Can the U.S. Supreme Court extend President Donald Trump's term by up to three years if he is acquitted by the Senate? No, that's not true: The U.S constitution makes no provisions for a presidential term to be extended by the high court if there if an impeachment trial ends with a decision of acquital. This claim is a hoax published by a satire site, but it has been copied as real by other websites.
The story originated from an article published by Daily World Update on December 12, 2019 titled "Supreme Court Can Extend Trump's Term By Up To 3 Years If He's Acquitted In The Senate" (archived here) which opened:
There's a little-known precedent on the books that Democrats are trying desperately to have removed before the impeachment trial of President Trump begins. In 1974, as Nixon faced impeachment, the Republican Congress passed a law that would allow his term to be extended if he was acquitted.
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
There's precedent for this already.
The site is part of the "America's Last Line of Defense" network of satire websites run byself-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair from Maine along with a loose confederation of friends and allies. Blair has been in a feud with fact checking website Snopes for some time now and has also criticized other fact checkers in the past who labeled his work "fake news" instead of satire. In reaction to this he has recently rebranded all his active websites and Facebook pages so they carry extremely visible disclaimers everywhere.
Every site in the network has an about page that reads (in part):
Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with "comedy":
The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you're still having an issue with that satire thing.
Articles from Blair's sites frequently get copied by "real" fake news sites who often omit the satire disclaimer and any other hints the stories are fake. Blair has tried to get these sites shut down in the past but new ones keep cropping up.
Here is a video of Blair explaining how his process works:
If you are interested in learning more about Blair and the history of his sites, here is something to get you started:
STORY UPDATED: check for updates below. Yesterday Eli Saslow at the Washington Post wrote a fantastic article about Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has been trolling conservatives and Trump supporters online for years and occasionally even made a living out of it.
If you see one of his stories on a site that does not contain a satire disclaimer, assume it is fake news. If you do see the satire disclaimer it is of course also fake news.
NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes dailyworldupdate.us as:
A news site that publishes false stories and hoaxes that are often mistaken for real news. The site is part of a network run by hoax perpetrator Christopher Blair.
According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.
We wrote about dailyworldupdate.us before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:
- Fake News: Trump Rally Crowd Size In Chicago Did NOT Show Dems Are Turning To Trump
- Fake News: Pelosi Did NOT Demand Doctor Hand Over Trump's Medical Records
- Fake News: Giuliani Did NOT Quietly File Suit Against Ilhan Omar for Blatant Prejudice on Behalf of White House
- Fake News: Nancy Pelosi's Military Budget Committee Did NOT Put 5 Aircraft Carriers Up For Sale
- Fake News: NO Ocasio-Cortez Bill Requires Seniors to Renew Driver's Licenses Monthly