Two of the lawyers who lead Donald Trump’s legal challenge to Colorado’s 2020 presidential election results have been disciplined by a federal judge for filing the “frivolous” case “in bad faith.”
In particular the judge noted the fact that the two cited as evidence in a filing a Trump tweet that claimed without any evidence that Dominion Voting Systems had deleted 2.7 million Trump votes nationwide. Judge Neureiter called the allegation “highly disputed and inflammatory” and blasted the legal duo for making no effort to verify the information presented in the tweet before including it in an official court filing.
Fielder and Walker filed the case as a class action on behalf of 160 million American voters, alleging a complicated plot engineered by Dominion; Facebook; its founder Mark Zuckerberg; his wife, Priscilla Chan; and elected officials in four states. They had sought $160 billion in damages.
The case was dismissed in April, but the federal judge ruled that the attorneys had violated their ethical obligations by lodging it in the first place and by peppering their motions with wild allegations that they had made little effort to substantiate. Legal rules prohibit attorneys from clogging the court systems with frivolous motions or from filing information that is not true.
Calling the suit “one enormous conspiracy theory,” Neureiter ordered that the duo must pay the legal fees of all the individuals and companies they had sued — 18 separate entities in all — as a way to deter future similar cases.
“In short, this was no slip-and-fall at the local grocery store,” wrote Neureiter, who was appointed as a magistrate judge by other judges. “Albeit disorganized and fantastical, the Complaint’s allegations are extraordinarily serious and, if accepted as true by large numbers of people, are the stuff of which violent insurrections are made.”