Top line

Two Georgia counties filed motion this week asking a state court to order former President Donald Trump, his campaign, and the state’s GOP chairman to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees on a case where the results of the Presidential elections challenged have exact ramifications for Republicans and their lawyers, who launched an unsubstantiated month-long campaign to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in court.

Former President Donald Trump at a rally in Valdosta, Georgia on December 5, 2020. (Photo by ANDREW … [+] CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Key factors

Cobb County is calling for Trump and Georgia GOP Chairman David Shafer to pay $ 10,875 in fees and DeKalb County is calling for $ 6,105 for a lawsuit against the state’s election results, which will finalize the January Trump campaign has withdrawn.

The files come days after a federal judge in Washington, DC, referred an attorney who challenged a case in which the election results of several battlefield states were challenged, to an appeals committee for possible disciplinary action. He said that any lawyer trying to do something as bold as overturning an election should “be required to act with far more care and good faith than there was here”.

Attorney Lin Wood is facing an investigation by the State Bar of Georgia into his post-election conduct – which includes filing several unsuccessful lawsuits – and was embroiled in an unrelated case in Delaware that was dropped by client Nicholas Sandmann and may need to be removed from a defamation case against MSNBC presenter Joy Reid.

Michigan and the City of Detroit are demanding that right-wing attorney Sidney Powell and her co-counsel be sanctioned in the state for their “Kraken” charges, and Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson have filed complaints in which the barring of the lawyers was requested.

Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani has filed an ethics complaint against him at the New York State Bar demanding that he be investigated and possibly disfellowshipped for his leadership role in Trump’s election challenges.

Attorneys in Arizona filed an ethics complaint against Powell and 20 other attorneys who were involved in 10 “absolutely unfounded” by-election lawsuits in the state.

Crucial quote

Given the number of failed lawsuits by the former president and his campaign, it appeared that petitioners felt they could bring their unfounded and legally defective claims with impunity, regardless of the cost of taxpayers’ coffers or the consequences for them the democracy foundations of our country, ”wrote Cobb County’s attorneys Janine Eveler in the court record, saying they were demanding charges“ to ensure a minimum of accountability for petitioners’ actions and to send a signal that similar Inadequate competitions submitted will have similar consequences in the future. “

Chief critic

Trump’s attorney on the Georgia case, Ray Smith, has not yet responded to a request for comment, but the other attorneys now targeted have largely remained defiant. “Personally, I have a high sense of ethics,” Giuliani said on his radio show of the growing complaints against him, denying he acted inappropriately, while Wood described the State Bar of Georgia investigation against him as “agenda-oriented,” and said via Telegram he’s going to “tear the State Bar of Georgia to pieces in a courtroom”.

What to look for

CNN reports that other Georgia counties may be filing similar filings to Cobb and DeKalb’s claims for legal fees. Officials in other battlefield states affected by Trump’s by-election lawsuits could also follow: Tony Evers, governor of Wisconsin, told the Washington Post the state will “absolutely” charge attorneys’ fees and said there must be “implications for this reckless, dangerous behavior “. “And Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro told the Post” there will be accountability “for those who tried the” unsubstantiated “claims in the state.

Key background

Trump and his allies pursued a widespread legal campaign in the months following the presidential election that targeted votes in battlefield states and ultimately resulted in more than 60 failed trials. In addition to the consequences pursued for attorneys’ actions in court, Trump and his allies may also face punishment for trying to instill suspicion about the election results. The president is the target of several investigations into his post-election conduct in Georgia, including a phone call asking Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find enough votes to flip the election results, and Powell and Giuliani have been sued for defamation by voting machine maker Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic for promoting an unfounded conspiracy theory involving corporate voting machines. Dominion also sued MyPillow and its CEO Mike Lindell, and Smartmatic’s lawsuit also cites Fox News and some of its top anchors. (The network and the individuals named in the lawsuits dispute the claims against them.)

further reading

The impeachment has ended. But other efforts to anticipate Trump’s post-election chaos have only just begun. (Washington Post)

Georgia counties are demanding legal fees for a “frivolous” Trump election fraud (CNN) lawsuit.

Lawyer who has filed an election complaint about possible discipline (Politico)

Georgia State Bar wants to punish pro-Trump attorney Lin Wood (Forbes)

Ethics complaint against Rudy Giuliani tries to lock him in New York (Forbes)