Trump lashes out at Supreme Court, Barr as efforts to overturn election fizzle

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.”

On Friday evening the nation’s high court rejected a long-shot 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 Democrat Biden’s victory official.

Trump, a Republican, has refused to concede despite losing to Biden, who took 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.

“This is a great and disgraceful miscarriage of justice. The people of the United States were cheated, and our Country disgraced. Never even given our day in Court!” Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning.

“The Supreme Court had ZERO interest in the merits of the greatest voter fraud ever perpetrated on the United States of America.”

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.

But 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 court’s order without comment.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr attend the 38th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/Files

In a series of apparently frustrated tweets, the president also lashed out at his attorney general 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 his morning of tweeting, Trump left for West Point, New York, to attend the Army-Navy football game, flying over the cheering demonstrators in the Marine One helicopter on his way to Joint Base Andrews.

The president has continued to press his allegations despite dozens of failures in courts. Though he has said he will leave the White House on Jan. 20 if the Electoral College affirms Biden’s win, he is likely to continue to decry the election as rigged and seek to undermine Biden’s presidency.

Biden was spending the day in Delaware, his home state, where he has been planning his transition. On Saturday he heralded the anniversary of the adoption of the Paris climate accord. Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement but Biden plans to bring the country back in.

“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 said on Twitter. “We’re going to rally the world to push our progress further and faster and tackle the climate crisis head-on.”

The president-elect 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 and Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Daniel Wallis