In Harsh Rebuke, Appeals Court Rejects Trump’s Election Challenge in Pennsylvania

In a blistering decision, a Philadelphia appeals court ruled on Friday that the Trump campaign could not stop — or attempt to reverse — the certification of the voting results in Pennsylvania, reprimanding the president’s team by noting that “calling an election unfair does not make it so.”

The 21-page ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals was a complete repudiation of Mr. Trump’s legal effort to halt Pennsylvania’s certification process and was written by a judge that he himself appointed to the bench. “Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy,” Judge Stephanos Bibas wrote on behalf of the appeals court in a unanimous decision. “Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”

Many courts have used scathing language in tossing out a relentless barrage of lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign and its supporters since Election Day; but even so, the Third Circuit’s ruling was particularly blunt.

“Voters, not lawyers, choose the president,” the court declared at one point. “Ballots, not briefs, decide elections.”

The court accused the Trump campaign of engaging in “repetitive litigation” and pointed out that the public interest strongly favored “counting every lawful voter’s vote, and not disenfranchising millions of Pennsylvania voters who voted by mail.”

Even though Republican plaintiffs have continued filing lawsuits challenging the integrity of the elections and Mr. Trump has not let up on baselessly questioning the election results on Twitter, judges around the country — some of them appointed by Republicans — have held the line, ruling over and over that the legal actions in several swing states lack both merit and sufficient proof.

Last week, a federal judge in Atlanta appointed by Mr. Trump denied an emergency request to halt the certification of Georgia’s vote, saying that such a move “would breed confusion and disenfranchisement that I find have no basis in fact and law.”

Then there was the judge whose ruling was upheld by the Third Circuit, Matthew W. Brann of Federal District Court in Williamsport, Pa. When Judge Brann, a former Republican official and member of the conservative Federalist Society appointed by former President Barack Obama, dealt Mr. Trump’s team an initial legal defeat last Saturday, he likened the suit to “Frankenstein’s monster,” saying it had been “haphazardly stitched together.” He also noted that the suit was filled with “strained legal arguments” and “speculative accusations” that were “unsupported by evidence.”

The Pennsylvania decision came on a day of baseless tweets from Mr. Trump that the election was “a total scam,” that he “won by a lot” and that the news media “refuse to report the real facts and figures.”

Still, when asked on Thursday if he would leave the White House if the Electoral College, as expected, formalizes Mr. Biden’s victory, the president said: “Certainly I will.”

On Friday, moments after the three-judge panel from the Third Circuit handed down its ruling, Jenna Ellis, one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, wrote on Twitter that she and Rudolph W. Giuliani, who is leading the president’s postelection legal campaign, planned to appeal to the Supreme Court. In her Twitter post, Ms. Ellis accused “the activist judicial machinery in Pennsylvania” of covering up “allegations of massive fraud” despite the fact that all three judges on the panel were appointed by Republicans.

But even if the Supreme Court granted the Trump campaign’s proposed request to reverse the Third Circuit, it would not get much, given the narrow way in which the appeal was structured.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers had asked the appeals court only for permission to file a revised version of its original complaint to Judge Brann. If the Supreme Court abided by the strict terms of the appeal, it could do no more than return the case to Judge Brann’s court for further action.

In a letter to the Third Circuit earlier this week, lawyers for Mr. Trump had suggested that the appeals court could, on its own, reverse the certification of Pennsylvania’s vote, which took place on Tuesday when Gov. Tom Wolf signed off on the slate of 20 electors and solidified President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory there. Georgia certified its vote last week after a hand-recount of its five million ballots left Mr. Biden’s victory intact. But Mr. Trump’s lawyers stopped short of formally requesting such a move.

Still, the appeals court shot down that suggestion too, saying the campaign’s arguments for effectively undoing Pennsylvania’s election had “no merit” and would be “drastic and unprecedented.”

