Newsweek used to be a reputable magazine, and they still produce some good journalism, but it’s become clear that they are dedicated to click-trolling the Clinton world. I’m not here to bash Clinton or her fans. They didn’t ask for this. This is on Newsweek for hooking up jumper cables to a news zombie in order to ask the dumbest question in the world: Could we reverse the 2016 election and install Hillary Clinton as president? You think I’m joking? Per Newsweek:
Nearly a year after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, a Harvard University professor says 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton could still become commander in chief.
Lawrence Lessig, the Roy L. Furman professor of law and leadership at Harvard Law School, penned an essay for Medium in October outlining a series of hypothetical scenarios that could take place should the ongoing probe find that the Trump campaign actually conspired with Russia to influence the results of the election.
The hypothetical scenarios that Lessig outlined in an essay all included constitutional explanations of how Paul freaking Ryan and Mitch McConnell could impeach Trump. He didn’t say it could or will happen, just that if the Russia investigation produced the kind of results of our nightmares, it would be the duty of the representatives holding those positions to tangibly address the conflict at the heart of the 2016 election. The quote that Newsweek is attributing to their assertion that Clinton could still become president three-months after he wrote the essay is:
“This is one way it could happen,” Lessig said. “But that’s very different from saying I think it will happen, or should happen, or [that] the evidence is there for it to happen.”
So yes, theoretically, it’s possible that the Republican Congress could impeach the Republican President, but come on. Let’s live in reality here, and know that’s not happening. Lessig isn’t saying that “HILLARY CLINTON COULD STILL BECOME PRESIDENT IF RUSSIA PROBE FINDS CONSPIRACY EVIDENCE,” just that theoretical scenarios exist where they could. Well, theoretically there could also be so many universes that Rick and Morty is a live documentary and not a scripted cartoon. A lot of things are possible depending on how crazy you want to get, and Newsweek is the kid in the corner huffing paint.
Not only is this three-month old story (written by their “Breaking News Writer”) hogwash, but the central person quoted in it wrote a very long rebuttal in the previously cited piece that Newsweek linked to above—part of which directly repudiated Newsweek for their initial mischaracterization of his essay. Per Professor Lessig:
The piece was picked up by Newsweek, and astonishingly (for Newsweek), all my qualifications were stripped away. Mine wasn’t an essay mapping the consequences under our Constitution of a hypothetical that people are actually asking about; it was a fantasy piece by a liberal law professor dreaming about how Clinton could become President. That caught the attention of Rush Limbaugh (yea, you’ll have to find that link yourself), who, nickers twisted, lambasted me on his radio show. I only knew this because scores of outraged Rushies rushed in to discipline me, offering free advice about whether I was a “moron” or worse, and disgusted at the idea that someone like me was teaching law.
Come back to reality, Newsweek. Please, this is sad.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.