The city of Detroit is taking the rare step to seek legal punishment for the pro-Trump lawyers who filed lawsuits that sought to overturn Michigan’s election.
The Detroit case is just one of at least 50 lawsuits filed nationally that alleged widespread voter fraud took place in the November election. Federal judges throughout the United States, including Detroit, quickly ruled against the cases — often describing the allegations as baseless. But some cases remain open as pro-Trump lawyers attempt to appeal or judges have not yet ruled on all aspects of the cases.
President Trump and his supporters continue to spread the conspiracies. Trump and his allies touted the misinformation on Wednesday morning, just before a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress began to certify the results of the presidential election. Five people were killed, including a police officer.
It’s time to hold the lawyers behind the legal cases accountable for their role, said David Fink, Detroit’s lead attorney.
“This lawsuit is part of a dangerous attack on the integrity of the democratic process for the election of the President of the United States. For months we have been saying that there can be horrible consequences when lawyers bring false claims about our free and fair elections,” Fink said. “On Wednesday, we saw vividly the types of consequences we can face,” referring to the Capitol attack.
One day before the attack, the city filed a motion in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to sanction the Trump team of lawyers with fines, a ban from practicing in Detroit’s federal court and a referral to the states bar for proceedings that could lead to disbarment.
Among the pro-Trump lawyers behind the case are Sidney Powell and L. Lin Wood. Powell has been involved in filing dozens of the failed legal attempts in the U.S. to overturn the election results.
Powell and Wood have not yet responded to Detroit’s motion. In December, the two made public statements with military analogies and references to opposing counsel as “the enemy,” according to the Detroit motion. It cites Powell’s remark to the legal news site Law & Crime: ‘We are clearly over the target.’
Wood echoed the line on Twitter, attacking the Detroit attorneys, “When you get falsely accused by the likes of David Fink…., you smile because you know you are over the target and the enemy is running scared.”
On Wednesday, Twitter permanently banned Wood from the social media site after suggesting that the mob takeover of the Capitol was staged.
Detroit attorney Fink said three cases remain open in Michigan that sought to overthrow the state election. At one point, there were nine cases filed in the state by Trump supporters, Fink said.
Besides Detroit, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in late December her office is considering taking legal actions against pro-Trump lawyers for “ intentional misrepresentation” of state election results.
On Friday, the voting-machine company Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against attorney Powell. The company seeks damages of more than $1.3 billion for “demonstrably false” allegations against the company that Powell made through “conspiracy theorists, con artists, armchair ‘experts,’ and anonymous sources,” according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington.
Powell has repeatedly claimed Dominion, based in Denver, rigged the election and was somehow tied to the Venezuelan regime of the late Hugo Chavez.