Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) is now seeking to have former President Donald Trump be forced to cover legal fees for the state that were incurred in connection to a baseless lawsuit that the former president brought challenging Biden’s win there. Evers’s attorney Jeffrey A. Mandell filed a new argument for sanctions against Trump’s side in the aftermath of the recent decision by a federal judge in Michigan to impose sanctions against a group of lawyers who pushed a similarly baseless lawsuit in that state. The affected lawyers in the Michigan case include Sidney Powell, who was named by Trump as part of his own legal team at one point, although she also undertook election subversion efforts without such a formal tie to Trump.
In Wisconsin, the push to sanction Trump’s side includes a request for Trump to “personally” pay those fees incurred by state officials. Mandell pointedly observed as follows in his new filing:
‘More than eight months ago, former President Trump filed this lawsuit in an audacious attempt to overrule the will of the voters by fiat. He sought unprecedented relief, and his team pressed the case in a slapdash manner incommensurate with the gravity of the subject matter. Now, Trump recasts the litigation in a sepia tone, glossing over flaws with conclusory exculpations and dismissing criticism as ‘Monday morning quarterbacking.”
No matter attempts by Trump and his allies to gloss over the dangers of their own actions, the reality is that Trump “provides no legitimate defense of litigation conduct that went beyond mere procedural missteps, constituting a deliberate abuse of the judicial process and attempt to overturn the votes of 3.3 million Wisconsinites,” as the new filing put it. The case that Trump brought in the state sought the overturning of Biden’s election win there, mirroring efforts in other states to get Biden’s wins in certain jurisdictions thrown out.
The federal judge handling the push by authorities in Wisconsin to impose sanctions against Trump has already spoken out against his election subversion. That judge, Brett Ludwig, observed incredulously late last year that a “sitting president who did not prevail in his bid for reelection has asked for federal court help in setting aside the popular vote based on disputed issues of election administration, issues he plainly could have raised before the vote occurred.” Ludwig added that the court “allowed [Trump] the chance to make his case and he has lost on the merits.” Since consequences for those involved in cases challenging the election outcome continue to emerge — Rudy Giuliani, for instance, has been suspended from practicing law in both New York and Washington, D.C. — there seems to be a precedent suggesting that Ludwig could take such disciplinary action.