Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, and several other lawyers who worked on Trump-aligned lawsuits seeking to overturn the 2020 election results were sanctioned by a federal judge on Wednesday.
The lawyers had “engaged in litigation practices” that were “abusive and, as a result, sanctionable,” according to US District Judge Linda Parker of the Eastern District of Michigan.
“Sanctions are required to deter the filing of future frivolous lawsuits designed primarily to spread the narrative that our election processes are rigged and our democratic institutions cannot be trusted,” the judge wrote in a 110-page opinion.
Parker has ordered the lawyers to reimburse the city of Detroit and Michigan state officials for the legal fees they paid in seeking the sanctions. The lawyers must also take legal education classes, according to the judge, who will refer her decision to the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission as well as “the appropriate disciplinary authority for the jurisdiction(s) where each attorney is admitted” for possible disciplinary action.
When asked for comment, Wood referred CNN to his attorney. Powell and the attorney representing them in the sanctions dispute did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment via email.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat from Michigan, applauded the judge’s decision on Wednesday, saying it “sends a clear message: those who seek to overturn an American election and poison the well of American democracy will face consequences.”
Powell, Wood, and others filed a lawsuit in Parker’s court last November, one of dozens of lawsuits filed last year as part of then-President Donald Trump’s early, major attempt to claim that the presidential election results in November were illegitimate. All of his team’s and supporters’ attempts in court to gain traction on voter fraud were unsuccessful.
During a six-hour hearing last month, Parker grilled the attorneys about their election fraud claims, and her line-by-line questioning resulted in a painstaking recounting of the claims’ flimsiness.
The city of Detroit, whose lawyer argued that the Trump lawsuit was solely intended to spread election-related lies, and the state of Michigan both asked the federal court to sanction the lawyers who brought the case.
The sanctions imposed on Wednesday are not the first for a pro-Trump lawyer who has filed election-related lawsuits. Rudy Giuliani’s law license was temporarily suspended earlier this summer in Washington, DC, and New York state for spreading election lies.