“That remedy would be grossly disproportionate to the procedural challenges raised,” the judges wrote.

In the initial complaint, the campaign’s lawyers had argued there were widespread improprieties with mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania and that Mr. Trump’s poll challengers were not allowed proper access to observe the vote and vote count.

But the appeals court dismissed these arguments as “vague and conclusory.”

Mr. Trump’s lawyers never alleged “that anyone treated the Trump campaign or Trump votes worse than it treated the Biden campaign or Biden votes,” the court wrote. “And federal law does not require poll watchers or specify how they may observe.”

The underlying lawsuit has been beset by legal snafus almost from the moment it began on Nov. 9.

One week after it was filed, the Trump campaign was already on its third set of lawyers. On Nov. 17, Mr. Giuliani, rushing into the matter, personally appeared at a hearing in front of Judge Brann and gave a disjointed opening statement that mentioned Mickey Mouse, former Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago and the Philadelphia mafia.

Mr. Giuliani also contradicted Mr. Trump — and his own public statements — by admitting at the hearing that no one was accusing Pennsylvania elections officials of committing fraud.

“This is not a fraud case,” he said.

The appeals court seemed to throw that statement back in Mr. Giuliani’s face in its decision.

“The Trump presidential campaign asserts that Pennsylvania’s 2020 election was unfair,” it wrote. “But as lawyer Rudolph Giuliani stressed, the campaign ‘doesn’t plead fraud.’”

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Trump Humiliated After Canceling Plan To Attend PA Election Fraud Hearing

Trump’s big plan to show at a Republican-led PA Senate hearing on election fraud has flopped as the president has canceled his trip.

Via the White House Pool Report:

Rudy Giuliani wasn’t able to come on the trip with Trump because two people that attended his most recent press conference with him got coronavirus.

Trump’s plan, it appears was to make a big splash with Rudy and attend the hearing to make the claim that the election was stolen from him, but instead, Trump is going to continue sulking in the White House until he goes off to his Florida club at some point this holiday season.

Trump was going to make an election fraud last stand, but instead, it was another humiliating defeat for a president who has been nothing but losing for more than three weeks.

For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.

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How Kerry Washington Celebrated The 2020 Election

Dancing, ice cream — could you ask for anything more?

Gedu, Sala / Terma,SL / BACKGRID

Kerry Washington stumped for Biden and Harris before Election Day (as you can see in this photo) — so it’s no surprise that she told People about her family celebrating when the election was formally called.

Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

“I was hanging out with my family, and it was actually raining here,” she explained. “My kids and I, [as soon as we heard the news], we went out and danced in the rain. We were splashing around in puddles and just enjoying it.”

George Pimentel / Getty Images

“We told them they could have ice cream. They were like, ‘We get ice cream!’ And I was like, ‘And also democracy!'”

Washington also talked to People about why she believes it’s important for her to speak her mind politically.

“…It’s not so much that I want to use my celebrity to tell people what to do,” she said. “It’s more just that as Americans, we live in a democracy that needs all of us to contribute and to use our voices.”

“…I’m not using social media to say, ‘I’m Kerry Washington, listen to me.’ I’m more saying, ‘I want you all to know that your voices are as important as mine. For this democracy to work, we need all of us to show up and to contribute.'”

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Trump’s Election Lawyers Just Melted Down And Started Attacking Each Other

Trump’s election lawyers are attacking each other now and fighting over who is really on the election legal team.

After Sidney Powell accused Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp of crimes, Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis said that Powell doesn’t work on the election challenge.

Kaitlin Collins of CNN tweeted:

The entire Trump legal challenge has become a national laughingstock. Giuliani and Ellis disavowed Powell after she appeared at a press conference with them on Friday.

Sidney Powell accused Bernie Sanders and Brian Kemp of conspiring in a cover-up to steal the election from Donald Trump. Powell has been pushing the debunked Dominion voting machines conspiracy theory that Trump adores. Trump’s legal team has lost almost three dozen challenges to the election, and now they are attacking each other.

