Trump castigates Supreme Court, Barr as election challenges sputter

By Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump lambasted the Supreme Court on Saturday for declining to take a case he hoped would overturn President-elect Joe Biden's election victory and called Attorney General William Barr a 'disappointment.' The nation's high court late on Friday rejected an unprecedented lawsuit by Texas seeking to throw out voting results from four states. The decision comes ahead of a meeting by the U.S

Reuters December 13, 2020 05:10:47 IST
Trump castigates Supreme Court, Barr as election challenges sputter

Trump castigates Supreme Court Barr as election challenges sputter

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump lambasted the Supreme Court on Saturday for declining to take a case he hoped would overturn President-elect Joe Biden's election victory and called Attorney General William Barr a "disappointment."

The nation's high court late on Friday rejected an unprecedented lawsuit by Texas seeking to throw out voting results from four states.

The decision comes ahead of a meeting by the U.S. Electoral College on Monday to make Biden's victory official.

Trump, a Republican, has refused to concede despite losing to Biden. The Democratic former vice president won 306 votes to Trump's 232 in the state-by-state Electoral College, which allots votes to all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on population.

"The Supreme Court had ZERO interest in the merits of the greatest voter fraud ever perpetrated on the United States of America," Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning, calling the decision a "disgraceful miscarriage of justice."

Trump has alleged widespread election fraud without evidence, while Biden has proceeded to plan his administration, appointing senior advisers and making cabinet picks despite the president's efforts to undermine his legitimacy.

Trump had touted the Texas case as a potential game changer in his efforts to overturn the election result and openly called on the Supreme Court and state legislators to help. More than 100 Congressional Republicans and 17 states signed onto the lawsuit.

But in a brief order the court said Texas did not have legal standing to bring the case. The three justices nominated by Trump - Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh - signed on to the order without comment.

The Trump campaign and its allies have filed dozens of lawsuits challenging the vote count in numerous states, but state and federal judges have rejected almost every one. Trump has shown little interest in giving up despite the repeated court defeats, writing on Twitter on Saturday, "WE HAVE JUST BEGUN TO FIGHT!!!"

WISCONSIN SUIT SHOT DOWN

On Saturday in Wisconsin alone, Trump lost a federal lawsuit even as skeptical state Supreme Court justices grilled one of his lawyers in another case.

U.S. District Judge Brett Ludwig, a Trump appointee, threw out what he described as the president's "extraordinary" effort to overturn the state's results in his favor.

"Plaintiff asks that 'the Rule of Law be followed,'" the judge wrote. "It has been."

Meanwhile, a Trump campaign lawyer, Jim Troupis, faced tough questions from members of the state's high court over a separate effort to invalidate the results in two Wisconsin counties, Dane and Milwaukee.

"This lawsuit, Mr. Troupis, smacks of racism," Judge Jill Karofsky said during the hearing, noting that both counties are heavily urban, ethnically diverse and Democratic.

The president also lashed out at his attorney general on Twitter after the Wall Street Journal reported that Barr knew earlier this year about an investigation into Biden's son Hunter's taxes.

In a statement released by the president-elect's transition team, Hunter Biden said on Wednesday that the U.S. Attorney's Office in Delaware was investigating his tax affairs, which he said he had handled "legally and appropriately."

Trump retweeted a comment from radio host Todd Starnes saying Barr should be fired. "A big disappointment!" Trump said in his tweet.

Barr's fate in the waning days of the Trump administration has been in question since he said last week that a Justice Department investigation had found no sign of major fraud in the November election, contradicting Trump's false claims.

Conservative groups supporting Trump rallied in Washington and elsewhere around the nation on Saturday to press the issue.

After spending the morning tweeting, Trump left for West Point, New York, to attend the Army-Navy football game, flying over cheering demonstrators in the Marine One helicopter on his way to Joint Base Andrews.

Biden was spending the day in Delaware, his home state, where he has been planning his transition. He attended church in the afternoon, wearing a protective boot on the foot he fractured recently while playing with one of his dogs.

In a Twitter post, the president-elect heralded Saturday's anniversary of the adoption of the Paris climate accord. Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement, but Biden has vowed to reverse that move.

"Five years ago today, the world gathered to adopt the Paris Agreement on climate change. And in 39 days, the United States is going to rejoin it," Biden wrote on Twitter. "We're going to rally the world to push our progress further and faster and tackle the climate crisis head-on."

Biden has identified recovering from the coronavirus pandemic, reviving the economy, and fighting climate change as key priorities once he takes office.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Additional reporting by Steve Holland, Sarah N. Lynch, Lucia Mutikani and Joseph Ax; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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