As the U.S. continues to face the continued onslaughts against democracy from former President Donald Trump and his allies, federal Judge N. Reid Neureiter has taken on a pair of Colorado attorneys who filed one of many election-related lawsuits that were founded on false claims of systematic election fraud. The attorneys, Gary D. Fielder and Ernest John Walker, recently sat through a hearing where Neureiter considered sanctions against them. Originally, they’d filed a lawsuit late last year that claimed to be on behalf of 160 million voters across America and that sought $160 billion in damages for supposed election fraud, claiming that an election-rigging scheme unfolded involving the voting technology company Dominion Voting Systems and others.
Neureiter questioned Fielder and Walker about whether their case alleging election fraud turned into “a propaganda tool” for Donald Trump. As the judge put it, “Did that ever occur to you? That, possibly, [you’re] just repeating stuff the president is lying about?” Neureiter also inquired about how much independent investigation was completed by the attorneys prior to filing their case, which relied upon sworn statements from supposed witnesses rather than actual, substantive evidence of the election fraud that they claimed was present. The judge noted that top officials including then-Attorney General Bill Barr had concluded that no systematic fraud was present in last year’s election, telling the attorneys that these revelations should have been a “red light for you, at least a flashing yellow light,” pointing to needs for more research.
Fielder called the claims underlying their case “serious allegations, made by serious people,” but that’s an inaccurately generous characterization of events. In fact, MyPillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell is, in this context, not a “serious person.” Lindell has claimed that Trump will be back in office as president next month, a notion for which there is no legitimate evidence.
In contrast, Neureiter noted that sworn statements are not a legitimately substantive foundation for a federal court proceeding. “Many people have been influenced by the outgoing officeholder saying the election was stolen. They sincerely believe everything that is stated by the outgoing officeholder,” as the judge put it, adding: “Of course they’re going to think and feel and have genuine emotions about this… How does that a federal lawsuit make, the fact that the people felt aggrieved somehow?” The implied idea seems to be that people feeling “aggrieved” is not, in fact, a legitimate basis for a federal lawsuit. Now, the judge says that he’ll “soon” be issuing a ruling on whether or not to impose sanctions against the attorneys, as The Washington Post summarizes.