Is The "Safe Harbor" Deadline Actually Good For Trump?

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Two disclaimers; first of all; I am not a lawyer.

Second is that I have learned to never assume that any politician is some super-genius executing a plan above my capacity to discern or comprehend. I watched too many people fool themselves with the idea that George W. Bush’s politically disastrous silences were part of a “rope-a-dope” strategy, and I do not accept that there is some 4D Chess being played in Rudy Giuliani and his team losing scads of court cases across the United States.

That said; I am curious about December 8th, the “Safe Harbor” deadline, and whether it would change the way Trump and his team will proceed.

To be clear, I think the actual date when it’s all over is January 6th, when Congress meets to accept the results of the election and that Trump’s only way forward is by gathering and presenting solid forensically supported evidence that the election was stolen.

Asking judges to enjoin states from certifying results and appointing electors with only indicators (i.e. “red flags”; math, statistics, data science, etc.), but no actual evidence of fraud was never going to be an easy sell given the deadlines imposed by the electoral college process. As Jonathan Turley has pointed out, there is a legal Catch-22 here; to prove fraud, you need access to the election systems to examine ballots and machines, but to get access to the system, [Left-Wing] judges [disingenuously] insist you need to prove fraud.

Here’s one way you get forensic evidence of election fraud, by the way;

Here’s the thing though; instead of weakening Trump’s position, I think the states certifying their results and appointing their slates of electors by the December 8th “Safe Harbor” deadline actually strengthens Trump’s hand in obtaining the access he needs to the state election systems.

It’s black letter law that the Federal government has law enforcement jurisdiction over any election with a federal office on the ballot. As President, Trump has the inherent and statutory authority to investigate election crimes, especially with regard to Federal elections.

The fact is; the affidavits, statistical evidence, and reports of irregularities are plentiful and substantial enough to serve as legal justification for launching an investigation. Under normal circumstances, just one single sworn eyewitness report is enough. Even more significant is that given the high likelihood of local official involvement, and therefore the high likelihood that they would try to destroy the evidence (e.g. deleting machine logs, incinerating ballots and poll books, etc.), the Trump Administration can easily cite exigent circumstances to protect evidence and send in the Marshals to secure the materials without first seeking a warrant.

Even if they challenge the seizures in court, apart from the jurisdiction issue being against them, this is an already completed and certified election, so State or county officials cannot claim injury. After the Safe Harbor date, the ballots, poll books, machine logs, etc. are not required for any pending official purpose by local or State authorities, and there is now no argument to be made that Trump is using the powers of the Presidency to interfere with the election process.

Significantly, in this case, the issue of there not being “enough” election fraud to overturn the results is irrelevant – according to the law, election/voter fraud at any level, at any volume, is a crime whether or not it affects the results. Furthermore, the Trump Administration can now use Federal resources to forensically examine the ballots, records and machines.

Ultimately, if the Trump Campaign conclusively finds (as I suspect) and announces that hundreds of thousands of absentee/mail-in ballots with votes for Biden were actually marked with toner (i.e. printer ink), and that without them, he loses PA, WI, MI, AZ and GA, the certifications and electoral college won’t matter. Politically, Congress will be forced to act.

Joe Biden will never take the oath of office in those circumstances.

But that’s assuming there is some sort of genius plan that has been in the works, and Giuliani and his team have been misdirecting us all along.

I’m not making that assumption … but I won’t discount it.

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