Pro-Trump attorneys Sidney Powell and L. Lin Wood told a federal judge Monday they shouldn’t be punished for their lawsuit challenging the 2020 election results in Michigan.
Judge Linda V. Parker, an Obama appointee, for the Eastern District of Michigan held a more than four-hour hearing, quizzing a group of lawyers who represented claims of election fraud about their expert witnesses and what knowledge and involvement they had in challenging Michigan’s results in favor of President Biden.
The city of Detroit asked the judge to discipline the attorneys, including possible disbarment, for their allegations of election misconduct in Wayne County and the city of Detroit.
The election challenge was mostly handled by Michigan attorneys and it’s unclear exactly what role Ms. Powell, a Texas-based attorney, and Mr. Wood, a Georgia-based attorney, played in the representation, though Ms. Powell’s signature appears on the complaint.
Mr. Wood claimed that although his name was mentioned on the complaint, he never signed it and did not have involvement with the Michigan lawsuit. He told the judge that he should not be subject to the jurisdiction of her court.
“I did not have anything to do with submitting the pleading. I haven’t advocated for the pleadings,” he said. “I feel I have been kind of lumped in.
“I had no involvement in any of this,” Mr. Wood added.
Following the 2020 election, Mr. Wood held a rally in Georgia, telling Republican voters the election was rigged. He also filed a federal lawsuit in Georgia challenging the legality of the state’s absentee ballot collection, which was ultimately dismissed.
Ms. Powell said her initial understanding was that Mr. Wood was working on the lawsuits with her and that is why his name was on the complaint, but she added it could have been a misunderstanding. Ms. Powell filed a number of lawsuits in swing states challenging the 2020 elections and alleged manipulation by voting machines.
In terms of mounting her own defense, Ms. Powell remained mostly silent during the hearing. The pro-Trump lawyers, through a court filing, said there is no proof that they acted recklessly or in bad faith.
Ms. Powell did, though, accuse the attorney for Detroit of abusing the legal process by bringing the sanctions request for “political gamesmanship.”
David Fink, the lawyer for the city of Detroit, told the judge the issue was that the pro-Trump lawyers lacked due diligence in filing the lawsuit contesting the election.
“These lies were put into the world,” Mr. Fink said. “When they were put out in the world, they were adopted and believed.”
The judge was skeptical of the pro-Trump lawyer’s claims, suggesting they could not rely on sworn affidavits from witnesses claiming there was alleging vote switching from one candidate to another and double voting.
“Every lawyer has a requirement to do a limited amount of investigation,” Judge Parker said.
The lawsuit, originally filed in November, challenged the certification of Michigan’s election results. It claimed voting machines manipulated votes. The judge rejected the lawsuit’s request to reverse the state’s certification.
Former President Trump lost the state of Michigan by 2.78%, or more than 154,000 votes, in the 2020 election.