It’s time to pack this circus up and send it home. Before election day people were afraid that Trump would mount a serious challenge to the results and plunge the nation into a constitutional crisis. Instead, Trump has put together a legal defense that looks just like his delusional and failed presidency.

Incompetence defined Trump’s presidency, and it is the hallmark characteristic of his efforts to challenge the election of Joe Biden.

For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.

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Hispanic Voters In Florida Who Fled Dictatorships Think The Election Was Stolen From Trump

If you fled to America from a country with history that included communist revolutions, don’t you think you’d have a heightened sense of the things that led to such events?

In Florida, there are many Hispanic voters who came to America from places like Cuba and Venezuela, and they think the 2020 election is being stolen.

Why do you suppose they feel that way?

Townhall reports:

TRENDING: AWFUL. Tucker Carlson Doubles Down, Hits Sidney Powell and Says No Evidence of Switching Votes — HERE ARE 11 TIMES THEY GOT CAUGHT SWITCHING VOTES (Video)

Hispanic Voters in Florida Feel Election Was Stolen from Trump

In Florida, many Hispanic voters are worried this election was stolen from Donald Trump. They’ve seen this before, hence why they fled places like Cuba and Venezuela. They’re also not too keen on the media censorship and bias during this race, either. Some interviewed by USA Today also said that they never feared communism becoming entrenched on America’s shores until this election year.

Margarita De Castro, who fled Cuba two years after Fidel Castro took over, has voted Republican ever since she arrived in the United States, citing her persecution by Cuban communists as one of the main reasons.

They point to this article from USA Today:

Latino voters who fled dictatorships fear election was stolen from President Trump

For many Americans, the idea of a presidential election devolving into a months-long battle for control of the nation may be unprecedented, but for many Latino supporters of President Donald Trump – many of whom escaped authoritarian regimes themselves – it raises old ghosts. There is no evidence of election fraud, but many fear covert socialists are in cahoots with the media in an attempt to rob a sitting U.S. president of power.

“People used to say Communism can’t happen in Cuba, and look how that turned out,” De Castro said on a recent afternoon as she played with her great-granddaughter in her home in West Miami, a working-class Cuban American enclave in South Florida where the majority of votes were cast for Trump.

“When you have national Democratic leaders praising Fidel Castro’s indoctrination programs and hailing neo-Marxists as ‘the future of the party,’ it communicated to our community that the Democratic Party does not respect our values,” said Giancarlo Sopo, a Cuban American communication strategist on the Trump campaign. “We simply voted accordingly, as did many other Latinos – like Colombians and Peruvians – who want nothing to do with socialism and the progressive agenda.”

Do you think these people are just crazy conspiracy theorists?

They lived this. It’s documented history. They’re not just making it up.

Cross posted from American Lookout.

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Breaking New

U.S. Election, Boris Johnson, Nagorno-Karabakh: Your Monday Briefing

(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)

Good morning.

We’re covering the latest from the U.S. election, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s quarantine and a turning point in Nagorno-Karabakh.

More than a week after Joe Biden was declared the winner in the U.S. presidential election, Mr. Trump continues to block his successor’s transition, withholding intelligence briefings and critical access to the coronavirus task force and other elements of the vast machinery of government that Mr. Biden will soon oversee.

A tweet by the president on Sunday morning appeared to provide some recognition of Mr. Biden’s victory, but Mr. Trump quickly walked back his statement, asserting in a separate post that “WE WILL WIN!” He still maintains, without evidence, that the election was rigged.

Biden looks ahead: With the presidential election essentially in the rearview, Mr. Biden and his team have begun choreographing the policy steps they could take in a government no longer under the direction of Mr. Trump.

A divided nation: Democrats and Republicans face perhaps the most up-for-grabs electoral landscape in a generation, with both parties’ traditional strongholds increasingly under siege.

