Evers asks Trump, GOP official to pay $250K in attorney fees for election challenge

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers speaks to the crowd before a listening session at the University of Wisconsin-Superior on April 15, 2019. (File / Superior Telegram)

Evers filed Wednesday through his lawyers on two federal court cases filed by Trump and La Crosse County Republican Party leader William Feehan after the November presidential election.

Evers called on Trump and Feehan to pay $ 250,000 in fees, arguing the lawsuits filed by the two Republicans were frivolous, based on scant evidence and wasted state tax dollars to defend themselves against.

The money Evers demands would reimburse the governor’s office for the accrued amount, while an additional amount would go to the law firm charged with representing Evers.

“(Feehan) and his attorneys filed an unsubstantiated lawsuit based on unfathomable conspiracy theories and inappropriate anonymous affidavits,” wrote Evers’ attorney Jeffrey Mandell. “Although the plaintiff’s claims were neither legally nor factually founded, much was at stake. Governor Tony Evers had no choice but to vigorously defend himself against the claims and engage in the plaintiff’s scattering tactics in the extraordinarily accelerated timeframe of this litigation . “


Evers wants $ 106,000 from Feehan and $ 144,000 from Trump. Both cases in which the election results were questioned were unsuccessful.

In December, U.S. District Judge Pamela Pepper dismissed Feehan’s lawsuit, represented by former Trump attorney Sidney Powell.

Feehan’s lawsuit was based on discredited claims that the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, China and Iran hacked voting machines in Wisconsin and other states. The lawsuit was also full of errors: it contained the name of GOP congressional candidate Derrick Van Orden, who said he was not involved; it referred to the Wisconsin Board of State Canvassers, which does not exist; and asked the court for 48 hours of surveillance camera footage from the Detroit TCF Center.

In her order to dismiss the case, Pepper said federal courts simply weren’t built to determine the president’s winners.

“Federal judges don’t appoint the president in this country,” Pepper said at the time. “One wonders why the plaintiffs came to the federal court and asked a federal judge for it. After a week of sometimes strange and often rushed litigation, the court has come no closer to answering the ‘why’. However, this federal court has no authority or jurisdiction over the to grant relief requested by the plaintiff. “

Dominion Voting Systems, a manufacturer of voting machines used in the United States targeting Powell and other Republicans who wanted to turn the results of the presidential election upside down, filed a defamation lawsuit against Powell in January alleging at least 1 , Calling for $ 3 billion for their “wild allegations” of the company rigging the presidential election for President Joe Biden. Biden won Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes.

In his lawsuit on Wednesday, Mandell said the lawsuit was brought in bad faith to cast doubt on the election.

“(Feehan) and his lawyers should be held jointly responsible for the prosecution of this untenable lawsuit,” Mandell wrote. “There is no need for Wisconsin taxpayers to bear the cost of trying to hijack the democratic process.”

In March, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to include another lawsuit Trump filed in federal court in Milwaukee in early December to question his loss in the state.

The lawsuit alleged electoral officials failed to abide by lawmakers’ electoral rules and therefore “likely tainted more than 50,000 ballots,” and asked the court to give Republican-controlled lawmakers an opportunity to remedy the situation. While the exact remedy is not clear in the lawsuit, one such remedy presumably involved reversing Biden’s victory in the state.

The lawsuit challenged many aspects of the elections that are alleged to be unlawful, despite the fact that election officials have repeatedly defended the legitimacy of the elections and officials have operated according to largely the same practices in elections they always hold.

U.S. Federal Judge Brett Ludwig, who dismissed Trump’s lawsuit, said during a hearing that Trump’s case was unprecedented.

“If the requested relief were granted, it would be a remarkable process and probably the most remarkable judgment in the history of this court or federal justice,” said Ludwig.

Mandell wrote that Wisconsin taxpayers should be compensated for having to pay the legal costs of Trump’s legal effort.

“From the start, through his arbitrary persecution, and through to its shameful conclusion, this case was completely unfounded,” said Mandell. “Trump and his attorneys were either ruthless or extremely negligent at every step of this legal battle. Their actions placed Wisconsin taxpayers on the cost of defending the state’s election results and resolving the nearly 3.3 million Wisconsinites who turned out to be eligible to vote .

While Evers wants Trump and Feehan to pay $ 250,000, other defendants in Trump’s lawsuit, such as the cities of Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Racine and Kenosha, could also charge costs.

© 2021 The Wisconsin State Journal

Visit the Wisconsin State Journal at www.wisconsinstatejournal.com.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.