Judge rules pro-Trump lawyers abused court system with ‘fantastic’ 2020 lawsuit
A Michigan federal judge sanctioned nine pro-Donald Trump attorneys on Wednesday, saying they had abused the court system and spread conspiracy theories when they filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 state election.
US District Judge Linda Parker wrote that Trump’s lawyers it had attempted to sue in “bad faith and for an improper purpose” in a scathing 110-page opinion, adding that they had worked to mislead the American public.
Attorneys named in the warrant include Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, two prominent conservatives who were spokespersons for the former president’s attempts to undermine the election results, which his opponent Joe Biden won by more than 7 million votes.
“This lawsuit represents a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process. It is one thing to assume the charge of claiming rights associated with an allegedly fraudulent election, ”the judge wrote. “It’s another thing to take on the charge of misleading a federal court and the American people into believing that rights were violated, regardless of whether laws or rights were actually violated.”
“This is what happened here,” Parker said.
Shortly after Biden was declared the Michigan winner by about 154,000 votes, Powell and Wood sued and asked the courts to decertify the state’s results and seize the voting machines. Parker ruled that Michigan’s lawsuit was “dazzling in scope and staggering in scope,” calling some of the attorney’s claims “fantastic.”
The lawsuit was one of four legal actions known as “Kraken” lawsuits that featured bizarre conspiracy theories related to Dominion Voting Systems’ voting machines. There is no evidence of any widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, and Dominion also sued Powell and others, seeking more than $ 1 billion in damages.
Shortly after Michigan’s lawsuit failed, officials on behalf of the state and city of Detroit called for sanctions against Powell, Wood and Trump’s other allied attorneys.
Parker agreed with the sanctions, saying the attorneys had “disregarded their oath” and “disobeyed the rules” of the judiciary. On Wednesday, he told the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit to determine how much it cost them to defend the lawsuit and ordered Powell and his colleagues to attend continuing legal education related to election law. The judge also said the ruling will be sent to states where the attorneys are licensed to determine whether they should be disbarred or face other consequences.
“Individuals may have the right, within limits, to publicize allegations of fraud not supported by law or fact,” the judge wrote. “But lawyers cannot take advantage of their privilege and access to the judicial process to do the same.”
Parker continued: “This case was never about fraud. It was about undermining the faith of the people in our democracy and degrading the judicial process to do it. “
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