The plan would overturn the will of the voters by baselessly saying the results are tainted by fraud.
Down in the polls and facing the possibility of defeat, Donald Trump's campaign is reportedly crafting a plan to ignore the election results and install him in the Oval Office for a second term, defying the will of the people, according to a report published by the Atlantic.
Sources tell the Atlantic the Trump campaign is plotting to get GOP-controlled state legislatures to ignore election results and choose electors who will back Trump, handing him a victory even if the vote tallies show Democratic nominee Joe Biden won.
The GOP legislatures will purportedly justify this by claiming without evidence that the election results were tainted by fraud — a baseless claim Trump has been pushing for months.
"The state legislatures will say, 'All right, we've been given this constitutional power. We don't think the results of our own state are accurate, so here's our slate of electors that we think properly reflect the results of our state,'" said a Trump campaign adviser.
The chair of the Pennsylvania Republican Party confirmed that there is a plan to steal the election.
"I just don't think this is the right time for me to be discussing those strategies and approaches, but [direct appointment of electors] is one of the options. It is one of the available legal options set forth in the Constitution," Lawrence Tabas, the Pennsylvania Republican Party chair, told the Atlantic.
Legal experts are condemning the strategy as a coup d'etat.
"The Trump campaign is discussing plans to ask state representatives to set aside the election results in their state and select Trump electors *even if Trump loses the vote in their state.* That would be the death of American democracy. That is not an overstatement. It's a fact," tweeted former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti.
If the Trump campaign deploys this strategy, it is sure to be met with legal challenges.
And Trump, as well as Mike Pence, is pushing the Republican-controlled Senate to install a replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election to provide the court with another loyalist who could help decide the outcome of those lawsuits.
Democratic strategists said there is one way to prevent the Trump campaign from stealing the election.
"The solution to all of these Trump schemes to steal the election is to simply win by more," Josh Schwerin, communications director for the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, tweeted. "Just work harder and win more votes."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.