Update: Forty members (up from 29 earlier) of the Electoral College on Tuesday signed a letter demanding an intelligence briefing on Russian interference in the election ahead of their Dec. 19 vote.
As The Hill reports, ten electors originally signed the letter when it was published Monday, and 30 more have since added their names.
- Christine Pelosi (CA)
- Micheal Baca (CO)
- Anita Bonds (DC)
- Courtney Watson (MD)
- Dudley Dudley (NH)
- Bev Hollingworth (NH)
- Terie Norelli (NH)
- Carol Shea-Porter (NH)
- Clay Pell (RI)
- Chris Suprun (TX)
Newly Added Electors:
- Edward Buck (CA)
- Donna Ireland (CA)
- Vinz Koller (CA)
- Katherine Lyon (CA)
- John P. MacMurray (CA)
- Andres Ramos (CA)
- Gail Teton-Landis (CA)
- Olivia Reyes-Becerra (CA)
- David Scott Warmuth (CA)
- Gregory H. Willenborg (CA)
- Jerad Sutton (CO)
- Robert Nemenich (CO)
- Nancy Shepherdson (IL)
- Dori Dean (MA)
- Jason Palitsch (MA)
- Parwez Wahid (MA)
- Paul G. Yorkis (MA)
- Robert Leonard (MD)
- Salome T. Peters (MD)
- Melissa Mark-Viverito (NY)
- Stuart Appelbaum (NY)
- Stephanie Miner (NY)
- Melissa Sklarz (NY)
- Andrea Stewart-Cousins (NY)
- Sam H.W. Sappington (OR)
- Beth Caldwell (WA)
- Bret Chiafalo (WA)
- Deb Fitzgerald (VA)
- Terry C. Frye (VA)
- Jeanette Sarver (VA)
The open letter — led by Christine Pelosi, the daughter of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) — urged Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to give a detailed briefing on President-elect Donald Trump's ties to Russia.
“We further require a briefing on all investigative findings, as these matters directly impact the core factors in our deliberations of whether Mr. Trump is fit to serve as President of the United States,” the letter read.
The Clinton campaign applauded the effort Monday, saying it had repeatedly warned about Russian interference aimed at swaying the election in Trump’s favor.
However, while 40 electors would be enough to turn the election in Hillary Clinton's favor, the so-called "Hamilton Electors" are almost uniformly Democratic voters anyway and so with Ashley-Madison fan Chris Suprun the only Trump turncoat, for now the 'soft coup' remains a long shot.
“I am not looking to be satisfied with just the vote on Dec. 19 or 20, but on January of 2030, when Mr. Trump has either served no time, one term or two terms,” Suprun told The Hill. “History is going to judge my actions on whether he turned out to be Ronald Reagan, Herbert Hoover or Richard Nixon.”
But, as The Hill adds, Republican electors are coming under intense pressure to change their votes:
Bob Muller, a GOP county chairman in North Carolina and a Trump elector, said he’s gotten correspondence from “everywhere from Maine to California” asking him to vote differently.
“I just ignore them,” Muller said.
So far, only a few Electoral College voters have publicly declared that they will not back the candidates that their states supported — including just one of the 37 Trump voters that the self-styled Hamilton Electors, a group of mostly Democrats, need to make any noise on Monday.
And even if the rogue electors achieve their aims, they would only succeed in sending the election to a Republican-majority House, which would almost certainly certify Trump’s victory.
Virtually all Republican electors reached by The Hill said they will vote enthusiastically for Trump.
“I’m voting how the people of Florida have told me to vote,” said Brian Ballard, a Florida elector who raised money for Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio during the GOP primary. “I don’t know anyone who isn’t. I appreciate people using First Amendment rights to reach out and try to convince me otherwise, but I’m obligated to support Trump because he won Florida.
“Also, I love the guy and want him to be president.”
Faithless electors are rare but not unheard of in American history.
