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Could the Electoral College Actually Do Its Job?

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Asking the Right Questions but Little Impetus to Act

The number of electors increased Wednesday afternoon to 55, 54 Democrats and one Republican, who are demanding that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper release all pertinent details regarding any potential investigations into Donald Trump’s relationship with the Russian government. They are joining a growing chorus of persons alarmed by the appearance of impropriety by Donald Trump and Russian influence over the election. 

This chorus includes Robert Reich, who told reporters over the weekend that a “dark cloud of illegitimacy” hangs over the pending presidency of Donald Trump. Reich, a former Clinton administration Secretary of Labor, says that the only remedy is for the president-elect to release his tax returns and for the CIA to release its findings about alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election to help Trump win. Reich argues that before the Electoral College submits its ballots for president next week, “Trump must release his tax returns and the CIA must make public its report on Russia’s intervention in the U.S. elections in support of Trump.”  

2.jpgAs the debate rages in the media and on social media, not all electors will shift their vote and abandon their commitment to voting for Trump. Brian Ballard, a Florida elector told NCRM he has been inundated with persons trying to get him to change his vote. He said that he won’t as he felt he was obligated to the “people of Florida” to uphold their will. He also noted that he “loved  Trump” and really did want him to be president. Ballard added that he didn’t put too much stock in the CIA assessment of Russian interference in the election process.

As the 538 delegates in the Electoral College gather at in statehouses across the nation this coming Monday to make Trump’s victory over Clinton official, political experts tell NCRM that it’s fairly unlikely electors will defect in significant numbers. The final tally of votes isn’t expected to deviate much from the election results where Trump had won 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232.

But not all experts agree with that assessment, including Harvard University law professor and former presidential candidate Larry Lessig. Speaking with Politico, Lessig said 20 Republican Electoral College voters are considering changing their votes and casting ballots voting against Donald Trump. 37 electors slated to vote for Trump are needed to throw the election into the House of Representatives.

“Obviously, whether an elector ultimately votes his or her conscience will depend in part upon whether there are enough doing the same. We now believe there are more than half the number needed to change the result seriously considering making that vote,” Lessig said. 

The Founding Fathers of the American republic were gravely concerned about the possibility of a demagogue rising to power backed by a foreign adversary. The Electoral College, one founder – thought to be Alexander Hamilton – argued in The Federalist Paper No. 68, was a means by which that scenario could be prevented.

He also wrote that electors had a constitutional duty to make sure “that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.”

However, as the American nation’s experiment in democracy solidified and its strength and influence as a world power grew over the next two centuries, Hamilton’s warning and words seemed to fade to the point of being thought of as no more than a quaint anachronism. Before the election cycle of 2016, there were only four elections – 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000, where the Electoral College had not elected the candidate who received the most popular votes nationwide.

Speaking with several Republican electors, NCRM learned that for the most part, none felt that circumstances with Trump and the calls that the Russian hacking were influencing the election’s outcome along with the conflicts swirling around him regarding his business interests and the potential for conflict of interest were enough to change their vote.

RELATED: Storm Clouds Gathering Around Trump

Then too, the view of the Russian interference may be cast in a new light according to a YouGov/Economist poll released Wednesday. One elector who declined to be named told NCRM it is possible that the danger of Russian influence is being overstated. The polling results revealed that just under 21 percent of all Americans see Russia as an ally or friendly, while 58 percent see Moscow as an enemy or unfriendly. In a further inquiry, pollsters found that 54 percent think Trump sees Russia as a friend.

Among Trump supporters and voters, which presumably would include Electors committed to voting for him, there’s also a partisan divide over views of Russian President Vladimir Putin. 51 percent view the Russian president unfavorably, with 35 percent viewing him favorably. Democrats who supported Hillary Clinton poll at an 80 percent unfavorable rating and an 8 percent favorable rating for Putin.

Brody Levesque is the Chief Political Correspondent for The New Civil Rights Movement.
You may contact Brody at Brody.Levesque@thenewcivilrightsmovement.com 

 

Image by Beverly via Flickr and a CC license

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves Dismisses ‘Real Small, Minor Number’ of Rapes Requiring Abortions

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) declined to say on Sunday if he would sign a bill removing abortion exceptions for rape because they only represent a “real small, minor number” of cases.

During an interview on Fox News, host Mike Emmanuel asked Reeves if he would remove the abortion exceptions for rape in Mississippi.

