Michigan Attorney General Says Sanctions May Continue Against Trump’s Lawyers
Lawyers for President Donald Trump accused of twisting the facts in court could face professional penalties in the future, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said this week.
Nessel is considering sanctions because she believes a number of pro-Trump lawyers who filed lawsuits to overturn election results distorted the facts surrounding the November election, undermining the electoral process by pushing forward allegations unfounded electoral fraud. The American Bar Association defines misrepresentation as an incorporation or affirmation of statements made by another person which the lawyer knows to be false.
False claims in Trump trials, most of which have been dismissed for lack of competence or evidence, erode public confidence in democracy, Nessel said. She did not name the lawyers potentially targeted by sanctions, but suggested that those who took legal action after the initial allegations were dismissed could be included.
“We have to go back to a time when you can trust a lawyer to make accurate and truthful representation in court, because if he doesn’t, he will no longer be able to practice law,” Nessel said.
In addition to considering sanctions, Nessel hinted at pursuing legal costs and fees, as well as filing complaints against lawyers with the Prosecutors’ Grievance Board.
Nessel made the comments during a press call on December 22. On the same day, an attorney for Wayne County constituent Robert Davis filed a petition for penalties against the attorneys in the case, King c. Whitmer, who unsuccessfully asked the court to overturn Michigan election results which showed a victory for Joe Biden. A week earlier, the city of Detroit asked a Federal Judge in Eastern Michigan District Court to Order Sanctions to the same lawyers, as well as to Trump’s attorney, Sidney Powell.
Davis ‘motion called the lawyers’ conduct “flagrant” and alleged that they had used the justice system to support “the selfish and destructive political agendas of the plaintiffs.”
On December 15, Detroit filed a motion seeking financial penalties, as well as banning the plaintiffs’ attorneys from practicing in the district before filing anything else related to the case. The petition stated that the fraud allegations were “dismissed by all courts which have examined them”.
“If any of the claims in the lawsuit were valid, it would have been shown in these cases,” Detroit argued in the petition. “Few trials breathe more lies than this one.”
Any sanctions to be applied by the attorney general’s office or Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson would not be applied until cases are closed, Nessel said.