Just days before the Electoral College is slated to hold its vote, Harvard law professor and progressive activist Larry Lessig conceded that as of today, only a “handful” of electors will likely ultimately vote against Donald Trump unless the number of electors who pledge to do so climbs above 40.
Lessig co-founded a group called the Electors Trust, which is leading a last-ditch effort to stop Trump from becoming president by providing legal representation to renegade electors and offering them a confidential space to air their intentions.
Speaking in an interview set to air Sunday on this reporter’s national weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” Lessig commented on a claim he made last week that 20 Republican electors are considering voting against Trump.
In the interview, which was recorded on Friday, Lessig cited other activists working to impact the Electoral College vote as claiming that the number of electors thinking about casting ballots for other politicians instead of Trump could be as high as 32 Republicans.
Lessig admitted that unless that number climbs to 40 the effort is doomed to fail:
“But I think that we are not going to see more than a handful who actually vote against Donald Trump unless that number climbs above 40. Because I think there are many people who think it is just not worth it given especially the pretty explicit threats that have been made against the electors who exercise their constitutional prerogative.”
The claim of 32 electors waffling on their votes could not be substantiated since so far only one Republican elector, Chris Suprun, has announced publicly he will vote against Trump, doing so in a news-making New York Times opinion piece earlier this month.
Two sources from within the Republican National Committee told Politico the RNC has been in contact with most of the GOP electors numerous times and the committee is only aware of one elector, Suprun, who is at risk of voting against Trump.
A candidate needs 270 votes to win the Electoral College. With Trump’s 306 electors, 37 would need to defect during Monday’s vote to put him below the majority needed to officially secure the presidency.
Lessig was asked whether the entire effort was an exercise in futility given that the decision would be thrown to the Republican-controlled House if the Electoral College indeed failed to finalize Trump’s presidency.
The law professor said he wasn’t certain the House would vote for Trump.
“You know, in the House there are a lot of things that could happen. You know, people could judge the fact that he was the first president to be denied the nomination of the Electoral College for reasons like this. There was a vice president in 1836 who was denied. But he would be the first president as a kind of fatal blow. And in that House, the Republicans might consider, ‘Well, is there another candidate?’ It would have to be among the top three vote-getters of the Electoral College. But is there another candidate who we should nominate instead? And that’s why people have been talking about alternatives like [Republican Ohio Gov. John] Kasich. Or it could be anybody who gets the votes of the Electoral College that are in the top three. And such a move might actually for the nation be incredibly important to get beyond the horrendous political partisan divide that we now find ourselves in. That might be a good reason for them to act like that.”
Last week, John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s top political adviser who served as chairman of her presidential campaign, expressed his support for a request by ten Electoral College voters to receive an intelligence briefing on claims of foreign intervention in the presidential election. The number of electors singing on to that request has since ballooned to fifty.
On Friday, UPI cited sources saying the Electoral College will not receive an intelligence briefing on the matter.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.