The president versus the media: Echoing similar concerns to those voiced by Mr. Trump, President Emanuel Macron of France accused the English-language media of “legitimizing” violence and demonstrating a lack of shared values.

A deal brokered by Russia has ended weeks of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh, leaving Armenians to pack up their houses as they retreat while Azerbaijanis plan a joyful return to long-lost lands.

For Armenians forced to flee, the outcome is a tragedy. Many appeared determined to make resettling the area as difficult as possible, burning homes, destroying infrastructure and disassembling restaurants and gas stations. In Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, police officers in balaclavas detained scores of protesters who accused Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of treason for acceding to the peace deal.

For at least the next five years, nearly 2,000 Russian forces will patrol the line between Azerbaijani- and Armenian-controlled regions, in a deal that reasserted Russian influence in the formerly Soviet southern Caucasus.

By the numbers: Since Sept. 27, at least 2,317 Armenian soldiers have died in the conflict. Azerbaijan has not released a death toll.

Quote: “How can I burn this?” said Ashot Khanesyan, a 53-year-old Armenian, referring to the home he had built and was about to desert in the town of Kelbajar. He said his neighbors had urged him to destroy the house but “my conscience won’t let me.”

Seven months after he battled a serious case of Covid-19, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain announced on Sunday that he would be quarantining after coming into contact with a lawmaker later found to be infected.

Mr. Johnson is otherwise conducting business as usual, officials said. “He will carry on working from Downing Street, including on leading the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic,” his office’s statement said.

Experts say it’s still too early to know how long immunity to the coronavirus lasts, but reinfection with the virus is thought to be very rare for at least many months after the first illness. Mr. Johnson’s office said in a statement that he felt fine and was showing no symptoms.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In other developments:

  • Mexico has exceeded a total of one million coronavirus cases, the 11th country to do so.

  • Israel has contracted to buy enough of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine to inoculate four million of its nine million citizens. The authorities in the impoverished Gaza Strip announced more than 400 new infections on Sunday, the highest single-day total since the pandemic began.

  • To survive the pandemic, the famed tailors of Savile Row in London have embraced alterations including digital fittings, ready-to-wear lines and even a brigade of robots.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide in Myanmar’s recent elections, setting up five more years in which she will share power with the military that has ruled the country for nearly 50 years. Above, supporters celebrating in Yangon on Nov. 9.

She remains popular at home, yet it is hard to think of another human rights hero whose global prestige has diminished as quickly. Our reporter looked at her shift from democracy icon to defender of a military accused of genocide.

Belarus: Despite months of mass protests, President Aleksandr Lukashenko has been able to cling to power through a combination of harsh police tactics, hollow promises of reform and the insidious domestic security agency that uses its old Soviet name, the K.G.B.

Free trade: China and 14 other nations, including Japan and New Zealand, signed one of the world’s largest regional free trade agreements, covering 2.2 billion people.

John Paul II, reconsidered: The former pope was fast-tracked for canonization immediately after his death. But a tarnished legacy in dealing with the church’s sex abuse scandals has left critics to wonder whether it was too fast.

Space X launch: A rocket blasted off from Florida with a capsule carrying four astronauts — three from NASA and one from JAXA, the Japanese space agency — to the International Space Station. After a trip of some 27.5 hours in orbit, the astronauts will begin a six-month stay.

Snapshot: Above, people from the Tigray region in Ethiopia waiting to register at a United Nations refugee center in Hamdayet, Sudan, on Saturday. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s two-year feud with the region’s rebellious ruling party has exploded into a war that threatens to upend the entire Horn of Africa.

Lives Lived: The architect and interior decorator David Easton, who created English-style palaces for an American aristocracy, complete with helicopter landing pads and formal English gardens, died last month at 83.

