I want to make it clear that I am not accusing Donald Trump of anything. I think that the electorate may have been manipulated, especially by Comey and his timing of releasing investigative details, and Russians may have attempted to do things, but I don’t really think a few Russians on social media really changed that much, and anyway, I’m not sure what they did was illegal, no matter what one might think of it morally.
I want to know what would be done if a sitting president were discovered to have done some large scale, unquestionably illegal activity: outright bought votes, orchestrated voter fraud, hacked machines, or something like that.
There are laws that allow presidents to put off prosecution for crimes committed while not in office, until after they have served their term, and I hope that some emergency session of the Supreme Court would find that this did not apply to acts that got the president into office in the first place.
That still leaves the question of how to replace him (or her). The vice president might not be party to the fraud, but would also not have been legally elected. Would the VP still be able to take office? Would this be up to the Supreme Court? Would the Supreme Court be able to say that since the Electoral College actually elected the VP, and the VP wasn’t guilty of anything, after any impeachment, resignation, or whatever of the president, the VP could take the office?
Suppose the VP was, in fact guilty as well? Would we just go down the chain of appointments, or would they be tainted? Is there any provision for a special election of a new president? if so, would we start out with a whole new line-up of candidates, or just elect from the previous ones (which pretty much is a lock for the other major party candidate, unless there happened to be some kind of viable independent).
Who would serve while the special election was taking place? Is there any provision for appointing an interim president?
It’s times like this I miss my father. He always knew anything like this off the top of his head. He had a Ph.D in Poli Sci.