Judge Orders Trump-Allied Lawyers To Pay $176k Over 2020 Challenges

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Federal Judge N. Reid Neureiter has ordered two Trump-allied lawyers to pay huge sums in legal fees to cover expenses that were incurred by targets of a lawsuit that the duo filed last year over the election results. The lawsuit, like others, alleged that there’d been some kind of sweeping conspiracy to rig the presidential election for Joe Biden — and like every other similar lawsuit, their case failed. Now, the lawyers behind this particular case — including Gary D. Fielder and Ernest John Walker — have been ordered to pay almost $187,000 by the judge, although that same judge put a hold on his order as a related appeal from the lawyers moves forward.

No appeal will somehow erase the foundational frivolity and disconnection from reality that were inherent in the original lawsuit, however. Accordingly, Neureiter commented as follows:

‘As officers of the Court, these attorneys have a higher duty and calling that requires meaningful investigation before prematurely repeating in court pleadings unverified and uninvestigated defamatory rumors that strike at the heart of our democratic system and were used by others to foment a violent insurrection that threatened our system of government… They are experienced lawyers who should have known better. They need to take responsibility for their misconduct.’

Targets in the lawsuit who are slated to receive legal fees from Fielder and Walker include the states of Michigan and Pennsylvania, along with Facebook, Dominion Voting Systems, and the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), which has received financial backing from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan. As summarized by The Washington Post, the judge has previously concluded in this case “that the attorneys had violated their ethical obligations by filing it in the first place, arguing that the duo had run afoul of legal rules that prohibit clogging the courts with frivolous motions and lodging information in court that is not true.”

Neureiter’s Monday order lays out, among other components, exact amounts for the defendants’ legal fees that the lawyers had been ordered to pay. That list includes a total of a little more than $11,000 to authorities across Michigan and Pennsylvania, in addition to $50,000 to Facebook and $62,930 to both Dominion and CTCL. Contrary to arguments from the lawyers, the judge concluded that the fees were reasonable. Neureiter also said this week that “the repetition of defamatory and potentially dangerous unverified allegations is the kind of ‘advocacy’ that needs to be chilled.” Read more at this link.

Separately, longtime Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has been suspended from practicing law in both New York and Washington, D.C., because of his part in election-related litigation, but lies about the election aren’t the only problem at this point — Trump and other prominent Republicans also continue to excuse violence like what unfolded at the Capitol in the name of those lies in January.