05:42 GMT04 December 2020
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    Donald Trump is refusing to concede the election to Joe Biden, who major media outlets declared the winner of the presidential contest on Saturday. The acting president is now filing multiple lawsuits to challenge the outcome of the vote.

    Former Virginia State Senator Richard Black believes that the US media are doubling down on the projections they made months ago, but their predictions do not have any legal meaning.

    Sputnik: Joe Biden has been projected as the winner of the US presidential election, gaining more than 270 Electoral College votes needed to secure victory. What are your thoughts with regard to this victory? How might we see the situation develop in the near future?

    Richard Black: Well, the first thing to realise is that the news media does not have a constitutional role to play in selecting the president. So their projections are speculation until the states certify the elections. There really is no determination. So right now you have the speculation of the news media. And if you think about it, the news media speculated that Biden won three months ago. So they're just sort of doubling down on their projections. 

    So it's not that it doesn't have some meaning, but it doesn't have any legal meaning. 

    Sputnik: The final results of the presidential race have not yet been officially released, as more votes remain to be counted. To what extent might the pending votes change the overall picture?

    Richard Black: The election has been more chaotic than any election in American history. There are massive claims of voter fraud, not just a large number of accusations, but accusations on a tremendous scale. For example, just this morning, it has come out that there were 132,000 votes that are probably ineligible in Fulton County, Georgia. Now, the state of Georgia has Biden leading by 10,000 votes. So if 132,000 votes are kicked out, as it appears they might be, then of course that would switch the vote in Georgia. Similar things are happening in Michigan. There were 138,000 votes cast for Biden and zero for Trump. And this was after several vehicles drove up at 4:00 a.m. in the morning, went to the polling place, was almost closed. And they brought in 61 cases of Joe Biden ballots. This has been happening all over the country, so we have these massive fake ballots being submitted. 

    And also, you might appreciate this from the Russian perspective, the National Security Agency developed software to falsify foreign voting tallies. The two programs are called Hammer and Score Card, and they were devised by the National Security Agency so that they could be used to overthrow democracy in foreign elections. And the irony is that the software that we've used to deceitfully poison foreign nations' elections seems to have come back and now been used in our own elections. And the software shifts the tally of votes by about three percent, which is enough to throw most of these elections in itself. This came to light when there was one Michigan county that had a recount, a physical recount, and initially they showed Biden with a 70,500 vote lead, and after they counted the real ballots, it turned into a 20,500 lead for Trump. And this is the same computer software used in every county in Michigan and presumably will have a similar error in every single county in Michigan.

    So America has a long, colorful history of voter fraud. We know that in 1960, the election between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon was decided... There was a very close election and it came down to Illinois, the state of Illinois. Well, there was a very, very crooked mayor, Mayor Richard Daley, at the time. And Chicago was run by the gangsters, by Al Capone, by murder, incorporated by terrible gangster organizations. And so Mayor Daley was the head of this gangster city and Kennedy's people called him and said, 'Look, we're short, we don't have enough votes to win Illinois.' [Mayor Daley] said, 'How many votes do you need?' They told him. He said, 'You've got them'. And he went out and they created enough ballots to throw the election.

     I think historians fairly well acknowledge that this occurred today. And I think what they're saying is that what's different is in Illinois, it came down to one state and they were able to create ballots for one state. I think President Trump was in line to win a really massive Electoral College vote. It would have been much greater than in 2016. And up until late at night, he was leading by a margin in almost all of the swing states. And then suddenly it changed. You had to curves going up that were relatively similar, one for Biden, one for Trump. And they vary a little bit. All of a sudden, the Biden curve spiked vertically. It went straight up and down and all of a sudden he was in the lead. Well, that can't happen legitimately. And so we have a very, very questionable election campaign. I think whatever happens is going to taint the result. 

    If we do have a Joe Biden presidency, I think it's going to weaken him because he'll be crippled by this notion that his election was tainted from the outset. 

    Sputnik: In 2000 during the Bush-Gore race there was also a vote recount. Will this be an uphill legal battle for the incumbent president, as he is filing lawsuits in a number of states, while in the 2000 elections Florida was the only state involved?

    Richard Black: It is unprecedented because what happened in 2000 with the Gore campaign is that it was truly a very, very narrow election and it came down to the vote in Florida.

    There it took 37 days to resolve the case. And it really came down to precisely which votes counted. And, you know, how did you decide whether this one would go this way or that way. It wasn't a case of massive fraud. It was just a case of two candidates arguing differences in how things should be counted. And the Supreme Court ultimately said, 'OK, look, we've got to make a decision'. And they did. And this is different because the magnitude of this is many thousands of times greater than what happened in the whole Bush-Gore situation. Even if you go back to 1960, where we know the presidential vote was tainted. 

    This one is so much greater, and it's going to be a challenge for the courts because there's so much activity taking place and evidence is just pouring in at an enormous rate. There was one Democrat Party worker in Michigan who bragged on Facebook. He said, 'I work for Wayne County. And he said 'I threw out tens of thousands of ballots'. He was bragging. Well, then Facebook quickly deleted this. Because they don't want the evidence to be publicized widely and so it's interesting, but we'll see. I can't tell you which direction this will go. And it is awkward to have elections decided by the courts, but it's not out of the question that it could happen. 

    Sputnik: Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that he will go to the Supreme Court to settle the matter there, although the Supreme Court already rejected the first claims to stop the vote count. Will the incumbent president be successful in his endeavor?

