Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel says US election lawsuits alleging election fraud have crossed the line – and she is demanding that the lawyers behind them be punished.
On Thursday, January 28, Nessel filed a motion in federal court to sanction attorneys who supported former President Donald Trump and his campaign in their efforts to reverse the results of the Michigan presidential election.
The motion, filed on behalf of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, claims that Texas attorney Sidney Powell – a close ally of Trump’s – along with Michigan attorneys Greg Rohl von Novi, Stefanie Lambert Junttila of Detroit, and Scott Hagerstrom of Lansing “knew or should have known that their legal claims were frivolous” and said their lawsuit “was never about winning on the matter, but rather about winning Undermine the integrity of the election results “.
“These lawyers must be held accountable for betraying the trust placed in them as members of the bar,” said Nessel. “Lawyers have a special responsibility to uphold the rule of law, and these lawyers have done the opposite. By pursuing this lawsuit, which was neither fact nor law, they have only fueled the fire of suspicion in our democracy that led to the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. We urge the court to enforce the rules and keep these lawyers swearing to protect the public and restore confidence in our legal system – a system they have deliberately undermined. “
Led by the lawyers in question, the Michigan election suit – like dozens of others filed across the county – has fueled conspiracy theories and falsehoods about the electoral process and / or the counting of ballots during the presidential election. With no evidence, nearly all claims in Michigan and elsewhere have been dismissed after failing to appear in court.
Non-partisan officials, election officials and even members of the administration of former President Trump found that there was no evidence of widespread electoral fraud in the 2020 election.
Rohl said he joined the Michigan lawsuit because something “just didn’t taste right”. When asked about his decision to represent his clients in the lawsuit, Rohl said he had no concerns and didn’t care that he might lose his legal license.
“No. I don’t. On the contrary, I think I believe that it is up to any lawyer, if they see any semblance of inappropriateness, that they have an obligation to do something about it,” he said.
Nessel had previously said she was examining sanctions against lawyers in the broader election cases.
At the end of December, Nessel, together with a number of officials, demanded sanctions against the GOP lawyers involved in election complaints and their barring or at least their ban from courtrooms. The lawyers pushed falsehoods to court and unfoundedly alleged widespread electoral fraud among other complaints with no evidence to change the election results in Trump’s favor.
AG Nessel also investigated penalties against attorneys on a case in Michigan’s Antrim County that unfoundedly alleged widespread electoral fraud after a human error resulted in an early counting miscount in the county. The case led Dominion to make false claims about voting machines and software. The attorney on this case, Matthew DePerno, was a frequent guest of the far-right outlet Newsmax, a favorite of former President Trump.
Related: Michigan AG Dana Nessel on elections, Enbridge lawsuits, and more
Today’s President Joe Biden won the 2020 election with 306 votes, beating Trump’s 232.
In the motion filed on Thursday, Nessel calls on the judge to compel attorneys concerned to pay legal fees of around $ 11,000. Michigan AG’s most recent action joins the actions of Wayne County and Detroit attorneys who have already filed for sanctions, including banning attorneys in the pro-Trump cases from practicing in Michigan or banning them entirely.
Nessel’s office said Thursday that complaints against the attorneys are currently under review with the Michigan State Attorney Grievance Commission and the State Bar of Texas. Disciplinary measures are initiated against the lawyers in the AG’s office.
More: Michigan heads of state and government are seeking sanctions against GOP attorneys in Trump election lawsuits
Click here to view the sanction motion filed on behalf of Whitmer and Benson on Thursday or see the document below.
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