Princess Diana: Since “The Crown” began airing on Netflix in 2016, fans have excitedly anticipated Princess Diana’s character. She arrived over the weekend, in the first episode of the show’s fourth season.

What we’re reading: This Twitter thread. “Somebody, somewhere made a joke about turning the animated movie ‘Ratatouille’ into a musical,” said Andrea Kannapell, the Briefings editor, “and this collects some of the amazing young talent coming up with songs.”

Do: Take a virtual tango lesson, or tour Japan’s stores by phone. As travel begins to tick up, experience companies are adapting to social distancing in new ways.

Get your week off to a good start. At Home has ideas on what to read, cook, watch and do while staying safe indoors.

Donald G. McNeil Jr., one of our science and health reporters, has been at the forefront of The Times’s coverage of the coronavirus. He spoke to Times Insider about prospects for a vaccine and the latest surge in cases in the U.S. and in Europe.

There’s a lot of optimism around Pfizer’s announcement last week, which suggested its mRNA-based vaccine could be more than 90 percent effective. What should we make of this? Is it too soon to rejoice?

No, I’d say a little rejoicing is in order. The F.D.A. has said it would accept a vaccine that was only 50 percent effective, which is worse than some year’s flu shots, so everyone’s expectations were lowered. This is pretty great. Plus, we were already pretty sure that mRNA vaccines would be harmless. With this type of vaccine, you’re injecting just a short stretch of the virus’s genome packed into a tiny ball of fat with a mild electric charge. In contrast, some vaccines use a whole virus that is killed or weakened and is more likely to cause bad reactions.

Pfizer actually said its vaccine is at least 90 percent effective. We need to be cautious: That was its news release, rather than the actual data, which scientists will want to examine. But I’ve read previous news releases from Big Pharma companies and compared them with the data issued later, and they’ve been honest.

What’s your view on the efficiency of lockdowns?

We need to stop thinking of lockdowns as if they are an end in themselves. A really harsh lockdown — in which people are literally ordered to stay home — pauses transmission long enough for you to launch real tools: rapid accurate testing, rapid contact tracing, isolation of infected people away from their families, and so on.

That’s it for this briefing. Wishing you a joyful start to the week.

— Natasha

Thank you
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach the team at

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about President Trump’s refusal to concede the election.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Capital of Vietnam (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The word “hyperfuturist” — about a new Lil Nas X music video — appeared for the first time in The Times yesterday, as noted by the Twitter bot @NYT_first_said.
Azam Ahmed, who became our Mexico City bureau chief in 2015, has won the Michael Kelly Award for covering the brutal cycles of violence afflicting Latin America and the Caribbean “with deeply felt humanity.”

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Trump Gives Putin A Cherished Parting Gift With Election Loss

Loser Donald Trump has rewarded Russian president Vladimir Putin with nearly everything he demanded over the past four years, and now that he is an official loser, Trump is giving Putin the gift he’s lusted after for decades.

It is no revelation that Vladimir Putin detests everything about the West, with a particularly vehement animus towards the United States of America and its so-called representative democracy. It is also no great revelation that dirty Donald Trump also hates America nearly as much as he abhors its struggling representative democracy; any aspiring dictator loathes following the voice and will of the people and Trump is no exception.

The recent presidential election’s results certainly put Trump in a bad mood, and building on his years of condemnation ofAmerica’s system of government, Trump is giving Putin the grand prize – the peoples’ mistrust of the American electoral process and by extension distrust of the government. It is more dangerous a threat to America than any hostile foreign power could present.

It is a sad state of affairs, but over the past week the majority of Republicans at all levels have joined Trump in making Putin’s wildest dream come true. It is noteworthy to mention that all Americans haven’t lost faith in America’s 231 year old founding document or the representative democracy the Constitution’s Framers created. The Founding Fathers’ intent was to allow governance by the people through their elected representatives. Because of Trump and Republicans’ efforts to sow doubt about the electoral process, Republican voters are most affected by the GOP and Trump’s due diligence in “eroding trust and confidence in elections” and inciting an insidious belief that elections are rigged. Except, that is, when Republicans prevail. 

