Trump Electoral College Revolt Flares; 20 GOP Members May Join, Says Harvard Prof

 

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Trump Electoral College Revolt Flares; 20 GOP Members May Join, Says Harvard Prof

Concern Rising About Fitness to Serve

Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig says 20 GOP electors have approached his group about defecting from Donald Trump in the Electoral College. (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images)

Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig says 20 GOP electors have approached his group about defecting from Donald Trump in the Electoral College. (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s nascent presidency could be in serious trouble if 20 Republican Electoral College members decide to join a revolt among presidential electors to deny the GOP candidate the White House, a Harvard professor says.

Larry Lessig, a constitutional law professor at the prestigious university, says the electors have contacted his group Electors Trust.

Lessig, who is offering free legal advice through the group, says 20 GOP members are open to abandoning Trump and becoming “faithless electors.”

If the number of GOP defectors grows to 37, Trump would fall short of the required 270 electoral votes to be declared president, he told Politico.

Following the election, Trump had commitments from 306 electors, even though he lost the popular ballot to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes, or about 2.4 percent of the voting public.

That’s because the overwhelming majority of states award electors based on a winner-take-all system It was adopted during the 19th century and came to fruition during the Jim Crow era, although the system was never envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

Under the U.S. Constitution, the Electoral College is responsible for choosing the president. It can reject a candidate if they are found to be unfit for the office.

The Electoral College is said to be in turmoil over the Trump campaign’s possible connection to Russian sponsored hackers who stole private emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.

Trump used the emails to hammer Clinton on the campaign trail and they were widely reported by the news media during the campaign. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) was a lone voice calling for the emails to be ignored because they were stolen and unverified.

So far, Chris Suprun of Texas is the only Republican elector to publicly sign an open letter to requeting a full intelligence briefing on Trump’s Russian connection from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Nine other electors, all Democrats led by Christine Pelosi, daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, have also asked for the briefing.

It’s the elector’s duty under the constitution to conduct their own investigation into the fitness of presidential candidates.

Podesta issued a statement yesterday supporting the intelligence review. “Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed,” he said. His remarks caused an uproar on right-leaning Fox News.

“Obviously, whether an elector ultimately votes his or her conscience will depend in part upon whether there are enough doing the same,” Lessig told Politico.

“We now believe there are more than half the number needed to change the result seriously considering making that vote,” he added.

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