Earlier Monday, 10 of the 538 electors set to meet on Dec. 19 to certify Donald Trump’s election as president released a letter to Obama’s Director of National Intelligence (James Clapper) asking to be briefed about the reported conclusion of American intelligence officials that Russia sabotaged Hillary Clinton via email leaks in order to increase Trump’s chances of winning. John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman and himself one of the targets of a purportedly Russian hack, has now issued a statement on behalf of the Clinton campaign supporting the call for a briefing:
Before this move, the Clinton campaign hadn’t done anything else to support the long-shot legal or public-pressure campaigns to overturn November’s results via the Electoral College, and it doesn’t seem at all possible that she could be installed in the presidency via an electors’ revolt without triggering an unprecedented constitutional crisis. The most high-profile faithless-elector campaign, the Hamilton Project, calls for the selection not of Clinton but of a compromise candidate like John Kasich or John McCain. (One of the Clapper letter’s signatories, Michael Baca of Colorado, is a co-founder of the Hamilton Project. Another, Chris Suprun of Texas, has written that he will not vote for Trump.) Meanwhile, even some Clinton supporters are already arguing that her involvement in the issue constitutes an unhelpfully partisan subversion of democratic norms. Does Hillary Clinton genuinely think the intelligence community’s conclusions about Russian sabotage might justify the selection of someone other than Donald Trump as president? If so, it would seem to eventually be incumbent on her to make that claim publicly—and to say who this hypothetical other president should be.