Anti-Trump Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, known for being Barack Obama’s legal mentor, just laid out a scenario in which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) could become president.
In recent weeks, Democrats have been sowing rumors that President Donald Trump will not voluntarily leave office even if he is defeated at the polls in November. Along those lines, Tribe’s comments came during a conversation on MSNBC with host Joy Reid.
Reid, who is also a virulent Trump opponent, began the segment by making ominous predictions about Trump unleashing electoral chaos on the nation, possibly with assistance from Moscow. Watch below:
“Bush v. Gore might be nothing compared we’re facing this November with the president and his party determined to sow confusion, break the system, and maybe get a little Russian dressing on the side,” she speculated.
After dismissing GOP assurances that the rule of law would be respected, Reid then asked Tribe if “the even more sycophantic Republicans in the states could get in the way of a free and fair election and hand it to Donald Trump.”
Tribe: Pelosi presidency “a fail-safe mechanism”
“Well, there is a possibility,” the law professor responded, “but I wouldn’t get too alarmed about it. There is a statute that Congress passed which says that if the election does not produce any winner in a state, then it’s permissible for the state legislature itself to nominate a slate of electors.”
“Now,” Tribe continued, “that could happen in states like Pennsylvania or Texas but it would not ultimately carry the day because it is up to Congress when it counts the votes in January.”
“Actually, this time it’s going to be on January 6, so it’s the new Congress to decide which electors to consider,” Tribe went on to explain. “There is a procedure, it’s a very elaborate procedure, in every state for resolving disputes by the date of the so-called safe harbor on December 8.”
According to Tribe, when the president expresses concerns about voting irregularities, he is simply attempting “to cast doubt in the way that Putin wants to,” adding that “they’re trying to make it look chaotic.”
“But there is a fail-safe mechanism built into the Constitution itself,” the attorney declared. “No matter how much dust he throws into the gears, at high noon on January 20, 2021 if there has not been a new president elected, at the point Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the house becomes president of the United States.”
Tribe neglected to mention that this would require Democrats to retain control in the House of Representatives. Should Republicans prevail, then Pelosi would lose her speakership after Congress reconvened.