Donald Trump Admits His Intention to Exploit the Supreme Court to Steal the Election
Moments after baselessly blaming China for his own failure to prevent the carnage wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, President Donald Trump on Tuesday admitted that the rush to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court is part of his scheme to cheat his way into a second term.
Asked to address Democrats’ fears that appointing a Ginsburg successor before the election would “tear the country apart,” Trump instead lobbed disjointed falsehoods about electoral fraud at reporters on the White House lawn.
"We need 9 justices. You need that. With the unsolicited millions of ballots that they're sending … you're gonna need 9 justices." — Trump suggests he's counting on SCOTUS to have his back when he makes claims of election fraud following November's election pic.twitter.com/Ju8ShMe8MN
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 22, 2020
“Oh I don’t think so. We need nine justices. You need that,” Trump said, citing without evidence “the unsolicited millions of ballots that they’re sending. It’s a scam, it’s a hoax. Everybody knows that, and the Democrats know it better than anybody else.”
Trump totally botched the truth, as CNN noted in a fact-check of that same dubious claim last month:
For this election, 35 states, approximately 2/3 of the country, allow voters the option to vote absentee either because of coronavirus or without an excuse. In six states, voters must still provide an acceptable excuse, which does not include the pandemic, in order to vote by mail. These mail-in ballots, which make up part of the estimated 80 million total, are not unsolicited.
Next, the president suggested that he intends to wage an election battle that he will win, somehow, at the Supreme Court. “So you’re going to need nine justices up there, I think it’s gonna be very important, because what they’re doing is a hoax with the ballots. They’re sending out tens of millions of ballots, unsolicited, not where they’re being asked, but unsolicited, and that’s a hoax, and you’re gonna need to have nine justices.”
Here again, Trump twisted reality, which was clarified by CNN:
What the President is likely referring to when he voices concerns about unsolicited ballots are the nine states where every registered voter will receive a ballot in the mail for the upcoming election. However, five of those states (Colorado, Oregon, Utah, Hawaii and Washington) have been holding their elections primarily by mail since before the pandemic, so voters who register in these states do so knowing they’ll likely submit their ballot by mail. The four remaining states (California, Vermont, Nevada, and New Jersey) plus Washington DC switched this year — so, voters there who were already registered didn’t actively request a mail-in ballot for this election.
Those nine states and Washington, DC, which is also mailing ballots directly, account for over 43 million voters as of mid-August. The five places that changed their policies for this election to send ballots to all voters — DC, California, Vermont, Nevada and New Jersey — have at least 29 million registered voters by the latest available count. Based on this data, the number of truly unsolicited ballots sent out is at most, around half of what the President claims, and likely even less.
Nevertheless, Trump insisted that “doing it before the election would be a very good thing, because you’re probably gonna see it, because what they’re doing is trying to sow confusion and everything else.”
This is projection of the highest order.
Trump then accused Russia and China – who are indeed fueling the right-wing misinformation machine – of ballot manipulation.
“And, you know, when they talk about Russia, China, and all these others, they will be able to do something here because paper ballots are very simple – whether they counterfeit them, forge them, do whatever you want. It’s a very serious problem,” Trump said.
If the president meant the former — that foreign governments would create millions of counterfeit ballots, and that enough of them might slip by election officials to swing the election — many voting experts say that would be impossible.
But Trump, a maestro at deflecting blame, pointed fingers at the other side.
“Democrats know what they’re doing is wrong, and all they want to do is go forward with it,” the president said. “So I think you’re going to need the nine justices.”
Forty days until we vote.