Pro-Trump lawyers may end up owing $200,000 to cover legal fees in baseless election fraud case

Former president’s legal team filed lawsuit despite his debunked claims and 154,000 vote loss to Joe Biden in Michigan

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Friday 10 September 2021 00:20
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Sidney Powell and Lin Wood attend ‘Stop the Steal’ rally in Georgia

The pro-Trump lawyers who sued to overturn the one-term president’s election loss in Michigan should pay the state more than $200,000 in legal costs, say officials.

A judge ordered last month that the nine lawyers, who include Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, repay the fees to state and local election officials as part of sanctions against them.

US District Judge Linda Parker will now review the $204,156 bill to see if the requests are reasonable.

They include $180,000 requested by the City of Detroit , which spent the money hiring a private law firm to defend itself, and $20,000 for the office of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Ms Powell, a former campaign lawyer for Donald Trump, and litigator Lin Wood, sued last year to try and overturn Joe Biden’s victory there, which he won by 154,000 votes.

The judge dismissed the lawsuit in December and has asked that legal profession disciplinary bodies investigate the lawyers to see if they should lose their licences.

Last month the judge told them that they should have properly investigated Mr Trump’s debunked claims of voter fraud before bringing their lawsuit.

And she said sanctions were required against the attorneys “to deter the filing of future frivolous lawsuits designed primarily to spread the narrative that our election processes are rigged and our democratic institutions cannot be trusted.”

She has also ordered the pair to take classes on the legal and ethical requirements of filing a lawsuit in the state.

“This lawsuit represents a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process,” the judge said in her decision.

And 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.”

The lawyers who brought the suit now have 14 days to object to the filings from the state and city.

Ms Powell has said that she had a duty to raise the issues on behalf of Mr Trump.

“We have practiced law with the highest standards,” she said in July.

“We would file the same complaints again. We welcome an opportunity to actually prove our case. No court has ever given us that opportunity.”

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