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'Profound abuse': Judge disciplines pro-Trump lawyers over election lawsuit

WorldAug 26, 2021 02:31PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Sidney Powell, an attorney later disavowed by the Trump campaign, participates in a news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani (not pictured) at the Republican National Committee headquarters on Capitol Hi

By Jan Wolfe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A U.S. judge on Wednesday sanctioned Sidney Powell and other lawyers who sued in Michigan to overturn Democratic President Joe Biden's election victory over Donald Trump, and suggested they might deserve to lose their law licenses.

In a highly anticipated written ruling, U.S. District Judge Linda Parker in Detroit said the pro-Trump lawyers, including Powell and prominent litigator Lin Wood, should have investigated the Republican former president's voter fraud claims more carefully before filing what Parker called a "frivolous" lawsuit.

Parker, who dismissed the Michigan suit last December, 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.

"This lawsuit represents a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process," Parker said in her decision, adding 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."

The judge said Powell, Wood, and other lawyers who worked with them "have scorned their oath, flouted the rules, and attempted to undermine the integrity of the judiciary along the way."

Powell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Wood said on the social media platform Telegram that he "had nothing to do with" the lawsuit and would appeal.

Powell represented Trump's campaign when he tried to overturn last Nov. 3's presidential election in the courts. His campaign distanced itself from Powell after she claimed without evidence at a Nov. 19 news conference that electronic voting systems had switched millions of ballots to Biden.

In a written decision last December, Parker said Powell's voter fraud claims were "nothing but speculation and conjecture" and that, in any event, the Texas lawyer waited too long to file her lawsuit.

Powell asserted in a court hearing last month that she had carefully vetted her election fraud claims before suing, and that the only way to test them would have been at trial or a hearing on evidence gathered. Her co-counsel repeatedly called for such an evidentiary hearing.

Starting in January, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and other government lawyers asked the judge to discipline the pro-Trump lawyers, saying they had filed a frivolous lawsuit full of typos and factual errors and should be held accountable.

"I'm pleased to see that the Court has ensured there is accountability for the attorneys who perpetuated meritless arguments in court," Nessel said in a statement on Wednesday.

"I appreciate the unmistakable message (the judge) sends with this ruling - those who vow to uphold the Constitution must answer for abandoning that oath."

Parker on Thursday also ordered the pro-Trump lawyers to reimburse election officials for the cost of defending the lawsuit. The amount will be determined by the judge in the coming months, said David Fink, a lawyer for the City of Detroit who requested sanctions, in an interview.

'Profound abuse': Judge disciplines pro-Trump lawyers over election lawsuit
 

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Comments (8)
Forex Harbingers
Forex Harbingers Aug 31, 2021 4:37PM ET
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If there is nothing to hide, why fight so hard and stall so long? Thats a guilty reaction if I've ever seen one
Transparent Labs
Transparent Labs Aug 29, 2021 4:10PM ET
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The country is under attack from within... if you took an oath, are a patriot, & warrior its time to rise!
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 29, 2021 4:10PM ET
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"its time to rise!"  -- yes it is, you need to get up before noon, I know it's dark in your parents' basement but it's not healthy to stay up surfing Q websites all night and sleep until noon......
Tony Coll
Tony Coll Aug 27, 2021 11:24AM ET
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Lawsuits are never frivilous or "profound abuse" when they are filed against Trump... remember Russian collusion?? How much time and resources were wasted on that wild goose chase with zero evidence? Highly hypocritical. Unlike the collusion they have actually found voter fraud and arrested many of the perps. It warrants a cooperative investigation.
Adrian White
Adrian White Aug 27, 2021 11:24AM ET
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Wrong, Tony. It was never a "lawsuit" against Trump. It was an INVESTGATION and it was regarding "possible collusion" between Russians and Trump's campaign team. And, there was plenty of evidence to warrant the investigation. So much so that a Republican-controlled (at the time) DOJ approved it.
Tony Coll
Tony Coll Aug 27, 2021 11:24AM ET
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Adrian White I know perfectly well that it was an investigation. He had plenty of lawsuits filed against him. Just an example of an egregious misuse of time and resources, and no, there was no evidence found of collusion, which is why the whole investigation withered away.
William Smith
William Smith Aug 26, 2021 4:46PM ET
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The article is careful to not point out this was a Democrat appointee. They also neglected to state evidence continues to roll in regarding endless voter fraud. But the leftists controlled courts wont allow evidence to be presented. When you control the media you can do whatever you want.
Adrian White
Adrian White Aug 26, 2021 4:46PM ET
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"The Leftist Controlled courts"? Get a grip. Most judges are actually non-partisan and follow the law, not the political party of the Admin that appointed them. But if you really don't believe that, then take a look at the many many Republican-appointed judges who have ruled against all this nonsense, including many appointed by Trump, himself.
William Smith
William Smith Aug 26, 2021 4:46PM ET
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Adrian White Adrian, guess you are reading challenged. Never said leftist controlled courts! Don't misquote me, although I'm sure it was by design.
Adrian White
Adrian White Aug 26, 2021 4:46PM ET
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William, who is reading challenged? Read your original post, above, again. lol
Trevor Roberts
LimitUp Aug 26, 2021 3:34PM ET
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Libs are very clever, they have corrupted every corner of government and education system by design.
William Smith
William Smith Aug 26, 2021 3:34PM ET
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And the press.
Adrian White
Adrian White Aug 26, 2021 3:34PM ET
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Trumpanzeez have become paranoid about everything and seem to believe the world is against them. Almost as comical as it is sad.
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Aug 26, 2021 3:15PM ET
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Lock her up.  The judge that is
la bondant
la bondant Aug 26, 2021 3:15PM ET
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still ridin the crazy train are we
palmer gossett
palmer gossett Aug 26, 2021 2:55PM ET
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Activist judges should be eliminated
Adrian White
Adrian White Aug 26, 2021 2:55PM ET
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There is nothing "activist" about adhering to the Constitution and sanctioning lawyers who recklessly promote lies, and waste time and resources filing frivolous lawsuits.
Mark Jannetty
Mark Jannetty Aug 26, 2021 2:41PM ET
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just another slap to the constitution. this judge should be disbarred. need to leave your politics at the door, if you are going to sit on the bench!
Adrian White
Adrian White Aug 26, 2021 2:41PM ET
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Glad you agree with the judge, Mark. Politics should be left at the door - something these lawyers don't seem to understand.
 
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