WASHINGTON – Democrats are perilously close to denying Donald Trump the presidency, or they haven’t got a chance in Hades, depending upon whom one asks.
Harvard constitutional law professor Larry Lessig claimed in a tweet on Friday that the number of Electoral College members having publicly announced they would vote for an alternative to Trump had doubled.
The problem for him is, that means the number had only gone from one to two.
Earlier in week, Lessig claimed there were at least 20, and as many as 30, GOP electors willing to not for Trump. If true, that would be stunning, because only 37 defectors would be needed to keep Trump from winning Monday’s vote in the Electoral College.
But, the Trump team’s brass has been monitoring GOP electors and are confident he will win the vote. Additionally, even if he were to be stopped in the Electoral College and the presidential election were to shift to the House of Representatives (as the Constitution would require), Trump would be virtually sure to win in that chamber, where the GOP holds a majority.
So, why have the Democrats been lobbying electors so feverishly in an effort almost certain to fail, and why have they been so adamantly claiming Russia hacked the election, when neither story stands much chance of changing the outcome of the election?
WND asked perhaps the top investigative reporter in the nation, five-time Emmy Award winner Sharyl Attkisson, who observed, “The narrative discrediting Trump’s presidential victory is naturally being forwarded by partisan interests.”
“It’s a perfectly legitimate topic to report on,” she continued, “but we sometimes aren’t seeing neutral, fact-based reporting. Instead, some news outlets are perpetuating the narrative in a one-sided fashion, unquestioningly and uncritically, without providing context as to the motivation of those involved.”
Ironically, it was Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton who said before the November election that it would be “horrifying” and a “direct threat to our democracy” if a candidate were to reject the outcome of the vote.
During a presidential debate in October, Clinton declared, “That’s not the way our democracy works. We’ve been around 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections and we’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them and that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during a general election.”
Now that the shoe is on the other foot?
“I’m confident that if the situation were reversed,” said Attkisson, “if Clinton had won and it were Trump officials mounting an electoral vote challenge and a full-forced campaign to blame Russia, some of the same news outlets would have dismissed it as whining, conspiratorial, sour grapes and dangerous to our democracy.”
WND has reported in detail on the scheme to stop Trump from becoming president by preventing his victory in the Electoral College, and possibly sending the election to the House of Representatives.
The plan is the brainchild of Democrats who call themselves “The Hamilton Electors.” They had hoped GOP electors would defect to a third candidate, some compromise figure who Republicans and Democrats could both support.
Now that no such third candidate has emerged, the Hamilton Electors and other Democrats are still hoping to throw the presidential election into the House of Representatives by persuading at least 37 GOP electors to withdraw their support for Trump, thus leaving him short of the 270 votes needed to win in the Electoral College.
But there are some seemingly insurmountable problems with that strategy.
First of all, as WND previously described in detail, Trump would almost certainly win the presidential election in the House of Representatives, where each state would receive one vote, and the GOP holds a majority.
Secondly, as WND also reported in detail, even though GOP electors have been barraged with newspaper ads, a celebrity video, thousands of emails and phone calls, all urging them to not vote for Trump, a survey of electors by the Associated Press found no evidence that any were persuaded.
Additionally, the GOP is keeping close tabs on its electors, and has seen no further signs of defections.
Republican National Committee sources told Politico that state GOP officials and the Trump campaign have been closely monitoring the situation and were convinced that only the one elector was in danger of defecting.
The RNC said state party leaders have been frequently communicating with GOP electors and also monitoring their social media, as well as reminding them of their duties.
Making further defections even more unlikely, Politico reported, is that most GOP electors “are also longtime party loyalists, selected by state GOP leaders for the sole purpose of confirming Trump’s election, which means violating that expectation would all but assure permanent excommunication from the party.”
Additionally, “numerous GOP electors who openly criticized Trump during the campaign have said they will nevertheless cast their votes for him.”
Republican elector Charlie Potts of Oklahoma told the website, “I would prefer that another person had been nominated by the Republican Party and had won the election, but am I going to go against 14 million [primary voters] who voted for Trump?”
He added, “Am I going to vote against all the people in Oklahoma who voted two-to-one for Trump? No, that’s just stupid.”
The Democrats’ attempt to reverse the election with recounts in key states did not work. The effort to stop Trump in the Electoral College appears futile. So, why are they still making the claim, without providing any evidence, that Trump won because the Russians hacked the election, when pursuing that narrative stands no chance of reversing the November result?
The answer may be found by returning to Attkisson’s observation, “The narrative discrediting Trump’s presidential victory is naturally being forwarded by partisan interests.”
That is, the purpose may be to discredit the Trump presidency, even if it can not prevent it.
She shared with WND a sneak preview of her nationally syndicated Sunday show, Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson, in which the Emmy-Award winning reporter looks into the full review of possible Russian hacking ordered by President Obama.
David Shedd, the Former Acting Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, described to her the difficulties in pinpointing which country, and which branch of its government, might have attempted a hack, no less trying to deduce what the intent may have been.
Attkisson asked Shedd if it is true that U.S. intelligence agencies have definitively concluded that Russia had somehow hacked the election to try to get Donald Trump elected?
“I don’t know that we can say that the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, said that in October quite that explicitly. I think the
attribution that Russia was doing the collection and then releasing the information was where he established to that conclusion,” Shedd explained.
He also noted that in that same month, FBI Director James Comey asserted there was no clear link between Trump and Russia.
Shedd then cautioned, “And I think now, there is a real tension in trying to sort out what, in fact, did the intelligence or does the intelligence community know about that, those three areas between even the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of CIA, John Brennan, who has then said, categorically, the Russians were behind the attacks? So this about to get very interesting.”
Attkisson wondered what the public is to make of what sounds like a disagreement between agencies and politicians who, on one side, seem very sure that Russia did this, and others who say they’re not so sure?
“I always side with the ‘not so sure'”, replied Shedd, “because the indicators are not always that clear in terms of the attributes associated with those who either did the attack or, in fact, attempted to influence the elections.”
He had one more reason.
“I’m far more cautious in terms of the attribution, not so much that Russia was behind it, but rather its intent.”
In other words, it would be one thing to determine if Russians hacked the election, which could be concluded by technical analysis.
It would be quite another to determine why they did it.