The Trump clown show continued this week with a Monday hearing in Michigan dealing with the question of whether to impose sanctions on attorneys involved with a so-called “Kraken” lawsuit in the state. That case — which took its nickname from attorney Sidney Powell, who helped push it and others with the same moniker — sought the overturning of Joe Biden’s presidential election victory in Michigan. Every single one of the “Kraken” lawsuits failed, as did every other court case that challenged the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election outcome, and now, federal Judge Linda Parker seems thoroughly unimpressed — to phrase it mildly — with the haphazardly presented nonsense that drove the original cases.
Parker handled the Michigan sanctions hearing on Monday. Eventually, Parker asked a simple, pointed question, inquiring whether Donald Campbell — representing the so-called “Kraken” lawyers — believes “that a lawyer has a legal obligation to review the plausibility of the facts alleged in a pleading before signing it and filing it.” The fact that circumstances warranted the judge asking that question at all helps reveal just how tenuous that the conspiratorial election claims were all along. “There has to be a showing that you have done some minimal due diligence,” Parker eventually added, addressing Campbell.
Besides Powell, far-right attorney Lin Wood was involved in the “Kraken” proceedings — although at the hearing, he claimed he wasn’t. He “can’t withdraw from something I’ve never been involved in,” he insisted. Parker subsequently asked Powell about Wood’s involvement, and Powell said that she “did ask Mr. Wood specifically for permission,” adding that she “cannot imagine putting his name on the pleading without asking him to do that.” Wood was “silent,” Talking Points Memo says.
Later, Parker had another pointed question, asking — in response to an acknowledgement that a claim from an affidavit author about their credentials was false — whether “an attorney [should] be sanctioned for failing to withdraw allegations that he or she learns to be untrue.” Multiple election-related cases used affidavits from supposed witnesses and experts to support their arguments. All failed.
Earlier in the sanctions hearing, under questioning from the judge about why the lawyers’ case against the Michigan election results continued for as long as it did, Campbell claimed that faked groups of electoral college members “reinvigorated” the case. Republicans in certain states where Biden won gathered to make a show of selecting Trump-supporting members of the electoral college, but their actions had no legal weight. Parker noted that she’d “never heard this explanation about there being some reinvigoration about the electors being elected, air quotes,” Talking Points Memo reports. “I’ve never heard that,” she added. At another point, she told the “Kraken” side to “explain to me how you think that electing themselves as electors changed anything.”
Eventually, Campbell “kept interrupting the judge to the point where Parker had to tell him directly to stop talking,” Talking Points Memo adds — and these antics from the “Kraken” team aren’t exactly a promising sign, not that there was any indication that they’d be coming up with some compelling argument in the first place. Meanwhile, Howard Kleinhendler, another attorney on the “Kraken” side, ranted in defense of the “reinvigoration” notion that the fake electoral college members “appeared before the capital, they weren’t allowed in, and they decided to hold a vote,” which he called “based on their rights under the 12th Amendment” — which is false. There was no legal weight to the supposed alternate, Trump-supporting selections for the electoral college. It was nonsense upon nonsense.