Members of the Trump transition team are reportedly making criminal threats against members of the electoral college in an effort to compel the body to formally choose Donald Trump as the next president of the United States on Monday, December 19.
An anonymous member of the electoral college first spoke to Salon about the threats earlier this week, telling the publication,
‘We have gotten reports from multiple people that the Donald Trump campaign is putting pressure on Republican electors to vote for him based on… future political outcomes [that will be] based on whether they vote for Donald Trump or not.’
In other words, members of the Donald Trump transition team have threatened to undercut the political careers of the members of the electoral college if they don’t support Trump.
Unsurprisingly, no member of the Donald Trump transition team confirmed the serious allegations.
Well, now legal experts have come out with the implications of these threats, and, if true, Donald Trump and his inner circle may be committing a federal crime.
Speaking to Salon in a report published on Friday, Jessica Marlies, an attorney with 16 years of experience in the executive branch of state government, said, “Those allegations, if proven, would constitute a crime, and if coordinated could constitute conspiracy.”
She added, in a statement calling on Trump to publicly come clean about the allegations:
‘In order for the electoral college votes to be considered certifiable and reliable it has to be taken without undue influence, including intimidation. I would call on Donald Trump and his campaign to immediately do a thorough transparent internal review to determine the truth of those allegations and to come forward publicly and immediately to let electors know that he and his campaign support their constitutional right to exercise independent judgment as electors, as the founding fathers contemplated.’
Marlies’s statement draws on the federal provision that makes it a crime to “intimidate, threaten, coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose.”
The question over whether the electoral college will or won’t, in fact, choose Trump when they formally cast their ballots on Monday stems out of deeply set opposition among millions of Americans to the word “president” ever rightfully coming ahead of Donald Trump’s name.
This opposition is clear in the fact that Trump didn’t even win the popular vote. Instead, Hillary Clinton is well over 2.8 million votes ahead of Trump — and counting — with a leading margin bigger than that which put dozens of presidents in the White House before her.
Trump, however, pulled off slender winning margins in the electoral college by winning the densely populated states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Electoral college members have their vote assigned to a specific candidate based on the vote total of just their home state, not the overall national vote total, and more densely populated states have more members of the electoral college.
With all of this backstory in mind, many voices have arisen calling for Republican electoral college members to support someone other than Trump come Monday in order to deny him the 270 electoral college votes needed to officially become the next president of the United States.
Featured Image via Albin Lohr-Jones/ Pool via Bloomberg.