Reeves sidestepped the question by insisting that the bill would never make it through the legislature.

“There’s a lot of effort, particularly in Washington and other places mainly by the Democrats, to try to talk only about the real small, minor number of exceptions that may exist,” he complained. “Over 90% of all abortions that are done in America, some 63 million babies aborted since Roe was wrongly decided in 1973, over 90% of those are elective abortions.”

Reeves argued that the “far-left” should not be talking about “all these exceptions and minor numbers.”

Watch the video below from Fox News.

 

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Trump Hinted Jan. 6 Would Be His ‘Last-Ditch’ Attempt to Overturn the Election Results: Filmmaker Alex Holder

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In an interview with the Guardian’s Hugo Lowell, a British documentary maker who was filming behind-the-scenes footage in Donald Trump’s White House on Jan 6th claimed he knew something bad was about to happen before supporters of the former president stormed the Capitol and sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives.

Alex Holder, whose film crew was on hand and filming Trump and his children Don Jr, Eric and Ivanka on Jan 6th, stated there was a feeling among his people that something momentous was about to happen.

According to Lowell, “Holder was there for it all: three sit-down interviews with Trump, including one at the White House, numerous other interviews with Trump’s adult children, private conversations among top aides and advisers before the election, and around the Capitol itself as it got stormed.” adding, “The access to Trump, and listening to him and his inner circle, led him to suspect that the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election would somehow culminate in some event at the Capitol on 6 January.”

Asked about what his feeling was prior to the riot that engulfed the Capitol building, Holder explained, “I wasn’t 100% sure, but it was sort of a feeling, so we prepared for that thing to happen. The reason we thought January 6 was because, in Trump’s mind, the last-ditch effort was to stop the process” of the vote certification by Congress.

RELATED: Man behind J6 documentary needs ‘two armed guards’ due to Trump supporters’ threats: BBC

He elaborated, “That ceremonial process that takes place in Congress on January 6, he felt, was the last time where he could, in his mind, stop the election going to the wrong person, as it were. The rhetoric that was coming out was that the election was rigged, [that] we need to fight.”

According to the Guardian report, Holder has, “testified for about four hours behind closed doors last week about his roughly 100 hours of footage, used for an upcoming documentary titled Unprecedented, and turned over to House investigators the parts demanded in a subpoena compelling his cooperation.”

Lowell added, “Holder said he additionally did a one-to-one interview with then-vice president Mike Pence, including a scene where Pence briefly reviews an email about the 25th amendment – which concerns the removal of a US president – which was privately discussed among senior White House officials in the wake of the Capitol attack.”

You can read more here.

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Meadows Allegedly Behind Possible Attempt at Witness Intimidation of Cassidy Hutchinson: Reports

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Cassidy Hutchinson, the former aide and advisor to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, may be the victim of attempted witness intimidation, and the person who may have attempted to intimidate her may be her former boss.

The Guardian on Friday reports “Hutchinson received at least one message tacitly warning her not to cooperate with the House January 6 select committee from an associate of former chief of staff Mark Meadows.”

That message, according to both CNN and The Guardian, was delivered at the direction of Mark Meadows, according to sources both news outlets cite.

READ MORE: Secret Service Agents Confirm Details Hutchinson Shared About Trump Demanding to Be Taken to US Capitol Jan. 6

One of the messages that the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack posted at the end of Hutchinson’s testimony read: “[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal, and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.”

According to The Guardian, “The redaction was ‘Meadows,’ the sources said.”

READ MORE: Trump Declares Hutchinson ‘Totally Discredited’ as Former Aide Says Someone in His Orbit Tried to Influence Her Testimony

CNN similarly reports: “One of [the] people who may have been trying to influence Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony did so at the behest of former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, according to multiple sources familiar with information gathered by the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection.”

Citing multiple sources CNN reports “the ‘person’ referred to in the message, which was redacted in the version projected on a screen during the hearing, was Meadows.”

Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi Friday afternoon on MSNBC said there is “no question” that message constitutes “an attempt to intimidate a witness. No question about it,” he stressed.

“When you then add that to the fact that it appears that they provided, her initial attorney to her, Cassidy Hutchinson, you now have a without a doubt, predication to open a federal witness tampering investigation,” Figliuzzi added.

Thursday on Twitter Figliuzzi wrote: “This is witness tampering. Cassidy Hutchinson was the target. They picked the wrong young woman.”

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