This entire year has been one disaster after the next—from nearly starting World War III in January to a global pandemic that has crippled the world for more than six months, to murder hornets arriving in the United States—2020 has truly had it all.
But, the end could have something no one saw coming: “President Pelosi.”
During an interview with MSNBC, Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe said the coronavirus could create a perfect (or not so perfect) storm for a possible White House win for the current House Speaker.
Tribe explained that the election could have a disputed outcome—one where one side wins but the other claims voter fraud or ballot manipulation occurred. In such a case where the ensuing legal fight could take months to decide, the presidency would be legally vacated from Trump (and Vice President Pence) and given to the next in succession, Pelosi.
“So I wouldn’t, at this point, play Trump’s game of essentially throwing up our hands and saying there will be no winner, Trump is going to win by default,” Tribe said, as BizPac Review reports. “He can’t really do it. The default solution in our system is President Nancy Pelosi. And I can think of worse things than that.”
The situation is merely a possibility, but it did not stop MSNBC host Joy Reid from celebrating the idea.
“You have made, I think, a lot of peoples’ night, Laurence Tribe. President Pelosi, hmm,” she responded.
“Not bad,” the guest agreed.
Reid added: “Well, she’ll have a fabulous mask on with every outfit. Not bad at all.”
"You have made, I think, a lot of peoples' nights. President Pelosi, hmm."@JoyAnnReid on @tribelaw mentioning a 'fail safe' that Nancy Pelosi would be president if one is not decided by January 20, 2020. #TheReidOut pic.twitter.com/3HvGMv4Vdp
— The ReidOut (@thereidout) July 31, 2020
For nearly 90 years, the Constitution has contained a built-in safeguard against presidents who try to retain power beyond the end of their term: presidential power automatically passes to the House Speaker at noon on January 20 if the incumbent muddies the waters enough.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) July 31, 2020
BizPac Review adds:
According to the U.S. Constitution, any sitting president has to vacate office when his or her term ends at noon on Jan. 20, making way for the newly elected president or as some are suggesting could happen, the House speaker if the election results are still being determined. But with members of the House, including Pelosi, up for reelection this year, the California Democrat could also be out of office and the Senate president pro-tempore would be next in line.
But even a scenario where a winner may not immediately be determined and Pelosi would have to take over as president is purely speculation.