Trump Summons Michigan Republican Legislative Leaders to Washington In Possible Attempt to Mess with Electoral College Vote: Should We Worry?

The Detroit News reports:

The top two leaders in the Republican-controlled Michigan Legislature are expected to visit the White House Friday, according to a source with knowledge of the plans.

The visits by Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, and House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, will come as a legal fight plays out in the battleground state with President Donald Trump attempting to challenge the results of the Nov. 3 election.

With Trump’s lawsuits faltering (the campaign voluntarily dismissed its federal suit in Michigan today), the remaining Trump play to subvert American democracy and overturn the result of the election is a crazy electoral college gambit: try to get state legislatures involved to appoint their own electors for Trump.

Senator Shirkey in Michigan has already said he would not go along with such a gambit, but we saw Trump’s armtwisting of Republicans on the Wayne County canvassing board could lead people to change their minds.

If the Michigan legislature got together to vote to overturn the result of the election in which Joe Biden won by 150,000 votes, there would be rioting in the streets in Michigan and throughout the country. It would be an actual attempted coup, to subvert American democracy. It would call into question these Legislators’ own elections as well as put their reelection chances in serious jeopardy.

And it wouldn’t work. The certification process is continuing in Michigan, and there will be a slate of electors for Joe Biden, which will be signed by the governor (and therefore get preference in Congress under the electoral count act if there are competing slates of electors).

And of course flipping Michigan would not be enough to change the electoral college outcome. Trump would have to flip three states. By then there would be full scale civil unrest in the United States.

And the electoral college votes would be counted by both houses of Congress, which include a House led by Democrats. And it includes a likely Republican Senate but with at least a few Republican Senators of principle who would not go along with this. If this led to long stalemate, and no electoral college votes counted for President, Trump would cease to be President on January 20 pursuant to the 20th amendment, and we’d have a temporary president.

So the bottom line: we should worry because this is profoundly antidemocratic and is delegitimizing the victory of Joe Biden in a free and fair election. It is profoundly depressing we still have to discuss this. But it is extremely unlikely to lead to any different result for President.

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