with the election. The consensus, from both parties, is growing that Donald Trump’s mandate to lead the country diminishes by the day.
This is fueled by growing concern from the American people that if one vote was delegitimized in this election, then all were.
If America proceeds with the standard and traditional electoral process for the sheer sake of tradition, and quietly pretends they didn’t just find out that a nation-state interfered with their election, America will appear as corrupt to the world, and to Americans who believe in democracy and the tenets “liberty and justice for all.”
Donald Trump brushed the CIA news off and called the CIA liars. Instead of getting mad at Russia for invading democracy, for illegally hacking political parties and then illegally leaking and distributing it, as millions of Americans did, Trump brushed it off. And, he was not accurate.
— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) December 10, 2016
This is not an appropriate response from the average American. It’s an even worse response from someone who is supposed to be taking an oath to protect America from enemies both foreign and domestic. But, Trump is feeling threatened by this new information, and it sounds like he should be as more information comes to light.
Out of one side of his mouth, Donald Trump will slam Hillary Clinton for careless email use on classified information. Out of another, he essentially applauds Russia for leaking illegally obtained classified information and slams the CIA for pointing out this illegal behavior. At one point during the campaign, he even invited Russia to hack more.
What he actually said was the following.
“What do I have to get involved with Putin for? I have nothing to do with Putin. I’ve never spoken to him, I don’t know anything about him, other than, he will respect me … And, if it is Russia, which it’s probably not, nobody knows who it is, but if it is Russia, it’s really bad for a different reason. Because it shows how little respect they have for our country, when they would hack into, a major party, and get everything. But it would be interesting to see, I will tell you this … Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
The press has been enlightened about Russian hacking in recent days. Russia has not been rewarded “mightily” by the press. Trump’s wording is unusual here, as it almost appears as if he knew in advance that Russia was only hacking one major party in Elections 2016, and that Russia favored one candidate over another.
????6 months ago Donald Trump asked Russia to hack Clinton's emails
????Russia hacks Clinton's emails
????Trump denies allhttps://t.co/8wk0iY0tTl
— I❤️Hillary! (@FallonStone) December 12, 2016
So, Trump invited Russia to hack one party, Russia hacked one party, the CIA called that out. Donald Trump says it didn’t happen and the CIA lies.
This has been extremely disheartening to the CIA, who he is supposed to be working with if he becomes the next president. One retired CIA agent, Glenn Carle, told WBUR Boston Radio that Trump delegitimizing the CIA in this fashion is the political equivalent of 9/11, and cited it as a “huge, huge crisis.” They are a bipartisan group, and if he diminishes their work, how can they ever work together?
They can’t. Not effectively in a way that preserves the national security of America, which is why this is a “huge, huge crisis.” Congress should care about this; it is their sworn duty to protect the United States from enemies both foreign and domestic. Congress should also care that many countries the world over find Trump unfit for office.
Glenn Carle reportedly told WBUR from Radio Boston the following on the matter.
“If you’re sworn to serve someone who you know is incompetent for the job and to issue orders that undermine the Constitution and your oath, and he denies you the ability to serve the executive at the same time, then you have an existential crisis. What do you do as a civil servant? If you serve the executive, then you betray your oath. If you fulfil your oath, you can’t serve the executive, and on top of that, he won’t let you do either one anyway. It’s a huge, huge crisis.”
<Thread> Interviewed a 23-year CIA veteran today. He had one of the most unflinching, critical assessments of PEOTUS/CIA story I've heard.
— Meghna Chakrabarti (@MeghnaWBUR) December 14, 2016
America wants answers, and Americans want someone held accountable. Americans that believe in integrity, democracy, and liberty and justice for all, feel violated. This is an appropriate response.
America also wants to be respected by the world. This isn’t the case right now.
There are ways that this could happen. Other countries have launched a new election in the wake of a scandal such as this, or, installed the next erstwhile opponent, a more complex process. These are all legal options that the United States has available to them if the electoral college votes in Donald Trump on December 19.
Russia interfering with the American election is not breaking news. We have been talking about it for months.
But the CIA has only just come forward with enough information to confer with months of speculation. Everybody that is afraid of how this news will threaten a Trump presidency, meaning, Trump supporters, is calling this “fake news” and asking for proof.
