LANCING, Michigan (AP) – On Thursday, nine lawyers with ties to former President Donald Trump were ordered to pay Detroit and Michigan a total of $ 175,000 in penalties for judicial abuse in a bogus lawsuit challenging the 2020 election results.
The money, which must be paid within 30 days, will cover the legal costs of defense from the lawsuit, which amounted to more than $ 153,000 for the city and almost $ 22,000 for the state.
US District Judge Linda Parker, who agreed to impose sanctions in August in a harsh opinion, dismissed most of the lawyers’ objections to Detroit’s proposed compensation, but reduced it by about $ 29,000. Those targeted for sanctions include Sidney Powell, L. Lin Wood and seven other lawyers who were involved in a lawsuit filed on behalf of six Republican voters following Joe Biden’s 154,000-vote victory over Trump.
“Lawyers for the plaintiffs, many of whom are seeking donations from the public to fund lawsuits like this… have the ability to pay this sanction,” Parker wrote.
She previously ordered each of the lawyers to complete 12 hours of legal education, including 6 hours under electoral law.
Michigan’s three top elected officials – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, all Democrats – are seeking the disqualification of four of nine attorneys, including Powell. She is licensed in Texas. The other three are admitted to practice in Michigan.
Powell could not be reached for comment. Wood said he would appeal.
“I did not take any action in Michigan and did not participate in the Michigan lawsuit filed by Sidney Powell,” he said in an email. Wood’s name was featured in the lawsuit, but he insisted that he had no role other than telling Powell that he would be available if she needed an experienced lawyer.
Powell is best known for saying she would “release the kraken,” a mythical sea creature, to destroy Biden’s claim to the White House. But baseless lawsuits in Michigan and elsewhere have gone nowhere, and even the Trump campaign’s team of lawyers have tried to distance themselves from her.
“There are repercussions for filing frivolous lawsuits to attract media attention and mislead Americans,” Benson, the state’s chief electoral spokesman, said in a statement. “The sanctions imposed in this case are a testament to this, even if the dollar amount pales in comparison to the damage already done to democracy in our country.”