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Monday, December 12, 2016

The way I see it....

The CIA shared that they found some anomalies in the election, based on Russian interference.  As they are precluded from working within the US, they have little to gain (or lose) by playing partisan politics. And if we're honest about things, they always get huge budgets to carry on work overseas, whatever that is. Doesn't matter who sits in the Oval Office. And because of various policies, they often do better with a Republican in the White House.

So what do they have to gain from meddling? 

The FBI is a different story. They solely work within the US, and are directly impacted by the person in charge.  They stand to gain (or lose), and their budgets get bigger and they have more latitude with Republicans - at least in general.  The FBI also shared that they saw interference from the Russians, but they didn't think it was a hack of the election itself and they didn't provide motive. 

But. A.  See my comment about their level of involvement and interest. And B. their primary focus is within the US.  Hacking occurring outside has an impact, but the CIA would be more likely to know the extent of the intrusion.

So here we are.  We're a week away from the Electors meeting to vote.  They "should" vote according to the allocation of electoral votes given by the wins in each state. But there is some wiggle room for them.  Sort of.  Its complicated.  But at the end of the day their job is to protect and defend the constitution of the United States.

There are a couple of possibilities regarding what happens next, so let me run through them.

Option 1: proceed with the electoral vote
Pros: it ends the debate and simply uses the votes from the election
Cons: it creates a constitutional crisis because it was not a free and fair election and we all have no idea if our votes counted.  The ship will have sailed, and from this point on we can never have a fair election again - even if some think we can.  At that point, you might as well start over with a new constitution.  And no, I am not kidding. This imperils our democracy.

There are a couple of possible outcomes here: Trump wins (the most likely result), and serves his term.  Trump wins and gets impeached (ether because of the hack or simply because of his business interests that violate the constitutions prohibition on taking foreign money) and then Pence serves the term (who none of us voted for!).  Trump doesn't get to 270 and it reverts to the congress or the courts for resolution.  Somehow Clinton gets 270 (least likely outcome) and she serves as president.

Option 2: The electors are delayed
Pros: more time to resolve everything
Cons: who makes that call? And in all likelihood challenging the date of their voite

will push us to option 3.

I don't think there is an outcome specific to this option.

Option 3: this heads to the courts to resolve .... something
Pros: at least we avert the constitutional crisis
Cons: this becomes messy and complicated, and delays the vote and could mean that we have to have someone serve as president while this all gets resolved (not Obama and not Biden, nor the cabinet; they are done on 1/20....but you might know this if you read the constitution - its covered as it lists the hierarchy)

There are a couple of possible outcomes here as well: the court orders the electors to delay, or just to proceed.  In either case, they could give the electors orders to unbind them from the original vote; they vote for who they want (note: this may create new problems). The court decides themselves.  They hand it back to congress to decide (again based on the pesky constitution).  They make everyone wait until the investigation ends so we know if Trump was complicit (avoiding the possibility of impeachment) and then proceeding.  And finally they could order a new election.

Option 4: Order a new election
Pros: it solves for the myriad of problems and restores free and fair to the mix
Cons: it becomes a do-over.  Its unclear who has authority to order it.  Its unclear what method we could use to ensure that there isn't another issue.  It will take time and will require a temporary person to fill the office, just like in option 3.  It will probably lead to a legal challenge, unless the supreme court orders it.

This is uncharted territory.  We have no idea what could happen.  And again, do you wait for the outcome to decide if Trump is okay to be included?

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