Late last night, the Washington Post published what may wind up being the biggest political story since the Watergate break-in. In the story, the Post reported that Russia directly interfered with the 2016 presidential election in order to assure Donald Trump would be victorious over Hillary Clinton.
So what can be done with Trump’s inauguration just a little more than a month away? Democratic lawyers and Constitutional experts are combing through possible remedies, but the fact remains that there is no clear constitutional solution which could delay the certification of the outcome. Article II of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to decide the date by which the Electoral College will cast their votes. That is presently set to happen on December 19.
Might there be some case law which would be applicable to the recent developments in the 2016 election? Actually, there is.
In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of a federal district judge in Pennsylvania that invalidated a state senate election and then ordered the vacancy be filled by the losing opponent.
The 1995 case pitted Republican Bruce Marks against Democrat William G. Stinson for a state senate seat. Stinson was named the winner, but massive fraud was later uncovered that resulted in litigation.
During the hearings of the court case, two of the elected officials who testified in the Pennsylvania case swore under oath they were indeed aware of the fraud, but that they had intentionally failed to enforce laws. This sounds eerily familiar to the Post’s reporting which claims that Republican Mitch McConnell was aware of the CIA’s conclusion the Russians had intervened in the election. McConnell vehemently disagreed that the information should be made public, fearing it would doom Trump and the GOP.
Keep in mind that the current vote totals in the popular vote show Clinton with a whopping lead of 2.8 million votes, the largest margin in American history for a candidate who failed to reach the Oval Office. Could this also sway a federal judge who might have to issue a ruling and determine who actually won the election?
Nothing is certain as of yet. But the most talked about election in recent history may be about to take yet another unexpected turn.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org