Tackling the rumors about Trump heading to the White House in August

Maggie Haberman, one of the New York Times journalists most affected by Trump Derangement Syndrome, tweeted on Tuesday that Donald Trump "has been telling a number of people he's in contact with that he expects he will get reinstated by August."  Because Haberman doesn't have the best reputation for reliability, many people discounted her statement.  However, Charles C.W. Cooke, who writes for the fanatically NeverTrump National Review, confirmed that his sources agree with her sources:

I can attest, from speaking to an array of different sources, that Donald Trump does indeed believe quite genuinely that he — along with former senators David Perdue and Martha McSally — will be "reinstated" to office this summer after "audits" of the 2020 elections in Arizona, Georgia, and a handful of other states have been completed. I can attest, too, that Trump is trying hard to recruit journalists, politicians, and other influential figures to promulgate this belief — not as a fundraising tool or an infantile bit of trolling or a trial balloon, but as a fact.

Wow!  That sounds scary.  (And I'll have more on what Cooke writes in a minute.)  However, someone who likely talked to Trump himself, rather than talking to people who talked to other people, says this is all nonsense:

Lara Trump said Thursday that people are getting 'worked up' over nothing and her father-in-law does not actually expect to be reinstated as president in August — despite reports stating otherwise.

'As far as I know, there are no plans for Donald Trump to be in the White House in August. Maybe there's something I don't know,' Lara told the Fox & Friends panel Thursday morning.

'But no, I think that that is a lot of folks getting a little worked up about something just because maybe there wasn't enough pushback, you know, from the Republican side,' she added.

'So no, I have not heard any plans for Donald Trump to be installed in the White House in August.'

Given Lara's position in Trump's innermost circle, she is the person to take more seriously than a New York Times hack or a fanatically NeverTrump journalist.

But let's play a little game of let's pretend.  To do that, here's what Cooke wrote based upon his assumption that Trump is planning to ride into Washington, D.C. on a white horse to reclaim the throne (although I may be confusing things with Mary Tudor when she took the throne back from the ill-fated Lady Jane Grey in 1553):

The scale of Trump's delusion is quite startling. This is not merely an eccentric interpretation of the facts or an interesting foible, nor is it an irrelevant example of anguished post-presidency chatter. It is a rejection of reality, a rejection of law, and, ultimately, a rejection of the entire system of American government. There is no Reinstatement Clause within the United States Constitution. Hell, there is nothing even approximating a Reinstatement Clause within the United States Constitution. The election has been certified, Joe Biden is the president, and, until 2024, that is all there is to it. It does not matter what one's view of Trump is. It does not matter whether one voted for or against Trump. It does not matter whether one views Trump's role within the Republican Party favorably or unfavorably. 

Cooke is correct that there is no Reinstatement Clause in the Constitution.  However, the Constitution is grounded in, among other things, British common law, which was the backbone of the Founders' understanding of the political world.  When they wrote the Constitution, they were improving on British principles, not overthrowing them.

One of the core principles of common law is that agreements that result from fraud are void ab initio.  In other words, fraud means that an agreement never existed in the first place.  Everything that flows from the fraud is done away with, and matters are returned to the status quo ante — that is, the place at which they were before the fraud began.

If one applies this theory to the Constitution's rules for election, which are nothing more than an agreement between the government and the people, and if the various election audits show that fraudulent elections led several states to certify Biden as the winner, one doesn't need a "Reinstatement Clause" in the Constitution to right the wrong done to America.  Good old British common law is more than enough to say the election result was void ab initio and that America needs to return to the status quo ante preceding Biden's inauguration. There's nothing radical about this.  It's just the law...

Image: Trump's inauguration, 2016.  YouTube screen grab.

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