Michael Flynn pled guilty to lying for Donald Trump, and Trump pardoned him. Now Flynn is making the rounds of right-wing talk shows and podcasts, singing Trump’s praises. On a recent episode, he claimed that if audits prove that the election was “rigged,” President Joe Biden can be snatched out of office and Trump reinstated, perhaps even given a third term. (Spoiler: audits have found no evidence of widespread election fraud, there is no presidential reinstatement process, and a third term is quite literally forbidden in the Constitution.)
Here’s a clip from Ann Vandersteel’s program, Steel Truth. General Michael Flynn is one of the guests, and Vandersteel questions him about restoring Trump to office, and perhaps even taking the role of Vice President himself, since the MAGA movement (and Donald Trump) still resent Mike Pence for not trying to use his office to overturn the 2020 election.
Flynn declares that it’s possible to reinstate a president, since people in other political offices have been switched out through less formal practices, despite the U.S. Constitution laying out very specific rules for presidential transition and succession.
“If we find out there are a sufficient number of electoral votes that reversed, because proper audits are done, and Trump now has over 270, then you reinstate the guy and you get rid of the guy that’s there. Now everybody’s gonna go, ‘Oh this is unconstitutional,’ bullsh*t. I’m sorry, that is not the case. Hey, there have been people at different levels and different political offices that have been taken out, and the rightfully elected person has been put in. So, that is unprecedented at the presidential level, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen or that it cannot happen. When that happens, then what?”
Flynn goes on to propose a third term.
However, to be entirely clear, the United States Constitution does not lay out exact and detailed rules for transition and election at every level. It lays out specific transition standards, term limits, and succession rules for the office of President, though.
The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America reads, in part:
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more than once.
There is no mechanism in the U.S. Constitution for reinstating a candidate who lost, regardless of how many audits are done.
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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