    Richard Black: Each case will be decided on its merits. When the Trump campaign filed a number of suits before Election Day, they won a number of them and then they lost in some. In Pennsylvania, they lost because the case was very poorly put together and put the Supreme Court in an awkward position where I think they knew that the Trump campaign had a meritorious claim. But they did not have a good plaintiff. And it was very awkward for the Supreme Court to give a positive ruling for Trump when the case was so poorly presented. So each case will be decided individually. And we just have to see how they come out. 

    We did know that once mailing ballots were allowed, that it's an open invitation to massive voter fraud because there are no internal controls over the ballot. You don't know who is voting. You don't know whether there's a mill that's been set up to produce thousands of votes for one candidate. You don't know anything. It's sort of the Wild West where there's no control at all. 

    And when the courts allowed early voting, I think it was clear to everyone that there was going to be a tremendous amount of corruption in the vote. I would advise any country that is setting up an election. Number One - do not allow computers to be used. Use hardcopy paper and have a clear cut-off date and make sure that every voter has to identify themselves clearly from an official government document. 

    Sputnik: The Electoral College is scheduled for the 14th of December. How this might change the projected results?

    Richard Black: Well, the 14th of December is generally a pretty hard date. And what will happen between now and then is that different states will be settling disputes and revising their count. And then at a certain point, they will issue documents certifying the election in their own states. And the Electoral College is scheduled to make its decision on the 14th of December. So I think by the 14th of December, we will very likely know who will be the next president one way or the other. 

    Sputnik: Since Donald Trump became president, the United States has exited a huge number of important international treaties or organisations (such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP], NAFTA, UNESCO, JCPOA, and others). If Biden is indeed inaugurated in 2021, will he reinstate US membership in all of the aforementioned?

    Richard Black: Some of the treaties are permanent, for example, the treaty that was negotiated to replace NAFTA. I don't think President Biden will interfere with that. Some of the trade agreements will be permanent. The interesting thing will be with the JCPOA. I personally felt like, you know, I disagreed with Obama on almost every foreign policy except one. And I thought that the JCPOA power was a really good treaty to enter into. What I would predict is it's going to be very awkward for Joe Biden to simply rejoin the JCPOA. Politically there's been a shift against Iran. But what I would guess is that he will quietly inform the European countries that he is not opposed to having Europe carry out their obligations under the JCPOA. As you know, Mike Pompeo has been very bellicose and he has bullied the European countries so that they would not carry out their obligations, their agreement under the JCPOA. And that has been very it's been a very sore spot, sore point with Europe. The European countries do not like being dictated to by the United States and told who they can trade with and who they can't. 

    If I were recommending to the Biden campaign, I would say - do it this way, simply release the European countries, tell them, look, we're not going to interfere. We're not going to sanction you for trading with Iran like you planned to do. And I think in that way, he could quietly bring the JCPOA back to life without embarrassing the United States, without embarrassing any of the countries involved, including Iran, and if they all understood that they need to just be low key about it, then I think that would be a tremendous advance toward peace in the Middle East if we would do that. And I would hope to see that. And I would certainly recommend it to Joe Biden.

    Sputnik: How will the US economy be affected by this power shift, especially given that the nation’s economy is already trying to recover from the anti-coronavirus measures?

    Richard Black: Well, historically, having a divided government benefits the economy. It keeps either party from doing things that are too radical. It appears that the Republicans will hold control of the Senate and the Democrats have been severely weakened by the elections in the House; they started with a very wide margin in the House, and it has shrunk to where it's very, very small. I would not expect to see Nancy Pelosi re-elected as speaker. I think she is perceived by her own party as presiding over a big defeat in the House. It's not that they don't still control the House, but it makes a big difference, the margin that you have, the sort of buffer of safety. Because when you get down to a very close, very narrow margin, then it's possible for representatives to sort of jump to the other side. So you see a Republican jump over to the Democrat side or you see a Democrat jump over to the Republican side just for a particular vote. So it's hard to do really extreme things in the House. 

    So I think economically, the economy likes it when neither party is able to make dramatic changes. And so I think it could be positive. On the other hand, something that has been happening, going all the way back to the economic crisis in 2008, we began printing money and we printed a huge amount of money in 2008. Now, with the coronavirus, which I don't see as a really major issue, but it's been made into it by the media, we have just shut down the economy and we've printed money to make up for people's paychecks.

    If you print and print paper money and the paper money is not backed up by production, at a certain point, it begins to look less like paper money and more like just paper. And so I think that economically, I think the United States is on very shaky ground. We need to get our economy going. We need to forget about these masks and things. And even if it means that a few people die, the national economy is far more important than whether there's a handful of people who die who might not have. 

    That's just the reality of it. The one thing that is going to be a problem for Biden is that if he is sworn in, he will be taking control at a point where the American economy is shaky. And the way that politics works, if something bad comes off, the financial wheels come off during a Biden presidency, then he gets the blame. Now, it's not that the Republicans and the Democrats aren't both to blame. They both just printed trillions and trillions of dollars. And neither party has shown any financial responsibility at all. But if things go bad, it is always blamed on the president who is in power at the time. Even though he would try, he would say, well, look, the Republicans did this, too. It doesn't matter. People blame the president who's in power for the economy. So this is a challenge for Joe Biden. And I don't know what will happen, but I think if he were smart he would talk to the media. The media supports Biden very much. And I think if he were to say, look, we need to stop talking about the coronavirus and just put that story aside and get everybody to start taking the masks off, start flying to vacations and start going out and doing business again. I think that would be a very smart thing for him to do because he's got to get this economy moving again. We can't just have everybody hiding behind masks. It is so counterproductive and so dangerous.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Election, US
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