DETROIT – The tables are turning on the legal teams backing President Trump, as calls and court filings began mounting this week for those attorneys to be banned from courtrooms or disbarred -- including calls from Michigan’s attorney general.
In the latest filing, the attorney for Wayne County, Robert Davis, called on the federal judge in Michigan’s Eastern District to sanction lawyers for six Michigan Trump supporters suing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in an attempt to overturn the election results. According to the motion, Davis said the attorneys violated conduct codes by repeating falsehoods in court, at one point calling the suit “a deliberate and mean-spirited effort to undermine the will of the more than 5.5 million people.”
Davis’ filing comes nearly a week after the city of Detroit asked the same judge that those lawyers, along with close Trump ally Sidney Powell, be forced to pay court costs, be banned from practicing law in Michigan and be referred to the state bar for grievance proceedings, a move that could potentially lead to disbarment.
Sanctions for Michigan AG, Secretary of State
Tuesday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel also said her office along with Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson will likely file sanctions of their own to get attorneys such as Powell banned from state courtrooms.
“These are flagrant lies that Ms. Powell is submitting it to of all places the United States Supreme Court of all places in some cases. It’s disturbing and it undermines our entire profession, and she has to be held accountable,” Nessel said in an interview Tuesday. “We’d be asking there be action taken against her law license including potentially disbarment.”
Nessel also said she’s looking at possible sanctions for an attorney in a case in Antrim County surrounding false claims about voting machines and software from the company Dominion. That attorney, Matthew DePerno, has been a frequent guest of the far-right outlet Newsmax, a recent favorite of President Trump’s.
The case stemmed from early and unofficial results from Antrim County on Nov. 3 which showed Joe Biden ahead by several thousand votes in the reliably Republican county. Upon review, it was discovered the software had not been updated by a local clerk, also a Republican, who admitted to the error. The votes were corrected and had no affect on the election results.
The case is still ongoing in state court. Court cases, elections experts and a recent audit in Antrim County revealed there was no evidence of manipulation of results nor evidence of a conspiracy against the President using Dominion software.
In a separate case in Washington D.C., the NAACP, in a case alongside the Michigan Welfare Organization, accused the Republican party and the President personally of personally violating the KKK Act by attempting to reverse the election. The act, passed in 1871, was born out of racist attempts to bar Black voters from the polls and made it illegal for groups of people to band together to violate the constitutional rights of American citizens.
According to the filing, the group called it an attempt to “repeat the worst abuses in our nation’s history” by the Republican National Committee and Trump, who they accused of attempting to disenfranchise voters in large, mostly Black cities in key battleground states including Detroit, Philadelphia and Milwaukee.
New lawsuit trying to change Michigan electors law
Despite the new calls for sanctions, a new case was filed to get state laws changed to allow state legislators to choose electors for the electoral college. The suit was signed by several lawmakers and supporters from across the country, including two Michigan representatives and a group called the Election Integrity Fund with an address in Rochester Hills.
The suit alleges that by allowing a state’s executive branch to certify a presidential election instead of state legislatures, it violates the constitution. The elections of all 50 states are certified through the executive branch and have been for more than a century. The lawsuit names Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R) and outgoing state Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield (R) as defendants.
The suit aims to throw out the results of the federal election, prevent Congress from certifying the election next month and force state legislators back into session to send electors favorable to President Trump to Congress.
The suit also names Vice President Mike Pence as the first defendant. As President of the Senate, Pence will preside over the election certification in Congress.
Congress meets to count electoral college votes and certify the election on Jan. 6.
More: Election news