President Donald Trump’s attorneys, accused of misrepresenting facts in court, could face professional sanctions in the future, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said this week.
Nessel is considering imposing sanctions on believing that a number of pro-Trump lawyers who filed lawsuits to dismiss the election results distorted the facts surrounding the November election and undermined the electoral process, by making unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud. The American Bar Association defines misrepresentation as taking or endorsing statements made by another person that the attorney knows to be false.
Related: Flint criminal cases will be finalized early next year, Michigan AG Nessel says
Misrepresentation in the Trump lawsuits, most of which have been dismissed because of a lack of jurisdiction or evidence, undermines public confidence in democracy, according to Nessel. She did not name the attorneys who could potentially face sanctions, but suggested that those who brought legal action after the initial allegations were dismissed could be among them.
“We have to go back to a time when you can trust that a lawyer will make an accurate and truthful presentation in court, because if that is not the case, you can no longer exercise any rights,” said Nessel.
Related: Michigan Republicans who cast Trump votes have no chance of changing the electoral college’s result
In addition to examining sanctions, Nessel also alluded to prosecuting court costs and fees, and filing complaints against attorneys with the Attorney Grievance Commission.
Nessel made the comments during a press conference on December 22nd. On the same day, a Wayne County voter attorney Robert Davis filed a sanction motion against attorneys in the King v. Whitmer, who unsuccessfully asked the court to overturn Michigan’s election results, which showed a Joe Biden victory. A week earlier, the city of Detroit asked a federal judge in Michigan’s Eastern District Court to sanction the same lawyers and Trump attorney Sidney Powell.
Related: Trump failed to overturn Michigan’s election, but the attempt raises persistent concerns
Davis’s motion described the attorneys ‘behavior as “egregious” and alleged that they had used the justice system to support the plaintiffs’ selfish and destructive political agendas.
On December 15, Detroit filed a motion for fines and banned plaintiffs’ attorneys from practicing in the district before filing anything else related to the case. The motion stated that the fraud allegations were “rejected by every court that examined them”.
“If any of the claims in the lawsuit had been justified, it would have been proven in these cases,” argued Detroit in the motion. “Few complaints breathe more lies than this.”
Any sanctions to be pursued by the Attorney General or Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson would not be pursued until the cases are closed, Nessel said.