At this point, the effort appears to be more about undermining Trump, complicating his ability to govern and following personal convictions — and less about actually winning the Electoral College for another candidate.
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As we detailed earlier, Donald Trump could have the election legally stolen from him on either December 19th when the Electoral College casts their votes or on January 6th when a joint session of Congress gathers to count those votes. As The Economic Collapse blog's Michael Snyder notes, the establishment is in full-blown panic mode at this point, and they seem to have settled on "Russian interference in the election" as the angle that they will use to unleash this 'soft coup' as today, the Hill reports more Democratic electors are joining the call for an intelligence briefing before they cast their votes for president on Monday.
Twenty-nine electors now are pressuring Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to disclose more information about the CIA’s conclusion that Russian interference helped sway the election in President-elect Donald Trump’s favor.
On Monday, 10 electors — spearheaded by Christine Pelosi, the daughter of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) — wrote an open letter to Clapper, demanding more information ahead of next week's vote.
“The Electors require to know from the intelligence community whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations may have reached, and who was involved in those investigations,” the letter reads.
“We further require a briefing on all investigative findings, as these matters directly impact the core factors in our deliberations of whether Mr. Trump is fit to serve as President of the United States.”
Twenty-eight Democrats and one Republican have now signed the letter.
On Monday, the Clinton campaign voiced support for the effort.
“Each day that month, our campaign decried the interference of Russia in our campaign and its evident goal of hurting our campaign to aid Donald Trump,” said John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, in a statement.
“Despite our protestations, this matter did not receive the attention it deserved by the media in the campaign. We now know that the CIA has determined Russia's interference in our elections was for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. This should distress every American.”
But ultimately, as The Economic Collapse blog's Michael Snyder warns, this is not about Russian interference in our election.
Rather, this is all about the elite doing whatever is necessary to stop Donald Trump. The elite are going to fight against him every step of the way, and they are never, ever going to give up. This is a point that I made during an interview with Alex Jones on Monday…
The next key date that we need to be watching for is December 19th.
On Monday, members of the Electoral College will gather in Washington D.C. and in all 50 state capitols to cast their votes. We know that at least one Republican elector that is supposed to be pledged to Trump will not be voting for him, and that elector claims that there are others that also will not be voting for Trump.
If 37 Republican electors can be persuaded to cast their votes for someone other than Trump, that would throw the election into the House of Representatives, and it is unclear what the House would do in that scenario.
If Trump is not stopped at the Electoral College, there is also the possibility that he could be derailed when a joint session of Congress gathers to count the Electoral votes on January 6th.
As I discussed yesterday, all it takes to force a vote on the validity of Electoral College votes is an objection in writing that is signed by at least one member of the House and one member of the Senate. As the official House.gov website explains, if both the House and the Senate vote to approve the objection, the votes covered by the objection are not counted…
Since 1887, 3 U.S.C. 15 sets the method for objections to electoral votes. During the Joint Session, Members of Congress may object to individual electoral votes or to state returns as a whole. An objection must be declared in writing and signed by at least one Representative and one Senator. In the case of an objection, the Joint Session recesses and each chamber considers the objection separately in a session which cannot last more than two hours with each Member speaking for no more than five minutes. After each house votes on whether or not to accept the objection, the Joint Session reconvenes and both chambers disclose their decisions. If they agree to the objection, the votes in question are not counted. If either chamber does not agree with the objection, the votes are counted.
In both the Senate and the House, there are anti-Trump Republicans that would absolutely cherish the opportunity to deny him the presidency.
I don’t know if it will happen, but this Russian interference issue is the kind of thing that could be used to justify taking this kind of action.
Of course if the election was stolen from Donald Trump that would likely throw the entire nation into a state of chaos, but I think that at this point the elite would be willing to risk just about anything to keep Donald Trump out of the White House.
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If you think this is all too far-fetched for modern-day Western democracies, here is Keith Olbermann literally losing it over "the Russian coup under way in America"...