President Pro Tempore Of The US Senate

Mike Pence: A Morally And Ethically Challenged Vice President, Who Signed A Pact With The Devil, And Now Is Suspect As Possible Successor!

Vice President Mike Pence is facing a very difficult situation, as Donald Trump implodes, and as his prospects of staying in office for the next three years and eight months becomes more difficult to accomplish. Mike Pence, by agreeing to run for Vice President, became tied to the fate of Donald Trump, and one could argue that he signed a pact with the devil. He could, ultimately, benefit, by becoming the 46th President of the United States, but let’s not jump to that conclusion quite yet.

In the midst of the Trump crisis of leadership, Mike Pence himself is coming under a moral and ethical cloud, as he has been shown to have lied about when he learned about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian government leaders, including Vladimir Putin and the Russian Ambassador to the United States.

And actually, there now seems to be evidence that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan also seemed to know of Trump collusion with the Russian government as early as June 2016, and told his House colleagues to stay quiet and remember they are part of a team to work for the party over any such evidence.

So we might be faced with a constitutional crisis worse than imagined as the top three leaders of the government under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947–the President, the Vice President, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives–might all be compromised as having knowledge of or collusion with a foreign government that worked to undermine the American electoral process, and to help Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton in the Presidential Election of 2016.

If that unbelievable scenario turns out to be totally the case, then we would have the unprecedented situation of Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch of Utah, who has been in the US Senate for more than 40 years, and is the longest serving Republican Senator in all of American history, and age 83, becoming President of the United States!

Can this really be happening? Stay tuned!

Three “Unknown” Potential Presidents In Two Assassination Incidents: Abraham Lincoln And William McKinley

As discussed in my new book, ASSASSINATIONS, THREATS, AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY: FROM ANDREW JACKSON TO BARACK OBAMA, in two of our tragic assassinations of American Presidents,  there are three, relatively unknown, potential Presidents who could have emerged.

Two of these individuals are relevant to the Abraham Lincoln Assassination–President Pro Tempore, Senator Lafayette Foster, of Connecticut; and Vice President Hannibal Hamlin.

IF Vice President Andrew Johnson had been killed when Lincoln was, on April 14, 1865, as he was supposed to be under the John Wilkes Booth plot against the US Government, the next in line under the Presidential Succession Act of 1792 would have been Lafayette Foster, an obscure member of the Senate.

IF Lincoln had not replaced first time Vice President Hannibal Hamlin with Andrew Johnson, Hamlin would have become President, instead of Johnson.

Also, when William McKinley was assassinated in 1901, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, only six months in office, succeeded him, but IF first term Vice President Garret Hobart had not died in office of heart disease in 1899, it is likely he would have been Vice President in the second term, and would, therefore, have become President.  We might not even know who Theodore Roosevelt was, as simply a New York Governor, but not of national significance, other than his role in the Spanish American War as a “Rough Rider” in Cuba.

So these three “unknown” potential Presidents–Lafayette Foster, Hannibal Hamlin, and Garret Hobart—remain in relative obscurity in history, and Andrew Johnson and Theodore Roosevelt became famous!

The Constitutional Crisis We Tend To Forget: Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, And Gerald Ford In 1973

The tragedy of the John F. Kennedy Assassination in 1963 led to a decision that the nation needed an amendment to provide for a replacement Vice President, when there was a vacancy in that office.  We were faced with a Speaker of the House, John McCormack, who was 73, and a President Pro Tempore of the US Senate, Carl Hayden, who was 86, at a time when the new President, Lyndon B. Johnson, had had a severe heart attack eight years earlier.

This was a delicate time, and led Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana, and other legislators, to promote the 25th Amendment, which was added to the Constitution in 1967.  And that made the constitutional crisis which followed six years later a little easier to deal with.

Richard Nixon became the most lawless President in American history, as a result of the Watergate Scandal and other scandals.  But Vice President Spiro Agnew also became the most lawless Vice President in American history, and thank goodness we found out about Agnew’s lawlessness, including bribery and accepting cash gifts in the Vice President’s office, which Agnew had also done while Governor of Maryland and Baltimore County Executive.

Instead of having Speaker of the House Carl Albert of Oklahoma as next in line, with Albert unwilling to take on the responsibility, the 25th Amendment allowed the appointment and confirmation by both houses of Congress of House Minority Leader Gerald Ford.

Ford became Vice President within two months of the Agnew resignation on October 10, 1973. and when he became President, Ford appointed and gained the approval of both houses of Congress to the appointment of former New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller as his Vice President, although it took four months to get him confirmed.

The problem of most Speakers of the House is their lack of competence to be President, which is still a problem for a period of months until a new Vice President is appointed and confirmed.  And also, three out of four years since 1947, the Speaker and or the President Pro Tempore of the Senate have been from the opposition party of the President.

So this still requires what this blogger has suggested in the past week in the midst of the Speakership crisis—a return to the Presidential Succession Act of 1886, which provided for Cabinet officers to succeed the President and Vice President, rather than the present law, the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, which leaves us with the crisis we face now!