For the second time in a week a federal judge has publicly castigated lawyers who filed lawsuits disputing the results of the 2020 presidential election based on nothing more than Donald Trump’s false belief that he had votes stolen from him.
“Did that ever occur to you? That, possibly, [you’re] just repeating stuff the president is lying about?” Neureiter asked the two lawyers, Gary D. Fielder and Ernest John Walker.
The two lawyers said they had a good-faith belief that the election was stolen and did not trust government officials and others who affirmed that it was secure. Fielder specifically cited unfounded theories put forth by MyPillow guy Mike Lindell. “These are serious allegations, made by serious people,” Fielder told the court.
The judge was skeptical and repeatedly asked them if they had done any independent investigation of their own before filing the lawsuit filled with unproven allegations. “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,” Neureiter said. “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?”
A lawyer representing the nonprofit Center for Tech and Civic Life, which made grants to local election offices that were attacked by Trump allies, also spoke at the sanctions hearing. Joshua Matz said the Colorado lawyers had used the courts “as soap box to spread despicable and dangerous lies — lies that have imperiled election officials . . . That nearly destroyed the Capitol and that still undermine our democracy.”
He added, “A law license does not confer unbounded prerogative to file objectively legally frivolous lawsuits, built on . . . a conspiracy theory derived largely from a pillow salesman, aimed at undermining a legitimate presidential election.”
On Monday a group of nine lawyers in Michigan, including Trump attorneys Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, were subjected to six hours of skeptical questioning by a federal judge in a similar hearing to determine whether they should be sanctioned for filing a frivolous lawsuit. Giuliani already has had his law license suspended in New York and Washington, D.C. for his role in spreading the false election fraud narrative.