US President Donald Trump remains defiant despite the Supreme Court's refusal to consider a plea by Texas to overturn the result of the presidential election.
The bid by Texas, which was backed by Trump himself and 17 other states, was given short shrift by the justices. It was the latest and most serious blow to his attempt to block Joe Biden from becoming president next month.
Trump, who had nurtured hopes that the conservative majority on the court - including three justices he appointed - would ride to his rescue, rounded on the bench on Saturday (US time).
"The Supreme Court had ZERO interest in the merits of the greatest voter fraud ever perpetrated on the United States of America," he wrote on Twitter.
"All they were interested in is "standing", which makes it very difficult for the President to present a case on the merits. 75,000,000 votes!"
With thousands of supporters gathering in Washington DC, he added: "We have just begun to fight."
Rudy Giuliani, who has led Trump's legal battle to quash the election result, said the President's team would attempt to rekindle the fight by taking the cases back to lower courts.
"We're not finished," he concluded. "Believe me."
Attorney General Bill Barr also found himself under renewed attack from the president, triggering speculation that he could be sacked within days.
Barr, who had already attracted Trump's ire by concluding that there was no evidence of serious fraud in the election, further annoyed the president following reports he had chosen not to reveal details of a justice department probe into Joe Biden's son, Hunter, before election day.
Retweeting a call for Barr to be sacked, the president described the attorney general as "a big disappointment".
Trump's legal team has indicated it is ready to push to overturn his election defeat until Biden is inaugurated next month.
A critical date in confirming the election result comes on Monday (Tuesday NZT) when electors, the handful of individuals in each state who officially nominate the president thanks to the electoral college system, gather to make that choice.
While it is theoretically possible for some to ignore voters in their states and select another candidate, such a move would be unprecedented and deeply controversial. Therefore it is expected Biden will be picked.
Giuliani is refusing to treat Monday's ceremony as decisive, pinpointing two dates in January as more critical.
One is January 6, when Congress gathers to effectively ratify the election result, and the other is January 20, the inauguration date which is specifically named in the US Constitution for when the defeated president leaves office.
The joint session of both houses of Congress on January 6 is normally ceremonial. Starting at 1pm, the votes of electors are read out and the vice president announces the winner.
However, Mo Brooks, a Republican congressman from Alabama, said he was ready to lodge an objection. He has also spoken to 10 senators, hoping to persuade one to follow suit and trigger a two-hour debate and vote in each house.
It would be a symbolic protest. With the Democrats controlling the House of Representatives and several Republican senators already calling on Trump to concede, there is no chance of Congress overturning the result.