Bribing / threatening individual electors in the Electoral College

Donald J. Trump has stated that he will consider the election settled only once the Electoral College votes. Assuming he intends to respect that statement…

I know that he has appealed to the Republican majorities in some state legislatures to ignore the results of the popular vote and select Republican electors. That appears not to have worked so far.

But could he intervene more directly?

“Dear individual Democratic Party elector, I’ll give you 75 million dollars if you vote for me on December 14th. Don’t worry about legality, I can pardon anybody for anything.”

“Dear individual Democratic Party elector, I have published your coordinates on Twitter, and those proud boys patrolling in front of your kids’ school / your mom’s retirement home will be looking closely at who you vote for on December 14th.”

Is this possible?

(Honestly, I’m just typing this so I can brag later on if it ends up happening.)

If this were a much closer electoral race, say 5 votes difference, so 3 votes to turn, this sort of scenario might be something to worry about. But he would have to turn 38 votes to get the electoral majority, and that’s too much risk of getting caught (major state as well as federal crimes being involved) even for someone as stupid as he is. Giuliani might think it is a good idea though…

Electors are selected by states and laws about interference would be state laws. Therefore, a president could not pardon them.

As with all these hypothetical scenarios, though, they are theoretically possible because nobody ever conceived the possibility of a rogue president willing to do anything.

Fortunately, Trump is not one of these. He’s a weenie and won’t do anything.

but since Trump is a federal official that might make it a federal crime? For example I know if federal employee is killed on the job then it’s a federal murder charge, not state.

As far as rogue presidents until 1940 nobody thought a president would run for a 3rd term. I don’t know if people were upset about FDR running 3rd time back then. I guess the Dems were OK with it. :slight_smile: and he won 38 states so he was popular. All of his 4 wins were blowouts.

“The rules don’t apply to me” works both ways. That’s the danger of it. If Trump opens the door to “I can remain in office even though I lost the election” and all sorts of other general lawlessness (as he, to a large extent, has tried to do) then what’s to stop any anti-Trump court from prosecuting the people involved, and/or Trump himself, and just declaring they aren’t going to respect any pardons? It would come down to a contest of physical force between the people running the jail and those who disagree with them - the exact sort of thing that having a rule of law is supposed to prevent.

I’m sure Trump technically could do it illegally, the only question is whether the law would consider an Elector’s vote to still count even if there were proof that he/she had been bribed. Can a state revoke an Elector’s vote if he was acting under coercion or bribery?

It is a weakness and a known target for exploitation, It’s not like there was no warning that such a thing could happen. Armor up or get run through. We could get run through.

In several states, they can revoke an elector’s vote for any reason that causes them to vote against their pledged candidate, whether bribery or change of heart.

Your question depends entirely on the skullduggery coming to light BEFORE the vote happens, or at the very latest before those votes are counted.

If the skullduggery only comes to light later, then it’s logically impossible to revoke the vote or the consequences of the vote, laws or no. Even SCOTUS doesn’t have a time machine.

Rest assured it’s the goal of all skullduggers to be caught never, or failing that, as late as possible.

Just because they made it a federal crime did not stop it from being a state crime. It’d be both.

The Republicans at the time had conniption fits about it.

There’s a WaPo article (probably paywalled) about protesters going to the Michigan SecState’s home and attempting to intimidate her about certifying the election.

It wouldn’t be at all surprising if they found out who the electors are for various swing states and tried to do the same to them.

Right; and SCOTUS has validated those laws to overrule faithless electors.

You think?

Michigan feels it necessary to give police escorts to their electors on Monday.

Tilden attempted to bribe electors in the election of 1876. The difference being that he only needed one EV to win.