DETROIT – Nine lawyers allied with former President Donald Trump face financial and other sanctions after a judge on Wednesday said they abused the justice system with a lawsuit that challenged Michigan election results which have certified Joe Biden as the winner.
The case could have implications for Dallas attorney Sidney Powell in Texas, where Michigan officials have filed a lawsuit against her with the State Bar of Texas, seeking to have her struck off the bar.
U.S. District Judge Linda Parker said last November’s trial was a sham intended to deceive the court and the public.
“Despite the fog of confusion, turmoil and chaos that the lawyers intentionally tried to create by filing this lawsuit, one thing is perfectly clear: the plaintiffs’ lawyers have disregarded their oath, flouted the rules and tried to undermine integrity of the justice system along the way. Parker said at the opening of a scathing 110-page review.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of six Republican voters who wanted Parker to revoke Michigan’s certification of results and confiscate the voting machines. The judge refused in December, calling the request “superb in scope and breathtaking in scope.”
The state and Detroit then asked Parker to order sanctions against Sidney Powell, L. Lin Wood and seven other attorneys whose names were on the lawsuit.
The judge agreed, telling the state and city to calculate the costs of defending the trial and submit the numbers.
Parker ordered 12 hours of legal training, including six hours in electoral law, for each lawyer. Its decision will also be sent to states where lawyers are authorized to take disciplinary action.
It was one of the few efforts to wrest fines or other penalties from questionable post-election lawsuits across the United States.
There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 elections. Indeed, election officials from both political parties have publicly stated that the elections went well and international observers have confirmed that there was no evidence of widespread fraud. no serious irregularities.
At a court hearing in July, Powell took “full responsibility” for the trial and compared the legal fight to the 1954 US Supreme Court ruling that banned racial segregation in schools.
“It is the duty of lawyers and the highest tradition in the practice of law to raise difficult and even unpopular issues,” Powell told the judge.
Wood’s name was on the lawsuit, but he insisted his role was to tell Powell he would be available if she needed a seasoned litigator.
Powell, who began his legal career in San Antonio in 1978 and was an assistant US attorney who helped prosecute drug trafficker Jimmy Chagra, opened his own law firm in Dallas in 1993.
The complaint in Texas regarding his actions related to Trump after the 2020 election was filed by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who wrote that Powell “abused the trust the Texas State Bar had placed in him. she”.
“She filed a lawsuit based on lies, used her license in law to attempt to deprive Michigan voters of the right to vote and undermine public confidence in the legitimacy of the recent presidential election, and gave credence to untruths that led to violence and unrest. In doing so, she violated both her legal oath and the rules of professional conduct that govern the practice of law, ”Whitmer wrote in the complaint.
Dallas Morning News Deputy Political Editor John Gravois contributed to this report.