Donald Trump's Absolutely Dreadful Weekend Explained For Brits

It's been defeat after stinging defeat for the president.

Thousands of demonstrators marched in cities across the US on Saturday, echoing Donald Trump’s claim that last month’s presidential election was stolen from him.

Their evidence? Well there isn’t any. And unfortunately for the president, the people and institutions he was relying on to back up his baseless assertions are one by one doing exactly the opposite.

One of the latest to do so is the most important by far – the US Supreme Court, which on Friday turned down yet another of Trump’s attempts to overturn the election result.

“From a legal perspective, the fat lady has sung,” said Steve Vladeck, a CNN Supreme Court analyst and University of Texas Law professor.

The deadline

For context, all of the weekend’s action is happening ahead of a crucial event on Monday – a meeting of the US Electoral College on Monday which will make Joe Biden’s victory official.

The Supreme Court

Ever since Joe Biden was declared the winner of the US presidential election last month, Trump has repeatedly hinted his hopes that the Supreme Court would come to his rescue and overturn the result.

His optimism is based on the fact that during his presidency he appointed three Supreme Court justices which, in the loyalty-driven world of Donald Trump, he assumed would gift him their support.

On Friday evening, Trump found out that it is in fact US law that dictates the actions of the court as it rejected a Texas lawsuit that sought to invalidate Biden’s win by throwing out millions of votes in four battleground states, including Wisconsin.

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, Reuters reports.

Trump spent much of Saturday condemning his perceived betrayal on Twitter.

The Wisconsin case

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.

And yet again, it was people appointed by the president himself who made the decision.

District judge Brett Ludwig, a Trump appointee, dismissed the president’s request for the court to order the Republican-controlled legislature in Wisconsin to name him the winner, and not Biden.

In a scathing judgment, the judge said Trump’s arguments “fail as a matter of law and fact”.

The other Wisconsin case

Trump’s attorney Jim Troupis had asked the Wisconsin supreme court to reject more than 221,000 absentee ballots, including his own, saying they were cast fraudulently based on incorrect interpretations of the law by elections officials.

But he faced a barrage of questions about his claims from both liberal and conservative justices, some of whom said the legal action “smacks of racism”.

“What you want is for us to overturn this election so that your king can stay in power,” said liberal justice Jill Karofsky. “That is so un-American.”

Conservative justices appeared to be sympathetic to some issues raised by Trump, but also questioned how they could fairly disqualify ballots only in the two counties where Trump sought a recount and not other counties where the same procedures were followed.

Trump is challenging ballots only in Milwaukee and Dane counties, the state’s most liberal counties with the largest non-white populations.

He is not challenging any votes in more conservative counties where he won, PA Media reports.

“This lawsuit, Mr Troupis, smacks of racism,” justice Karofsky said. “I do not know how you can come before this court and possibly ask for a remedy that is unheard of in US history.

“It is not normal.”

The attorney general

In non-election news, the president has also been aggrieved by his attorney general William Barr, calling him a “big disappointment” on Twitter.

The outburst was prompted by a Wall Street Journal report 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 US Attorney’s Office in Delaware was investigating his tax affairs, which he said he had handled “legally and appropriately”.

Trump appears to believe that investigating the affair earlier could have boosted his chances of winning the election – even though he maintains he did actually win.

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.

So what does this all mean?

In essence, those thousands of demonstrators who marched in cities across the US on Saturday, echoing Donald Trump’s claim that last month’s presidential election was stolen from him, are completely wasting their time.

Not that it has stopped Trump from continuing to claim otherwise...


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