Op-Eds Speaking Truth to the Powers-That-Be
President-elect Donald J. Trump’s narrow electoral win of the American presidency is a sham, a fraud. The Washington Post last night, and then the New York Times today revealed that the CIA had made a clear assessment that agents of the Russian government had hacked both the Democratic and Republican party, and then sat on the Republican data, while feeding the Dems emails to Julian Assange’s Wikileaks.
What may be worse are two bad calls, one possibly treasonous: The Obama Administration, which hemmed and hawed over looking partisan by declassifying the intel and bringing it to the American public, and the Republican congressional leadership, most notably Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), which stonewalled the White House and threatened to gaslight in the media any release of the evidence, while having no problem with the release of the baseless Comey Letter.
The revelation this morning also confirms that FBI director James Comey was brought into the loop on this assessment, and knew about the Russians hack of the Republican party as well before he released the now-infamous “Comey letter” about the additional emails from Clinton aide Huma Abedin found on former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop, which the Bureau had in its possession for more than a year. Comey then released another report clearing Clinton just days before the election. This election was clearly rigged by a foreign power.
As much as most Americans loathe the Electoral College, this is exactly the situation which the framers of the Constitution set it up to do: Prevent the election to the presidency of a person who is unfit to serve, and/or was placed there by fraud or deception.
Mrs. Clinton won the popular election by a stunning majority, more than two million votes. In a nation that prizes “one man, one vote,” that is not a small thing.
Still, in this modern age, electors are chosen more for their rabidly partisan credentials than they are their understanding of constitutional law, or their role in selecting the next President of the United States. We found that, of the few electors who responded to our inquiries, virtually none understood that they are federal agents first, and state partisans second.
Many said that they would never vote for Hillary Clinton. Even though she won by millions of votes, that is still fine. The College has no rules for this. They can select anyone whom they choose. Even though they do not meet as a collective body, but at the state houses of their respective states, instant communication has stripped away the barriers to discussions about what to do, and how to proceed.
The College should then select a Republican who is not entangled in either stonewalling the CIA report, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did, an act of pure partisan politics bordering on treason, to be our next President.
Beyond the Russian intervention, and the massive loss that Mr. Trump suffered in the popular vote, the additional issues that his troubled transition period has brought to light should be sufficient for action to be taken to select another President.
Trump, who is so highly entangled in a business empire with ties to foreign governments, is not doing enough to avoid triggering Article 1, Section 6, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, the Ineligibility Clause.
Thus far Trump’s picks of Wall Street insiders for key government posts, most of whom have long histories looking to dismantle the agencies which they will now helm, are the lowest form of crony capitalism seen more in the dictatorships of developing world countries.
Beyond that, an official cannot take gifts from foreign powers. Article 1, Clause 9, Section 8, also dubbed the Nobility Clause of the United States Constitution forbids it. Yet, before he has even taken office, Trump’s organization held an event to push for the diplomatic community to use his new Washington D.C. hotel, which will not only enrich him, but sends a message that only the crony participating countries in the Trump empire may have their issues heard by man about to assume the mantle of the most powerful leader on Earth.
“Why wouldn’t I stay at his hotel blocks from the White House, so I can tell the new president, ‘I love your new hotel!’ Isn’t it rude to come to his city and say, ‘I am staying at your competitor?’ one Asian diplomat told the Washington Post.
Even if this was some ill-thought in-house promotion of which Trump was unaware, both he and the family alleged to be running his businesses from now on should have terminated the promotion and distanced themselves from the appearance of an emoluments violation. Trump has been silent on the issue.
His campaign actually profited from the election, making back millions that he put out by using his own businesses, or family-run businesses and billing out at top dollar, to recoup money.
This isn’t an issue of politics, but of Constitutional law. The Russians rigged this election, in favor of a highly unqualified candidate, and much of the aftermath of what has transpired is due to their handiwork.
The Electoral College will fail to do its job, due to the marginalization it has always enjoyed as a theater of political hacks rubber-stamping their party apparatus in their home states.
Yet there has been a massive fraud perpetrated on the American electorate. When Donald Trump told the world in October that the election was rigged, he was right, but pointed the finger in the direction away from Vladimir Putin, even though he was getting intelligence briefings that would have clearly told him that this was happening. He did not disavow Putin’s aid. He did not repudiate Russia, or walk it back.
Trump, McConnell, and the insiders who have jumped on the Trump bandwagon all put their own power and influence ahead of country, Constitution, and civics.
Can nothing be done?
History gives us precedent for a different approach. When massive voter fraud was alleged in the election of 1876 between Democrat Samuel Tilden, who was ahead in the popular count slightly, and Rutherford B. Hayes, the Congress created special electoral commission to select a winner. The commission was composed of fifteen United States congressmen and Supreme Court justices. They voted along party lines, and chose Hayes.
What we do know, is that, once the election goes to the Electoral College, and to the House of Representatives if the College cannot decide, that anyone can be chosen as a President. Anyone.
So, for those who wish to preserve their Republican majority, and who cannot stomach the will of the people in the popular vote, there is the notion that a Paul Ryan, third in line to the White House anyway as Speaker, could be chosen by a Congressional panel along party lines, should the Congress take up the precedent.
The only thing stopping that is McConnell, whose disgraceful partisanship created the conditions that allowed the American people to vote without the knowledge that the Russians were, indeed, manipulating the election to produce a victory for Trump. He should be impeached by the Senate, and there may be ample evidence to suggest that his hyper partisanship may actually qualify as treason.
The conditions, from emoluments to espionage are ripe for a legitimate reason for the Congress to intercede in this election. If the body is to have any validity with the American people as a democratic institution, defending the highest office in the land from such rank Russian manipulation of the process should be the overarching goal to”clean house” and really make America great again. If we have no principals, no rules, no support for the Constitution, what are we?