Donald Trump has won a legal fight against Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and other officials who sought to force the former president to pay legal fees racked up defending his lawsuit to overturn the 2020 election result.
“The court lacks jurisdiction over the dispute because the swing state, along with Milwaukee County officials and the mayors of Racine, Kenosha, and Green Bay, waited too long to seek legal fees and sanctions against Trump’s lawyers, U.S. District Judge Brett Ludwig in Milwaukee ruled Monday,” Bloomberg News reported.
Trump sued Wisconsin officials after the presidential election and challenged the state’s voting rules in an attempt to have the court compel the GOP-controlled state legislature to choose Wisconsin’s electors.
After Trump’s lawsuit was dismissed, Gov. Evers filed a request seeking to compel Trump and his counsel to pay $145,174.90 in attorneys fees.
Judge Ludwig, a Trump appointee, said Trump’s case was “not insignificant failings” and that he wouldn’t have awarded fees even if he did have the jurisdiction to do so.
“Ready, fire, aim is not the preferred approach when litigating constitutional claims in federal court,” Ludwig said.
“Nevertheless, in the overall context of this case, the court is unable to conclude that counsel’s conduct multiplied these proceedings in an objectively unreasonable and vexatious manner sufficient to warrant a fee award,” Ludwig added.
“The clash is part of the legal fallout from dozens of failed lawsuits by Trump and his supporters alleging his loss to President Joe Biden was the result of massive voter fraud. Earlier this month, former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell and other lawyers who sued to overturn the election result in Michigan were ordered to pay the state and the city of Detroit $175,250 for abusing the legal system with unfounded conspiracy theories,” Bloomberg reported.
In a separate case, a group of lawyers who sued the state of Michigan over the results of the 2020 election have been ordered by a judge to pay roughly $175,000.
U.S. District Judge Linda Parker, who was nominated by former President Barack Obama, ordered nine attorneys — including Sidney Powell and Lin Wood — to pay $21,964.75 to Michigan and $153,285.62 to the city of Detroit.
In her opinion, Parker that the amount ordered to pay was an “appropriate sanction … needed to deter Plaintiffs’ counsel and others from engaging in similar misconduct in the future.”
“We disagree with the district court’s decision in its entirety and we plan to promptly appeal to the Sixth Circuit,” said Howard Kleinhendler, one of the lawyers, who also represents Powell.
Wood also said he will appeal.
“I undertook no act in Michigan and I had no involvement in the Michigan lawsuit filed by Sidney Powell,” he said in an email.
Back in August, Parker published a 110-page ruling claiming that the lawsuit “was never about fraud.”
“It was,” she wrote, “about undermining the People’s faith in our democracy and debasing the judicial process to do so.”
“Last week, a federal judge in Colorado ordered two other lawyers in that state to pay nearly $187,000 to public officials and private companies they sued in a failed challenge to the 2020 results, writing that the lawyers needed “to take responsibility” for the legal misconduct represented by the suit,” the Post reported.
“Grievance proceedings have also been opened in multiple states to examine whether lawyers involved in such suits should be disbarred. New York state in June suspended former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani’s license while a committee of judges explores his efforts as Trump’s attorney to overturn the election. Giuliani is appealing the order and has said he is confident his license will be restored,” the Post report added.