According to a study by political science researchers from Stanford University and five other institutions of higher learning, exposure to Trump’s tweets casting doubt on the legitimacy of the election’s results “erodes trust” among Republican voters who increasingly believe that America’s electoral process is rigged against them, their man-turned-god standard bearer, and their evangelical racist worldview. The study found that among Democrats the trust in the electoral process actually increased “after seeing Trump’s tweets” over the past six months generally, and specifically over the past couple of weeks.

As the majority of Americans know for a fact, there were no irregularities, there was no cheating, and there was no fraud in the election. It is also a fact that the Republicans “humoring” Trump know there was no fraud in the election. But they are either so terrified of crossing the loser Trump, or alienating their stupid supporters, that the majority of Republican politicians publicly concur with Trump that there was mass fraud in ballot counting; but only at the very top of the ticket. The Republicans who support Trump’s claim of fraud and cheating, many who won reelection to their respective offices, are not complaining about voter fraud in their races.

It is almost certain that many Republican voters know the election was not fraught with abuse or “irregularities” by any means; especially in states where Republicans running for Congress prevailed. However, there is an alarming number of Trump’s cult members who are convinced their demigod was cheated and await word from Trump to arm up and take the streets with blood lust in their eyes. That level of civil unrest would please Trump for sure, but it would excite Vladimir Putin to no end. 

It is important to remember that like Trump sowing antipathy among Americans towards NATO and the global community, nothing would please Putin more than millions of Americans losing faith in their own government. Putin has, after all, spent no small amount of energy undermining Americans’ confidence in government as well as in science; an effort that, with Trump’s valuable assistance, has created blatant mistrust in anything related to reality. 

For their part, Republicans have spent the past twenty years or so claiming there is rampant voter fraud to convince their base that institutionalized voter suppression is absolutely necessary to preserve the white religious supremacy responsible for social injustice targeting people of color, women, and the LGBTQ community.

If it were just Trump attempting to undermine confidence in America’s representative democracy it would be a serious problem for the nation. However, it is an atrocity that the Republican movement has joined Trump and cast aspersions on the electoral process because he is a pouty sore loser.

Sadly, far too many Americans buy in to the concept of electoral fraud targeting Trump and his evangelical racist supporters with no small number of those acolytes ready and willing to take up arms against other Americans and the government – something Vladimir Putin, dirty Don Trump, and Republicans are celebrating as a victory against democracy.

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Read The Trump Campaign’s Full Michigan Lawsuit — Including Election Fraud Witness Affidavits

The Trump campaign has filed a massive lawsuit in Michigan complete with hundreds of witness statements about illegal activity and Republican poll watchers being barred from observing the count.

The lawsuit takes aim at the Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson along with the Wayne County and the Michigan Board of Canvassers, who are in charge of reviewing elections.

“Michigan’s election code contains a host of provisions intended to prevent fraudulent ballots from being counted. A fraudulent ballot, if counted, disenfranchises a lawful voter. Michigan’s election code vests Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, as Michigan’s ‘chief election officer,’ with the responsibility to direct and oversee Michigan’s counties, townships, and villages ’ conduct of elections,” the lawsuit states.

“Unfortunately, Wayne County did not conduct (and is not conducting) this election as required by Michigan law, and Secretary of State Benson did not require Wayne County to follow Michigan’s election code. Among other things, election officials in Wayne County refused to permit statutorily designated challengers to observe the conduct of the election and the processing of ballots. Some election officials pre-dated ballots that were not eligible to be counted by altering the date the ballot was received.”

