The U.S. election process will officially conclude on December 19. At that time, technically speaking, Hillary Clinton can still be the President.
By Rakesh Raman
As Donald Trump is getting ready to be crowned the 45th President of America, the current U.S. President Barack Obama is working on some other plans which may even revoke the outcome of the presidential election that took place last month.
Amid reports of Russian interference and voting frauds, Obama has ordered a full investigation into the election that Trump won by defeating his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Initial U.S. intelligence reports suggest that Russia – mostly praised by Trump in his election speeches – helped Trump win the White House.
In a detailed article, The Washington Post has reported that the CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Trump win the presidency.
It is believed that Russian hackers had intruded the U.S. systems to steal information and pass it on to secret data site WikiLeaks, which selectively released emails related to the Democratic Party to harm Hillary Clinton.
Surprisingly, Trump and his team are obstructing the recount request forcefully as Jill Stein has taken the matter to the court. Stein has alleged that Trump is trying to influence the court judges to get the recount stopped.
Why? If the full recount takes place, it will be evident that Trump has probably not won the election. While Trump is blaming Stein saying that it is a scam to raise money, the latter has dismissed Trump’s allegations and questioned the reasons for his fear from the recounting of votes. “What’s Trump afraid of?” Stein asked.
You can get an idea of the voting irregularities from the Michigan example. The Stein campaign reveals that there were 75,335 “under-votes” in Michigan. These are the ballots that are filled out except for the vote for President—70 percent higher than the number in 2012 election.
Many of these are in Oakland and Wayne Counties, which include Detroit, raising the possibility that communities of color may have been disenfranchised by an unreliable counting of the votes.
According to the Stein campaign, the number of under-votes exceeds by several-fold Trump’s margin of victory in the state. There is a real possibility that such voting irregularities have taken place in other states as well.
Besides the hacking of Democratic Party’s emails, the Stein campaign alleges that the touchscreen voting machines were also hacked and voters’ databases were stolen to facilitate Trump’s win.
It appears that Trump knew about the vulnerabilities of mechanized voting system and he exploited it to his advantage; Russia may be a part of this digital adventure too.
That’s why when almost all pre-election polls were predicting Clinton’s victory in the election, Trump was confidently proclaiming that he will win. And he won. So, were the pre-election surveys wrong? No. They were right but their only limitation was that they did not factor voting frauds in their data and analysis.
What Next for America?
Most are under the impression that the election is over and Trump has won. However, that is not true. At this statge, Trump is only a president-elect and not the President.
The election process will officially conclude on December 19 when the 538 Electoral College Electors have cast their ballots. At that time, technically speaking, Hillary Clinton can still be the President.
In fact, an online petition is currently running to urge electors to vote Clinton so she could become the President. The petition has already collected nearly 5 million signatures.
“We are calling on ‘Conscientious Electors’ to protect the Constitution and to support the national popular vote winner,” the petition suggests. And Hillary Clinton is the popular vote winner who has defeated Trump by a margin of nearly 3 million votes, which is a kind of record in American election history.
Moreover, it is largely believed that the Russian cyber intrusion happened in connivance with Trump or Trump team, as Trump regarded Putin as his close friend despite America’s hostile relations with Russia. Trump’s open support for Putin was seen as a threat to American democracy.
Trump’s opponents had even launched an online project which warned that voting Trump / Pence in 2016 could lead to a Putin / Trump world in 2017.
If it is established in the inquiry ordered by President Obama that Trump was working hand in glove with Russians to launch a cyber attack on the U.S., the act, according to the U.S. Constitution, will amount to treason against the state. In that case, Trump will not be eligible to become the President.
As commander-in-chief, Obama also has the authority under the War Powers Act to suspend or revoke the election process with the plea that it was an act of Russian aggression against the U.S. which jeopardized the American democratic system.
Thus, Obama can declare a state of national emergency and call for fresh election when (and if) situation – including the voting systems – gets normal. And, believe me, it’s possible.
Obama is expected to pronounce his decision before January 20, 2017 when Trump is supposed to begin his presidency.
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