Before leaving for Florida, Georgia election officials want the former president to close his tab. They want to be compensated for appearing in court and defending themselves against the spate of garbage lawsuits filed against random state officials to dismiss the election results.
As the Atlanta Journal Constitution first reported, lawyers in DeKalb and Cobb counties yesterday asked the Fulton County’s Supreme Court to order Trump to spit $ 6,105 $ 10,875 for wasting time and money fending off the President’s “baseless and legally flawed petition”.
As Cobb County’s motion notes, Georgia’s Controversial Elections and Primary Elections Act limits the categories of persons who may be sued against the candidate whose nomination or election is contested, the candidate, eligibility, nomination, or office in one Applying for a runoff election or area code is contested, the election superintendent or superintendent who carried out the contested area code or election; or the official who officially declared the result.
Although neither Janine Eveler, the director of the Cobb County’s electoral division, nor Erica Hamilton, the DeKalb County’s director of voter registrations, fall into either of these categories, they continued to be named defendants in Trump’s Dec. 4 lawsuit in the Superior Court of Fulton County . And even after the former president amended his complaint on Dec. 9 to add the appropriate county-level defendants, he still did not remove Eveler and Hamilton. He also didn’t bother actually serving them until December 28, just two weeks after the Georgia Supreme Court rejected its restraining order against the court’s refusal to ban the confirmation of state election results.
Cobb County’s motion notes that Georgian law allows the court to “collect attorney’s fees and litigation costs in civil actions in a court of law if, at the request of a party or the court itself, it determines that a lawyer or party has been brought has been or has defended any or part of a lawsuit that had no substantive justification, or that the lawsuit, or any part thereof, was brought in for delay or harassment, or when a lawyer or other party is found to unnecessarily add to the proceedings with other improper conduct Has[.]”
And to further substantiate its claim that the petition was flawed at first sight, the county points out that under Georgian law, election campaigns must be based on certain illegal ballot papers, which are cast in sufficient numbers to achieve the result, and not just statistical analyzes carried out by scientists of highly questionable expertise, suggesting that some of the ballots cast must be illegal.
Trump never managed to convince Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “get 11,780 votes, one more than us”. He voluntarily dismissed the case on January 7th, the day after the Capitol rising, citing an “out-of-court settlement.” The Secretary of State immediately responded in a press release that there was no such agreement: “Instead of bringing their evidence and witnesses to court and hearing them under oath, the Trump campaign carefully decided that the wisest way was to dismiss their frivolous cases . “
In the end, the whole exercise came to nothing. But the counties still had to hire an outside attorney to walk them through. And even with a greatly reduced “government rate,” the counties are still worth tens of thousands of dollars.
And your trusted legal bloggers have lost millions of brain cells after spending three months reading these nonsense requests and praying for a merciful meteor to lift us out of our misery. We hope that at least someone will get well after this debacle.
Cobb, DeKalb wants legal fees for a “no merit” Trump lawsuit [AJC]
Elizabeth Dye lives in Baltimore, where she writes on law and politics.