Michigan officials demanded that lawyers who unsuccessfully sued to overturn former President Donald Trump’s election defeat in the state pay about $200,000 to reimburse for legal fees and related costs.
U.S. District Judge Linda Parker ruled last month that state and local election officials in Michigan were entitled to reimbursement of their legal fees. However, she has not yet determined the exact amount. As such, the judge will now review the $200,000 request to determine if it is reasonable.
Sources say the City of Detroit requested the largest share of the $200,000. The City spent about $180,000 on a private law firm in the case. Also, the office of Michigan Attorney General, Dana Nessel asked for about $20,000.
Parker ordered the repayment as part of sanctions against the lawyers. They include Sidney Powell, a former campaign lawyer for Trump, and prominent litigator Lin Wood. The Trump lawyers sued in Michigan last year to overturn Democratic President Joe Biden’s election victory over Trump.
Lawyers may lose their law licenses
Meanwhile, Parker said that the lawyers should have investigated the voter fraud claims more carefully before filing the “frivolous” lawsuit.
Moreover, Parker, formally requested that disciplinary bodies investigate whether the pro-Trump lawyers should have their law licenses revoked. The judge also ordered the lawyers to attend classes on the ethical and legal requirements for filing legal claims.
In this regard, Parker said in her decision that “this lawsuit represents a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process”. She added that the case “was never about fraud – it was about undermining the People’s faith in our democracy and debasing the judicial process to do so”.
Also, Linda Parker said in August that the lawsuit was a sham intended to deceive the court and the public. This was just a few days after the clarification of Biden’s 154,000-vote victory in the state.
“Despite the haze of confusion, commotion and chaos counsel intentionally attempted to create by filing this lawsuit, one thing is perfectly clear: Plaintiffs’ attorneys have scorned their oath, flouted the rules, and attempted to undermine the integrity of the judiciary along the way”.Linda Parker
The request for reimbursement
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of six Republican voters who wanted Parker to decertify Michigan’s results and impound voting machines. The judge declined in December, calling the request “stunning in its scope and breathtaking in its reach”.
Subsequently, the state and Detroit asked Parker to order sanctions against Sidney Powell, L. Lin Wood and seven other attorneys who were part of the litigation.
The judge agreed, telling the state and city to tally the costs of defending the lawsuit. They are to submit the figures within 14 days.
Parker said lawyers for Trump supporters filed affidavits stuffed with sinister “speculation and conjecture” about the vote-counting process without checking for evidence to support the claims.