TRENDING: BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Open Records Request Finds NO INVOICES OR WORK ORDERS on Reported Election Day Water Main Break in Atlanta — Here’s What We Found…

Read the full lawsuit and accompanying affidavits:

Michigan lawsuit by Natalie Winters

Affidavits by Natalie Winters

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Election Officials In Dozens Of States Step Forward To Debunk Trump’s Voter Fraud Claims

Donald Trump lost the election to Joe Biden, and now the outgoing president is crying fraud like a sore loser in hopes that it will somehow alter the outcome.

Hint: It won’t.

On Tuesday night, The New York Times reported that election officials in a number of states across the country have found no evidence to back up Trump’s desperate claims.

According to the report, “Election officials in dozens of states representing both political parties said that there was no evidence that fraud or other irregularities played a role in the outcome of the presidential race, amounting to a forceful rebuke of President Trump’s portrait of a fraudulent election.”

Not only did these officials deny that any widespread fraud took place, but The New York Times reports that they called the election a “remarkable success,” despite a raging pandemic and record voter turnout.

The report quotes a Republican official in Ohio calling voter fraud claims “conspiracy theories and rumors” and a GOP leader in Kansas saying there was not “any widespread, systematic issues with voter fraud, intimidation, irregularities or voting problems.”

The newspaper contacted officials in every state and couldn’t find any substantive evidence to back up Trump’s claim that widespread voter fraud cost him the election.

Trump appears to be the only person unable to accept the election results

On Tuesday night, Donald Trump again claimed the election was rigged, saying that the American people will not stand for it.

“People will not accept this Rigged Election!” he whined.

But the fact is the world has largely moved on. Though Republicans have played along with Trump’s tantrum, even they know the goose is cooked. Leaders from around the globe have called to congratulate Joe Biden and offer their support.

According to new a poll, nearly 80 percent of Americans say Biden won the election and will be the next president.

Donald Trump appears to be the only person unable to accept what was a decisive, legitimate win for Joe Biden.

Follow Sean Colarossi on Facebook and Twitter

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DOJ Election Crimes head quits after Barr authorizes probes of Trump’s phony fraud claims

There is now a hint that Barr’s actions have broader implications than merely placating Trump as Trump attempts to come to terms with his loss, however. Just hours after Barr’s memo was distributed, reports NBC News, the Election Crimes Branch of the Department of Justice resigned, citing Barr’s new policy as the reason.

Election Crimes head Richard Pilger wrote in a memo announcing his resignation that he did so after “having familiarized myself with the new policy and its ramifications,” reports NBC. The network also says that Barr’s apparent do-nothing memo will actually be doing quit a lot: Prior department policy barred “overt” investigations of an election until that election “has been concluded.” Instead, Barr is  “authorizing” prosecutors to do it immediately, while ballots are being counted.

While Barr was careful to say only “apparently-credible” allegations should be investigated, which are a far cry from the claims Trump’s not-lawyers made in a press briefing sandwiched between a crematorium and sex toy shop, Pilger was outraged enough by the Barr’s move to immediately quit his post. That suggests that he, at least, thinks Barr is preparing to engage in whatever fishing expeditions might be required to delegitimize the November vote.

That still requires Donald Trump’s team of fascist deplorables to come up with any evidence of election fraud that is not based on asinine conspiracy theories, however, and so far Rudy Giuliani and other Trump allies haven’t come up with anything that was not immediately (1) disproven and (2) laughed out of court. Barr may still be thinking that the memo is a cheap way to get Trump off his back, but he also might be laying groundwork in preparation for seizing on some future Trump claim and running with it. It’s hard to say.

What we can’t assume, though, is that there is a line Barr is unwilling to cross on Trump’s behalf. Barr has helped hide evidence from Congress, has directly inserted himself into the prosecutions of Trump allies for Trump-serving crimes in order to sabotage those prosecutions, has traveled around the world looking for information to discredit his own department’s conclusions on the scope and impact of Russian election manipulation, and is described as a true believer in ever-more-extreme Republican efforts to consolidate party power by whatever means necessary.

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