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Michigan attorney general moves to sanction lawyers who tried to overturn election results

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

The pro-Trump attorneys who tried to overturn Michigan’s presidential election results are now facing some possible professional repercussions.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel alleges prominent former Trump attorney Sidney Powell and three Michigan lawyers of filing a frivolous lawsuit when they challenged the state’s election results.

The lawsuit falsely claimed voting irregularities swung Michigan to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Winning Michigan was critical to Biden’s victory in November.

The federal judge who ruled against the lawsuit found it was focused more on “the impact of their allegations on people’s faith in the democratic process and their trust in our government" than on overturning the results.

On Thursday, the Michigan attorney general’s office filed a motion in federal court seeking $11,000 in attorneys’ fees. The office may also file complaints with the Michigan’s Attorney Grievance Commission and the State Bar of Texas, asking that disciplinary action be taken.

“These lawyers must be held accountable for betraying the trust placed in them as members of the bar,” says Nessel, “Lawyers bear a special responsibility to uphold the rule of law, and these lawyers have done the opposite.”

Scott Hagerstrom is one of the three Michigan lawyers cited in the Attorney General’s motion. He takes exception to the move to sanction him and the other attorneys.

"The court system is exactly the forum to settle disputes. A full, fair and transparent hearing with discovery to get to the bottom of so many allegations and witness accounts is exactly what would restore confidence in our system,” says Hagerstrom, “Attorney General Dana Nessel has politicized this process by using the power of her office to file Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation.”

Hagerstrom says if he is sanctioned, he will “wear that as a badge of honor." 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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