The CIA doesn’t work this way. And also, fake news is fake news. It is not news that one disagrees with. The only people calling the CIA news this week “fake news” are Trump supporters. But the CIA, easily considered the most secretive agency in the world, does not show their proof.
If the CIA goes public that Russia hacked, then, Russia hacked. We know that Russia hacked Arizona’s voting system, according to the Washington Post. And we know Illinois was hacked by Russia as well, reports CNN.
We do not know yet the entirety of what the CIA knows. The information is forthcoming to be sure, is the message from the CIA. In the meantime, a group of high-ranking Senators from both sides of the aisle are on it to say, this is not okay.
Joint statement with Senators McCain, Schumer, and Reed on reports Russia interfered with the 2016 Election. pic.twitter.com/K4IXbbUADm
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 11, 2016
President Obama has called for a deeper, and complete, investigation into all of this. He wants that investigation complete before he leaves office. That’s the politically correct way of saying, he wants it complete before anyone takes that oath on January 20.
But while these investigations are happening, there are a few legal precedents that could be a way out of this mess in the meantime.
Donald Trump is not president, and won’t be until and unless the electoral college votes for him, and Congress ratifies that electoral college vote. Both of those things need to happen. Even if the electoral college votes for Trump, Congress can still stop Trump, as the Inquisitr previously reported.
Many people erroneously believe that because the Congress is “mostly red” or “mostly Republican” that Congress would never stop Trump.
But this is not true. Congressional members are duty bound to their constituents, and not to their president or president-elect. They have a sworn duty, as do the electoral college, to not vote for someone that has aided or comforted an enemy foreign or domestic. Many Republicans in the House and Senate have already made it clear they do not support Donald Trump as president.
Even if the electoral college votes for Donald Trump, nothing is a guarantee until that oath is taken on January 20. So, for those that really want to stop Trump, there is still time.
There is the electoral college, there is Congress, and also, there is legal precedent should Hillary Clinton choose to sue over election fraud caused by Russian hacking. While America has never called a new election before in the wake of an international crisis, elections results have been overturned in the United States before, when evidence of fraud was revealed, according to the Huffington Post.
It hasn’t happened at the national level, but the removal of a so-called elected official has happened at the state level reports the Huffington Post. One can not call an official an “elected official” or the “winner” of an election, if the votes are not legitimate or if they were not legally obtained. This was the case in 1995 in Pennsylvania when the original so-called “winner” of a 1993 senatorial race was overturned.
The full 1995 federal court ruling shows that an elected official in Pennsylvania was removed, with the office being given to the erstwhile opponent. It was a Supreme Court ruling that invalidated a Senate election where the first “winner” was attained through election fraud. That instance, according to the 1995 federal ruling, went as follows.
“Officials responsible for conducting an election in the second senatorial district of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had conspired with one of the two candidates to cause numerous illegally obtained absentee ballots to be cast.”
The election occurred in 1993 to fill a Senate seat that had been vacated by death. Two of the officials in question testified under oath that they knew of the fraud, had intentionally “failed to enforce laws” and hurried to certify the results so that the story could be buried, reports the Huffington Post. As the Huffington Post says, it is a very similar narrative to the fact that House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also knew that Russia had interfered with Elections 2016, before Election Day, and did nothing.
It was not until February 1994 that a Supreme Court judge removed the original winner of that Pennsylvania race after they had already taken the oath. So, it can happen.
The real winner was certified within 72 hours according to the federal judge’s ruling, and the original “winner” appealed. He lost the appeal.
For something like this to happen today, Hillary Clinton would need an army of lawyers to refute the legitimacy of Elections 2016 and sue, just like this Pennsylvania candidate did. She would also need compelling evidence for her lawsuit to be successful.
Attaining an army of lawyers for Hillary Clinton would not be a problem. Attaining the evidence, though, might be. And this is precisely why Senators, House Representatives, the White House, and many high-ranking officials from all sides of the aisle, are saying, let’s wrap this investigation up before January 20.
The electoral college is also seeking answers on the Russian hacking, and the evidence of such. That’s not a good day for Mr. Trump. If Trump is feeling threatened, maybe he should be.
[Featured Image by Bullit Marquez/AP Images]