Can intelligence agencies overturn the election?

The following is by Lambert Strether on the Naked Capitalism web log.

Since November 8 we’ve had four crises of legitimacy of escalating intensity, each one pointing to a change in the Constitutional order.

  • First, we had Stein’s recount effort, justified in part by a(n unproven) theory that “Russian hacking” had affected the vote tallies.  (Recall that 50% of Clinton voters believe this, although no evidence has ever been produced for it, it’s technically infeasible at scale, and statistically improbable.)  Since the “Russian hacking” theory was derived from intelligence not shown to the public, the change to the Constitutional order would be that the Intelligence Community (IC) would gain a veto over the legitimacy of a President during a transfer of power; veto power that would be completely unaccountable, since IC sources and methods would not be disclosed.
  • Second, we had the (hilariously backfired) campaign to have “faithless electors” appoint somebody other than Trump to be President.  Here again, the change in the Constitutional order was exactly the same, as (Clintonite) electors clamored to be briefed by the IC on material that would not be shown to the public, giving the IC veto power over the appointment of a President after the vote tallies had been certified.
  • office_of_the_director_of_national_intelligence_seal_usaThird, we had the IC’s JAR report, which in essence accused the President-elect of treason (a capital offense).  Here again the publicly available evidence of that quite sloppy report has been shredded, so in essence we have an argument from IC authority that secret evidence they control disqualifies the President elect, so the change in the Constitutional order is the same.
  • Fourth, we have the “Golden Showers” report, which again is an argument from IC authority, and so again gives the IC veto power over a President appointed by the Electoral College. 

Needless to say, once we give the IC veto power over a President before the vote is tallied, and before the electoral college votes, and after the electoral college votes but before the oath of office and the Inaugural, we’re never going to be able to take it back.

This is a crossing the Rubicon moment.  Now, you can say this is unique, not normal, an exceptional case, but “sovereign is he who decides on the exception” (Nazi legal theorist Carl Schmidt).  And who then is the sovereign?  The IC.  Is that what liberals want?

Source: naked capitalism


Donald Trump is a bad person.   Vladimir Putin is a worse person.  That doesn’t mean that every single thing they do or say is wrong, and it most certainly doesn’t mean that I should automatically believe anything their enemies say about them.

The attack on Donald Trump, with so little apparent basis in evidence, smacks of desperation.  What might the “intelligence community” fear that Donald Trump will do? that he will prevent? that he will find out?


Background to Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. elections PDF.

Trump Intelligence Allegations PDF.   Joseph Cannon posted a digitized version of this that is easier to read.

The Deep State Goes to War With the President-Elect, Using Unverified Claims as Democrats Cheer by Glenn Greenwald for The Intercept.

How a Former CIA Officer Reads the Trump Dossier by Philip Giraldi for The American Conservative.

US Intel Agencies Try to Strong-Arm Trump Into War With Russia by Mike Whitney for Counterpunch.

Did the Russians Really Hack the DNC? by Gregory Elich for Counterpunch.  [Added 1/14/2017]

Veteran U.S. Intelligence Officials Call for Hacking ‘Proof’ on Washington’s Blog.  [Added 1/18/2017]


I supported Jill Stein’s efforts to get a vote recount in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, not with the hope of overturning the election results nor of proving Russian intelligence manipulated the vote, but in the hope of showing the flaws in the U.S. election machinery and promoting reform.

Personal attacks on Donald Trump, justified or not, are no substitute for fighting his policy agenda.  The way to fight Donald Trump is to fight his bad policies by informing the public, holding rallies and protests, pressuring elected representatives, filing lawsuits and electing anti-Trump progressives to offices high and low.

Added 1/14/2017.   The serious allegation in the Trump dossier (the second PDF) is that that Donald Trump is subject to blackmail because of his sexual behavior, but that he and his campaign accepted money from Russian sources controlled by Putin.   This would be a violation of law, and an impeachable offense.  That is the part that should be checked out.   In the meantime, I am skeptical, based on the fact that neither the anti-Trump Republicans nor the Democrats who commissioned the Trump investigation found any information credible enough to use.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: