Die-hard Trump supporters are still holding out hopes that something big is coming – something that will bring to an end the assumed inevitability of a President-Elect Joe Biden and restore the incumbent to his rightful place – in their eyes – as a two-term president. With an Electoral College vote scheduled for Monday, though, it seems these hopes are pure fantasy. Then again, as this humble writer has pointed out before, it is 2020 and absolutely anything can still happen.
Assuming, though, that the 50 states’ chosen electors propel Biden toward a January inauguration, is there not still some unfinished business? Are we to simply assume that all the sworn affidavits, all the videos, all the verbal testimony, and all the incredible ballot-counting anomalies amounted to a case of mass delusion? That not a single word of it was based on reality? Should Americans just shrug and move on or is someone – anyone – going to investigate what really did happen?
The Case For a Special Counsel
Whether one believes that massive electoral fraud took place or that the election was completely fair and proper, one cannot deny that the system is profoundly compromised. When millions of Americans firmly believe that the 2020 presidential election was a sham – even if it was not – then the system is profoundly compromised. That problem must be addressed.
That being the case, both Republicans and Democrats should want a special counsel investigation – if for no other reason than to assure the American people that their shaken faith in the electoral process is being taken seriously.
Indeed, President Trump is mulling the idea of a special counsel to investigate exactly what happened between the evening of November 3 and the Supreme Court’s December 11 decision not to hear a challenge to the results brought by the state of Texas.
The Obvious Hurdles
Attorney General Bill Barr would be the man to appoint this special counsel and the question, of course, is why would he? After all, Barr – from all we currently know – appears unconvinced that voter fraud took place on a scale that changed what the final result would otherwise have been.
Further, it should be understood that a special counsel investigation by itself is not going to somehow prolong Trump’s presidency and keep Biden from occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Such an investigation would take months – at least – and probably years. Democrats at both the federal and state levels would do everything in their power to hinder its progress, if not derail it entirely.
More likely, of course, is that a Biden-appointed attorney general would simply dismiss whoever Barr had appointed to lead the probe and that would be the end of it. Would Republicans in Congress fight to protect this hypothetical special counsel? Could they? No, they would not, since not more than a handful of them have the courage – or, indeed, the curiosity to know whether it really was a rigged election.
A Redress of Grievances
With Trump gone, there could be a swift return to the go-along-to-get along Republican Party of old. That does not bode well, since this president has forever changed the resolve of conservative voters, and a GOP that does not understand this fact is doomed to fade into obscurity.
When all is said and done, the idea of a special counsel investigation – though there probably should be one and it would deserve bipartisan support – is going to crumble upon impact with the reality of the current political situation. If there is to be any redress of grievances for the more than 73 million Americans who chose to extend Trump’s tenure by four years, it would have to happen between now and January 20, 2021. As things stand, that redress would, by necessity, come in the form of drastic action taken by the president himself – or by his supporters.
Read more from Graham J. Noble.