Conservative Max Boot has a horrific scenario for how Trump could claim victory -- even if he loses
Composite image of Donald Trump and Joe Biden (screengrabs)

Conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot penned a horrifying scenario in which President Donald Trump could still steal the election, even if he lost in November.

Writing Monday, Boot explained that Trump is already working to sow doubt in the November election, claiming "Mail-In Ballots will lead to MASSIVE electoral fraud and a RIGGED 2020 Election," Boot quoted the president. It's not only a lie, but it will also endanger his own voters, who think it isn't safe to vote with an absentee ballot in November and may risk their health to stand in line.

Sadly, Trump's "voter fraud" claims will help Republican leaders be able to purge voter rolls right before the voter registration deadline, limit vote-by-mail, close polling places in predominantly minority neighborhoods, and challenge those who do come to the polls. As Boot explained, Trump will do whatever it takes to win.

"It's doubtful that anything Trump does will produce a popular-vote victory; he lost by nearly 3 million votes in 2016 and will probably lose by a greater margin this year. But it won't matter if, by election night, he is within spitting distance of an electoral college victory," he wrote.

Boot, who is a military historian, recalled participating in a "war game" organized by the nonpartisan group Transition Integrity Project that ran a scenario where former Vice President Joe Biden won 278 electoral voters to Trump's 260.

"Various participants played the role of the Trump campaign, the Biden campaign, Republican and Democratic elected officials, the news media, and other key players to see what would happen next," he explained. "I was on Team Trump, and, needless to say, we did not concede defeat. Instead, we went to work, ruthlessly and unscrupulously, utilizing every ounce of power at our disposal, to secure the 10 electoral college votes to swing the election."

He explained that the team focused on three swing states: Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, where the GOP controls two branches of the legislature.

"Normally, the governor certifies the election results, and in all three states, the governor is a Democrat. But there is nothing to prevent the legislature from certifying a different election outcome," he explained.

He recalled a similar debate in 1876 when Democrat Samuel Tilden won the popular vote and was leading in the electoral college, but votes were contested in three states.

"Congress appointed a commission to adjudicate the dispute, and it voted along partisan lines, 8 to 7, to hand all three states to Republican Rutherford B. Hayes," he reported. "That gave Hayes a 185 to 184 majority in the electoral college, and the presidency along with it."

Boot's team didn't do a commission, rather the GOP bombed the airwaves with allegations of voter fraud, just as Trump did in the last election. The GOP filed a lawsuit as well to prevent certifying the results. They had Attorney General Bill Barr, who has already been willing and eager to defy precedent, say that the Chinese intelligence, Antifa terrorists and other enemies stole the election.

"The goal was to tie up the proceedings in the courts, initially at the state level, and quickly force the Republican-dominated Supreme Court to intervene," said Boot.

Chaos filled the streets with both sides, which motivated the Supreme Court to intervene and stop the dispute as they did in 2000 when they selected George W. Bush over Al Gore, who won the popular vote.

"Could we count on Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. — the current swing vote — to resist similar pressure to vote for the 'home team'?" he wondered.

"It is impossible to write off such concerns as far-fetched given how many seemingly far-fetched things have already occurred in the past four years," Boot closed. "Trump got himself impeached by trying to blackmail a foreign country into helping his reelection campaign. He will stop at nothing to avoid the stigma of being branded a 'loser.' Unless Biden wins by an electoral college margin that no one can credibly dispute, our democracy may be imperiled as never before. We had better start thinking now about how we would handle such an electoral crisis."

Read the full editorial at the Washington Post.