On Monday, a federal judge in Detroit conducted a hearing to determine whether to penalise attorneys who worked on behalf of former President Donald Trump in a lawsuit contesting President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory in Michigan.
U.S. District Court Judge Linda Parker did not rule on whether penalties will be imposed, but she spent much of the 6-hour session questioning famous Trump attorneys Sidney Powell and L. Lin Wood about the suit’s accusations of election fraud.
Powell told the judge that the lawsuit, which was filed in late November, was the result of considerable study and analysis by the attorneys who worked on the case.
“We filed a massive and detailed complaint in federal court that doesn’t even require us to append affidavits to it,” said Powell. “The very fact we filed 960 pages of affidavits with the complaint shows due diligence on our part.”
Parker, however, replied that “volume, certainly for this court, doesn’t equate with legitimacy or veracity.”
Wood sought to distance himself from the case, telling the court that he was not involved in preparing it, despite his name appearing among the seven attorneys listed on the first iteration of the suit.
“I played absolutely no role in the drafting of the complaint, just to be clear,” Wood said. “I did not review any of the documents with respect to the complaint. My name was placed on there, but I had no involvement.”
Parker responded by asking Wood to clarify whether he had given permission for his name to be placed on the suit to which he replied that he had “generally indicated” to Powell that if she needed a “quote-unquote trial lawyer, I would certainly be willing or available to help her.”
Wood added he didn’t believe he would have objected to being included by name and Powell said she did believe she received his consent.
“I can’t imagine I would ever put his name on any pleading without understanding that he had given me permission to do that,” she said. “Might there have been a misunderstanding? It’s certainly possible.”
David Fink, a lawyer representing the city of Detroit said the court should issue the “strongest possible sanctions” against attorneys who brought the case and that the attorneys should “be barred from practicing in this district ever again.”
Fink added that the attorneys should be referred to their own state bar associations and Michigan taxpayers should be reimbursed for the cost of the lawsuit.
“These attorneys wielded the weapons afforded to them by the privilege of being admitted to the bar and they wielded these weapons in this case to abuse the processes of this court in a devastating way,” he said.
Powell responded at the end of the hearing, saying that she objected to “virtually everything Mr. Fink has said.”
“We have practiced law to the highest standards,” she said.
Rudy Giuliani’s legal licence in Washington, D.C., was suspended Monday awaiting review of a similar suspension in the state of New York after an appeal court determined he made “demonstrably false and misleading” claims about fraud during the 2020 elections while acting as Trump’s attorney.
President Trump supporters make their way to the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. Photo by Ken Cedeno