US District Judge Linda Parker on Thursday ordered them to pay Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer and secretary of state Jocelyn Benson $21,964.75 for their legal expenses, and another $153,285 to reimburse they city of Detroit.
The bill will come to around $20,000 for each lawyer.
Sidney Powell, right, speaks next to former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, as members of President Donald Trump’s legal team, during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters on Nov. 19, 2020, in Washington
Attorney Lin Wood, a member of President Donald Trump’s legal team, gestures while speaking during a rally on Dec. 2, 2020, in Alpharetta, Ga
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and secretary of state Jocelyn Benson were awarded $22,000 to cover their legal fees (pictured: Whitmer listens during a news conference in Oxford, Michigan, following the high school shooting)
Their lawsuit was filed days after Biden’s 154,000-vote victory in Michigan was certified.
It was brought to the court on behalf of six Republican voters who wanted Parker to decertify Michigan’s results and impound voting machines.
The judge declined in December, calling the request ‘stunning in its scope and breathtaking in its reach.’
It was one of four legal actions by Powell collectively known as the ‘Kraken’ lawsuits, including allegations that George Soros, Venezuela and China among others tried to tamper with US voting machines.
‘We are talking about hundreds of thousands of votes,’ Powell told Fox News last November. ‘President Trump won this election in a landslide.’
‘I’m going to release the Kraken,’ she said, in a phrase which quickly rapidly viral among right-wing conspiracy theorists.
As well as Powell and Wood, the seven attorneys also sanctioned by Judge Parker include attorneys Howard Kleinhendler, Gregory Rohl, Stefanie Junttila, Emily Newman, Julia Haller, Brandon Johnson, and Scott Hagerstrom.
Parker previously ordered each of the lawyers to undergo 12 hours of legal education, including six hours in election law.
In a blistering 110-page ruling in August, the judge laid bare her fury at her colleagues.
‘Despite the haze of confusion, commotion and chaos counsel intentionally attempted to create by filing this lawsuit, one thing is perfectly clear: Plaintiffs´ attorneys have scorned their oath, flouted the rules, and attempted to undermine the integrity of the judiciary along the way,’ Parker wrote.
‘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.’
Trump lost to Biden by 154,000 votes in Michigan in last year’s election. Pro-Trump lawyers brought a lawsuit on behalf of six Republican voters but it was dismissed in December
Michigan’s top three elected officials – Gov. Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Benson, all Democrats – are seeking the disbarment of four of the nine attorneys, including Powell. She is licensed in Texas. The other three are admitted to practice in Michigan.
Powell could not be reached for comment. Wood said he will appeal the order.
‘I undertook no act in Michigan and I had no involvement in the Michigan lawsuit filed by Sidney Powell,’ he said in an email.
Wood’s name was on the lawsuit, but he has insisted he had no role other than to tell Powell he would be available if she needed a seasoned litigator.
‘There are consequences to filing meritless lawsuits to grab media attention and mislead Americans,’ Benson, the state’s chief election official, said in a statement.
‘The sanctions awarded in this case are a testament to that, even if the dollar amounts pale in comparison to the damage that’s already been done to our nation’s democracy.’
It is the latest blow to the rag tag band of lawyers who tried to overturn Trump’s defeat.
Wood (pictured with Trump in March 2020) and Powell are not the first attorneys to be punished over their 2020 lawsuits. Rudy Giuliani had his law license temporarily suspended in New York and Washington D.C. for his election fraud lawsuits
Rudy Giuliani had his law license temporarily suspended in New York and Washington D.C. for his election fraud lawsuits.
Giuliani, Powell and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell are being sued by Dominion Voting Systems for 2020 fraud claims centering around their equipment.
Dominion is seeking $1.3 billion from each of them in separate lawsuits.
In August, all three Trump allies lost a bid to dismiss those suits in a US district court.
‘But it is simply not the law that provably false statements cannot be actionable if made in the context of an election,’ Judge Carl Nichols said in a statement.