Could House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., become president if there is no election result by January?
"It might be right," Napolitano told host Stuart Varney. "President Trump's term ends at precisely noon on Jan. 20, 2021. If the Electoral College has not yet named a successor, presumably either Donald Trump or Joe Biden, then whoever is the speaker of the House would become the acting president of the United States."
He explained, "If the Democrats retain their majority in the House, and it appears likely that they will, but if they do, and if they choose Mrs. Pelosi, knowing at that point that they're choosing the president of the United States, then it would be she."
Democrats could choose someone else or the Republicans could have the majority if they flip the House in November, the judge said.
"Stated simply," he added, "whoever is the sitting speaker of the United States, would become president at noon on Jan. 20, 2021, if the Electoral College has failed to elect someone."
Napolitano further explained that if the Electoral College is unable to choose a successor, the election would go to the House of Representatives, not for a majority vote, but a vote by state, in which each state delegation would vote on their own, independent of their state's election results, and whoever has a majority of 26 states would become president until Jan. 20, 2025.
"That has happened," Napolitano noted. "That's how Thomas Jefferson was elected the first time around in 1800."