In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Linda Parker ordered the attorneys–including Sidney Powell–to pay financial penalties and take 12 hours of legal education, including a course on election law.
A federal judge will sanction nine pro-Trump attorneys who filed longshot lawsuits attempting to upturn the 2020 presidential election.
According to National Public Radio, the lawyers will have to pay financial penalties, take legal education courses, and face other punitive actions for their misconduct.
In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Linda Parker harshly condemned the pro-Trump attorneys, suggesting they misused their positions in an ill-conceived attempt to manipulate the courts.
“This lawsuit represents a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process,” Parker wrote in her decision.
“It is one thing to take on the charge of vindicating rights associated with an
allegedly fraudulent election,” Parker wrote. “It is another to take on the charge of deceiving a federal court and the American people into believing that rights were infringed, without regard to whether any laws or rights were in fact violated. This is what happened here.”
National Public Radio notes that the ruling relates to a lawsuit filed by pro-Trump attorneys who wanted to decertify Michigan’s election results.
In their initial complaint, the lawyers alleged—without a shred of evidence—that ballots had somehow been manipulated to favor sitting President Joe Biden.
Former President Donald Trump, along with his political and legal allies, repeatedly sought to challenge and overturn election results in a number of states.
Even after being voted out of office, Trump insisted that he had been the rightful winner of the 2020 election.
However, Judge Parker said that neither Trump nor his supporters ever had a compelling case for fraud—instead, they were simply hoping to destabilize American democracy.
“This case was never about fraud—it was about undermining the People’s faith in our democracy and debasing the judicial process to do so,” she wrote.
Trump’s post-election lies have been cited as a catalyst for the January 6th riots outside the United States Capitol, which culminated in several deaths, numerous injuries, and the looting of federal property.
“Despite the haze of confusion, commotion and chaos counsel intentionally attempted to create by filing this lawsuit, one thing is perfectly clear: Plaintiffs’ attorneys have scorned their oath, flouted the rules, and attempted to undermine the integrity of the judiciary along the way,” Parker said.
Parker said that, while attorneys and their clients have a right to challenge even unsubstantiated allegations of fraud, they may do so only within the limits of the judicial process.
“Individuals may have a right — within certain bounds — to disseminate allegations of fraud unsupported by law or fact in the public sphere,” Parker said. “But attorneys cannot exploit their privilege and access to the judicial process to do the same.”
The Associated Press reports that pro-Trump attorneys, including Sidney Powell and L. Lin Wood, will face financial penalties and must take 12 hours of legal education, including 6 hours of election law courses.