NATIONAL NEWS

Michigan legal watchdog pursues Trump-allied attorneys

May 5, 2023, 1:37 PM

FILE - Attorney Sidney Powell speaks during a rally on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, in Alpharetta, Ga. ...

FILE - Attorney Sidney Powell speaks during a rally on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, in Alpharetta, Ga. Nine lawyers, including Powell, allied with former President Donald Trump face financial penalties and other sanctions after a judge Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, said they had abused the court system with a lawsuit that challenged Michigan's election results that certified Joe Biden as the winner. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

DETROIT (AP) — Nine lawyers who were found to have abused the court system by filing a lawsuit that challenged Michigan’s 2020 election results in favor of President Joe Biden committed misconduct and should be disciplined, a watchdog agency said.

The state Attorney Grievance Commission filed a complaint this week against Sidney Powell, Lin Wood and seven other lawyers who were allied with then-President Donald Trump. The complaint now goes to the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board for further consideration.

In 2020, the attorneys supported a lawsuit on behalf of Republican voters that was filed just a few days after Biden’s 154,000-vote victory in Michigan was certified.

The lawsuit sought to decertify those results and have voting machines impounded. U.S. District Judge Linda Parker said the request was “stunning in its scope and breathtaking in its reach.”

The lawsuit was “frivolous” and exposed the legal profession to “contempt,” the Grievance Commission said in its complaint.

Three of the nine lawyers are licensed in Michigan while Powell, Lin and others are licensed in other states or the District of Columbia. It’s unclear what sanctions could be ordered against lawyers who practice outside Michigan.

Wood’s name was on the 2020 lawsuit, but he has insisted that the only role he played was telling Powell he was available if she needed a seasoned litigator. Powell defended the lawsuit and insisted that lawyers sometimes have to raise what he called “unpopular issues.”

After dismissing the case, Parker ordered the nine lawyers to attend 12 hours of legal education, including six hours in election law. She also ordered $175,000 in legal fees to be paid, mostly to the city of Detroit. Those sanctions are being appealed.

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