Undeterred by dismissals and admonitions from judges, Donald Trump’s campaign continued with its unprecedented efforts to overturn the results of the Nov 3. election today, saying it had filed a new petition with the Supreme Court.
The petition seeks to reverse a trio of Pennsylvania Supreme Court cases having to do with mail-in ballots and asks the court to reject voters’ will and allow the Pennsylvania General Assembly to pick its own slate of electors.
While the prospect of the highest court in the land throwing out the results of a democratic election based on unfounded charges of voter fraud is extraordinary unlikely, it wouldn’t change the outcome.
President-elect Joe Biden would still be the winner even without Pennsylvania because of his wide margin of victory in the Electoral College.
“The petition seeks all appropriate remedies, including vacating the appointment of electors committed to Joseph Biden and allowing the Pennsylvania General Assembly to select their replacements,” Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said in a statement.
He is asking the court to move swiftly so it can rule before Congress meets on Jan. 6 to tally the vote of the Electoral College, which decisively confirmed Biden’s win with 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232.
But the justices are not scheduled to meet again, even privately, until Jan 8, two days after Congress counts votes.
Pennsylvania last month certified Biden as the winner of the state’s 20 Electoral College votes after three weeks of vote counting and a string of failed legal challenges.
Trump’s campaign and his allies have now filed roughly 50 lawsuits alleging widespread voting fraud.
Almost all have been dismissed or dropped because there is no evidence to support their allegations.
Trump has lost before judges of both political parties, including some he appointed.
And some of his strongest rebukes have come from conservative Republicans.
The Supreme Court has also refused to take up two cases — decisions that Trump has scorned.
Longtime Trump watchers and mental health experts say Trump is plainly out of sorts.
It’s not just his odd behavior—the testy, tiny desk session with the press, the stilted Medal of Freedom ceremony that ended with his awkward exit, the cut-short trip to the Army-Navy football game.
It’s even more pointedly his conspicuous and ongoing absences.
The narcissistic Trump has spent the last half a century—but especially the last half a decade—making himself and keeping himself the most paid-attention-to person on the planet.
But in the month and a half since Election Day, Trump has been seen and heard relatively sparingly and sporadically.
No-showing unexpectedly at a Christmas party, sticking to consistently sparse public schedules and speaking mainly through his increasingly manic Twitter feed, he’s been fixated more than anything else on his baseless insistence that he won the election when he did not.
“He’s never been in a situation in which he has lost in a way he can’t escape from,” Mary Trump, his niece and the author of the fiercely critical and bestselling book about him and their family, said.
“We continue to wait for him to accept reality, for him to concede, and that is something he is not capable of doing,” added Bandy Lee, the forensic psychiatrist from Yale who’s spent the last four years trying to warn the world about Trump and the ways in which he’s disordered and dangerous.
“Being a loser,” she said, for Trump is tantamount to “psychic death.”
The combination of an unprecedented rebuke meeting an uncommonly vulnerable ego has some people wondering if there is a chance that Trump’s unusual actions suggest something potentially more dire.
Could he be on his way to a mental breakdown?
Louise Sunshine has known Trump longer than just about anybody.
She started working with him in the early 1970s.
“Maybe,” she responded.
Everybody, after all, has a breaking point.
“And he’s not indestructible,” said Barbara Res, a former Trump Organization executive vice president who was the construction manager for Trump Tower and just wrote a book called Tower of Lies.
“I do think Trump is struggling,” Tony Schwartz, the actual author of The Art of the Deal, told me, “and that this is far and away the toughest time he’s ever had.”
“His fragile ego has never been tested to this extent,” Michael Cohen, his former personal attorney and enforcer before he turned on him, told me. “While he’s creating a false pretense of strength and fortitude, internally he is angry, depressed and manic. As each day ends, Trump knows he’s one day closer to legal and financial troubles. Accordingly, we will all see his behavior deteriorate until it progresses into a full mental breakdown.”
“Psychological disorders are like anything else,” said Mary Trump, who’s also a psychologist. “If they’re unacknowledged and untreated over time, they get worse.”
In Lee’s estimation, it’s not something that could happen. It’s something that is happening, that’s been happening for the past four years—and will keep happening.
“His pathology has continued to grow, continued to cause him to decompensate, and so we’re at a stage now where his detachment from reality is pretty much complete and his symptoms are as severe as can be.” She likened Trump to “a car without functioning brakes.” Such a car, she explained, can look for a long time like it’s fine, and keep going, faster and faster, even outracing other cars. “But at the bottom of the hill,” Lee said, “it always crashes.”