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Liberal Harvard law professor says up to 20 Republican presidential electors may flip against Trump

Harvard University law professor Larry Lessig (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Harvard University law professor Larry Lessig said Tuesday that as many as 20 Republican members of the Electoral College are considering not voting for President-elect Donald Trump — more than half the number needed to thwart Trump from officially taking the White House.

"Obviously, whether an elector ultimately votes his or her conscience will depend in part upon whether there are enough doing the same. We now believe there are more than half the number needed to change the result seriously considering making that vote," Lessig, who himself ran for president this campaign cycle, told Politico.

According to Politico, Lessig's established a group of lawyers — the "Electors Trust" — who are offering pro bono legal counsel to any Republican elector who is considering not voting the way their state voted on Election Day.

More from Politico:

Lessig provided no evidence to back up his claim, but says his group has heard from 20 Republicans open to breaking with Trump. It’s unclear whether any of these potential anti-Trump GOP electors reside in states with laws that force them to vote for Trump or else be replaced by a pro-Trump alternate. Though similar laws are being challenged in court, it’s also unclear whether any Republicans in those states who vote against Trump would be counted.

Lessig's claims vastly repudiate those of the Republican National Committee, who say that only one Republican elector has vowed to not vote for Trump when the Electoral College convenes to officially vote for president.

So far, Chris Suprun of Texas is the only GOP elector who has publicly vowed to defy the way his state voted.

Trump won 306 Electoral College votes on Election Day, so it would take 37 electors to go against their state to stall Trump from being sworn into office next month.

Still, electors who vote against the results of their state — called "faithless electors" — have been a relatively rare occurrence in U.S. history. Only 82 electors have ever voted against their state's results, and none of those votes ever changed the outcome of a presidential election.

The Electoral College meets on Monday to cast their ballots.

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