Dec 2, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Trump attorneys ordered to pay $175,000 over failed 2020 election lawsuit

Photo of Sidney Powell's face

Attorney Sidney Powell speaks to the press about various lawsuits related to the 2020 election inside the Republican National Committee headquarters on Nov. 19, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday ordered a group of pro-Trump attorneys — including Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, who spread baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 election — to pay $175,000 in sanctions for suing public officials in an effort to overturn Michigan's election results.

Why it matters: The unsuccessful lawsuit claimed public officials illegally manipulated votes and was part of a broader campaign to discredit President Biden's win.

Details: About $22,000 will go to pay the lawyers of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, both Democrats. The remaining $153,000 will be paid to the city of Detroit.

Catch up quick: U.S. District Judge Linda Parker dismissed the lawsuit last December after finding it based on "speculation and conjecture."

  • She also decided the lawyers must pay the legal fees associated with the case and attend classes on the ethical requirements for filing a lawsuit.
  • "It is one thing to take on the charge of vindicating rights associated with an allegedly fraudulent election," Parker wrote in an August order. "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."

Worth noting: Parker has formally requested a disciplinary body to investigate whether the lawyers should be disbarred for filing the suit.

Go deeper: Dominion sues Sidney Powell for defamation, seeking $1.3 billion in damages

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