Since Donald Trump became the country’s president-elect just over a month ago, despite losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by what is now more than 2.8 million votes, people across the country have been hard at work trying to find a way to prevent Trump from officially taking office on Jan. 20.
Protesters have cited Trump’s numerous conflicts of interest and his demagogic behavior as reasons to keep him out of the White House, all seemingly to no avail. What might finally work in their favor, though, is the news that was dropped on Friday about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election with the specific intent of helping Trump win the presidency.
The Washington Post reported that, after a secret assessment, the CIA came to the conclusion that “Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected.”
Trump’s team responded to the CIA’s report by discrediting the organization and saying it was time for the American people to move on.
Trump team releases statement on claims of foreign interference in US election: pic.twitter.com/uZQizVoxa6
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 10, 2016
Trump also had something of a meltdown over the report on Fox News Sunday, calling it “ridiculous,” and “another excuse.” Despite Trump’s efforts to sweep the issue under the rug, though, the CIA’s revelation could be his downfall.
According to The Huffington Post, a 1995 Supreme Court decision suggests that the 2016 election could be invalidated.
Due to massive fraud that occurred during a state senate election in Pennsylvania, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a federal district judge to invalidate the election, remove the winner, and fill the vacancy with his opponent.
What set this case apart was the fact that two elected officials revealed under oath that they had been aware of the fraud but failed to enforce laws and attempted to hide the truth. A similar situation has occurred with regards to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, since Republican Senator Mitch McConnell was reportedly aware of the CIA’s conclusion and did nothing but express “doubts about the veracity of the intelligence.”
These two situations are similar, but not identical. Obviously, the stakes of the 2016 presidential election are much higher than the stakes of the 1993 state senate election. There is also an issue of practicality in this situation. The judge in the 1995 case threw out all absentee ballots and counted only those cast at voting machines, something that would be much more difficult to replicate and enforce for a presidential election.
It’s still unclear exactly how the revelation of Russia’s involvement will affect the outcome of this election. Electors will cast their final votes on Dec. 19, and there is a chance, however small, that they will decide on someone other than Donald Trump to lead this country.
The United States has never found itself in this situation before, where, due to fraud and foreign interference, the winner of a presidential election could ultimately find himself ceding the presidency to his opponent. A Hillary Clinton presidency does still seem to be a long shot at this point, but, then again, so did a Donald Trump presidency not too long ago.
Featured image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images.