Attorney John Eastman presented then-president Donald Trump with a memo laying out some options for staying in power despite his loss in the electoral college. Now another conservative attorney is telling Republicans they’d better close the loophole Trump tried to exploit, before it happens again.
The Guardian lays out the method presented to Trump for overturning the election. Mike Pence, as Vice President, was supposed to reject some states’ electoral vote counts as potentially fraudulent, after which the votes could be ‘sent back to the states’ for correction. Alternately, if Congress concluded that the electoral votes couldn’t be determined, they could make the final determination on the election outcome.
In an op-ed for the New York Times, J. Michael Luttig, a conservative attorney and former judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, says that he’s been talking to Republican leadership about the method, and the risks if it’s exploited in the future.
Luttig says that Trump and his allies are showing signs that they’re wiling to pull off a repeat of January 6th if Trump, or his chosen candidate, doesn’t win in 2024. He cites Trump’s recent statements regarding Congress’ attempts to fix the loopholes in the Electoral Count Act of 1887 as evidence.
He confirmed as much in a twisted admission of both his past and future intent earlier this month, claiming that congressional efforts to reform the Electoral Count Act actually prove that Mike Pence had the power to overturn the 2020 presidential election because of the alleged “irregularities.”
Luttig warns that Trump’s determination to push election lies and the pushback from Pence and others represents a fissure that could cost Republicans in midterms and 2024 — and that fixing the election law should be a bipartisan focus.
Admitting that some Republicans will never touch the law because of Trump’s power over them, Luttig asserts that a party supporting smaller, decentralized government should absolutely want the election power to be dispersed to states, not centralized in Congress, and finally wanrs that the whole country could suffer seriously for failure to repair and clarify this point of law.
It is hardly overstatement to say that the future of our democracy depends on reform of the Electoral Count Act. Republicans and Democrats need to put aside their partisan differences long enough to fix this law before it enables the political equivalent of a civil war three years hence.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com