Donald Trump Jr. Just Promoted a Brazen Plan to Steal the Election

The president’s son retweeted a call for Republican-controlled state legislatures to try to override the presidential election.

Don Jr.

Andrew Dolph/ZUMA Wire

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On Thursday, as new batches of votes in key states brought Joe Biden closer to winning the presidential election, conservative talk radio host Mark Levin issued a call to (legislative) arms:

Mark Levin bad tweet

Among the 20.7k (and counting) retweets: Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, who is a leading campaign surrogate.

With Pennsylvania on the verge of flipping into the Democratic column (the remaining uncounted ballots appear to heavily favor Biden), Levin was promoting a legal theory that drew some attention before the election. Because state governments have to formally certify results and then formally send electors to the Electoral College, the Republicans who control the state legislatures of Pennsylvania and several other swing states could (in this theory) simply send their own set of rival electors and force Congress to choose—potentially tipping the election to Trump. The Atlantic’s Barton Gellman reported earlier this fall that Republicans in the state had approached the Trump campaign about such a strategy.

As the Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent has noted, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of such a strategy, from a constitutional and legal perspective, to say nothing of a public-relations one. Changing the process by which Pennsylvania appoints its electors requires changing Pennsylvania law, which the Democratic governor would veto. If Biden goes on to win enough of the remaining uncalled states, perhaps his sizable Electoral College and popular vote lead will dissuade Republicans from attempting to deploy such chicanery. And Pennsylvania’s Republican state Senate majority leader reportedly wants nothing to do with it:

But the thing about going into untrodden territory is that no one really knows what it’s like; the only sure thing is that it’s not where you want to be.

Even President Trump hasn’t gone this far yet. But his son’s promotion of such a plan is an ominous development as the campaign seeks to claw its way back by taking away people’s votes. 

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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