Ivan Raiklin – President Trump’s Path to Re-election
In addition to text, at the bottom of this post, there is a video featuring attorney Ivan Raiklin, who explains the legal theory behind a second term for President Trump.
There are many paths President Trump can take to be re-elected. Personally, I don’t think he would risk leaving the fate of his second term and the future of our nation in the hands of fearful judges or self-serving members of congress. If I were the President, I would find a constitutional path that allowed me to control the outcome to the greatest degree possible.
Because several states violated the law in the way they administered their elections, there is a case to be made that electors from these states—and their votes in the electoral college—should be disqualified. Vice-President Pence will be the presiding officer when both chambers of Congress meet on January 6th to count the electoral college vote. Pence could reject the electoral votes of any state that violated the law. If the Office Director Of National Intelligence makes public their report on election interference and if that report implicates Democrats or Joe Biden in election interference, it would give the public the information they need to support a decision by Pence to exclude the electoral votes of certain states. Per Catherine Herridge, ODNI hopes to have a declassified version of their report available to the public in January.
Currently, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona are accused of violating state or federal law, or the constitution. If three of these states have their votes rejected, neither candidate would win a majority of electoral votes. If that were to happen, the 12th amendment prescribes a contingent election in the House of Representatives for the President and in the Senate for the Vice President. In such a scenario, the Senate allows one vote per Senator. The House allows one vote per state delegation.
In January, Republicans will hold a 26-21 majority over Democrats in the House by delegation with 3 states tied (source). Republicans will also hold a majority in the Senate, regardless of the outcome of the Georgia runoff. If the election went to the House and Senate, and if members voted by party line, Donald Trump and Mike Pence would be re-elected.
Ivan Raiklin believes the election could take a different path, though it would conclude the same way. Rather than disqualifying electors and moving immediately to a contingent election, he argues that Mike Pence could allow members of Congress to object to the votes of electors and break the resulting tie between the House and Senate by taking a vote in the House by state delegation instead of by seat. If delegations voted by party line, the objection to the electoral votes of any state would be sustained by both chambers. If the votes from three states were objected to and sustained, neither candidate would receive 270 votes and a contingent election would occur. As explained above, in a contingent election, Trump and Pence would likely be re-elected.