The courts could legally “install” Hillary Clinton as president instead of Donald Trump, because of Russia’s alleged interference in the election, The Huffington Post asserted in a story Friday.
Seizing on a breaking report that the CIA has concluded Russia worked covertly to help Trump win the election, Alex Mojaher writes in HuffPo the findings could be enough for a federal court to “invalidate” Trump’s win. “Russian Interference Could Give Courts Legal Authority To Install Clinton,” the headline reads.
“The development has Clinton supporters and other concerned Americans confused and hot in pursuit of potential remedies,” Mojaher writes. “No clear constitutional remedy exists to halt the certification of the outcome.”
But he then goes on to assert that a 1993 state senate election result reversed by the courts due to voter fraud provides precedent for turning the White House over to Clinton. The court invalidated the Pennsylvania result after two elected officials testified under oath they knew voter fraud was happening and intentionally did nothing and even tried to bury the story. That, according to Mojaher, “recalls” the report that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell knew Russia was interfering with the election and did nothing to stop the interference.
Reports from The Washington Post and New York Times on the CIA’s conclusion Friday are conflicting regarding the extent to which Russia did interfere, and whether the country was in fact trying to help Trump. Citing senior Obama administration officials, TheNYT reports the CIA concluded with “high confidence” that Russia was intentionally working to elect Trump and harm Clinton’s chances. That lines up with WaPo’s report.
But later in the same story, TheNYT reports it is “far from clear” Russia originally intended to help Trump, and says many intelligence officials and even Clinton campaign officials think Russia was trying to undermine the integrity of the election, not help Trump directly.
Of course, even if Russia was trying to help Trump win, turning over hacked emails to the American press does not constitute voter fraud. But Mojaher seems determined to stoke the irrational hopes of Clinton supporters who still have not accepted the result of the election, even as he undermines his own assertion over and over in the story.
“Obviously both the stakes and the office in question are much higher than in the 1994 case,” he writes, adding: “There is also, of course, no constitutional Electoral College process or system in Pennsylvania, so the situations are not exactly analagous. But the reasoning behind the federal court’s decision may hold muster.”
“It is not clear how the 1994 federal case would impact a presidential election,” he goes on. “Furthermore, that case involved the judge throwing out all absentee ballots and requiring the vote be decided only by those ballots cast at the machine, which would be problematic in the case at present.”
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