Gov. Whitmer, SOS Benson, and AG Nessel share what’s next, sanctions against attorneys

Gretchen Whitmer

Governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks after Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced a lawsuit against 17 PFAS manufacturers at the Attorney General’s office in Lansing, Mich., on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. Michigan sued 3M, DuPont and other companies for financial damages from contamination caused by potentially harmful “forever” chemicals that are turning up in drinking water across a state known for industrial manufacturing. (Joel Bissell/ Gazette via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)–The U.S. District Court Judge Linda Parker granted sanctions against attorneys participating in an election lawsuit. Parker says the “lawsuit represents a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process.” 

The attorneys who are sanctioned are listed below:

  • Sidney Powell – Texas
  • L. Lin Wood – Georgia 
  • Emily Newman – Virginia
  • Julia Z. Haller – the District of Columbia, Maryland, New York and New Jersey
  • Brandon Johnson – the District of Columbia, New York, and Nevada 
  • Scott Hagerstrom – Michigan
  • Howard Kleinhendler – New York and New Jersey
  • Gregory Rohl – Michigan
  • Stefanie Lynn Junttila – Michigan. 

Judge Parker’s also ordered these attorneys to pay the fees and costs incurred by state defendants. Plus, she also ordered:

  • the plaintiffs’ attorneys to complete at least 12 hours of continuing legal education, taught by non-partisan organizations, in the subjects of pleading standards and election law within six months.
  • the judge’s decision will be referred to the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission and the appropriate disciplinary authority where each attorney is licensed for investigation and possible suspension or disbarment. 

State officials say this case does not end here.

 “While the mob on January 6th physically assaulted our democracy, Sidney Powell and other lawyers continued to do so in our courts, said Gov. Whitmer, “They launched dozens of lawsuits, exploiting the legal system to undermine a free and fair election. The courts rejected all of them. This ruling sends a clear message: those who seek to overturn an American election and poison the well of American democracy will face consequences.” 

“As Judge Parker rightly noted, this case was about seeking consequences for those who ‘debased the judicial process in a misguided, deceitful effort to undermine the public’s faith in our democracy,” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said.  “I am grateful for the court’s definitive recognition that those who misuse their positions of authority and power to intentionally deceive voters about their rights and the truth of the 2020 election – or any election – will be held accountable.” 

“These attorneys abused our judiciary for the sole purpose of undermining our system of free and fair elections,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “There is a direct correlation between their filings and the distrust now felt by millions of Americans. I’m proud of the work done by my office to secure these sanctions and I recognize the work that lies ahead for all of us to repair the damage done to our democracy.” 

The Department of Attorney General previously asked for further disciplinary action before the Attorney Grievance Commission of the State of Michigan and the State Bar of Texas.  

Judge Parker’s ruling means disciplinary boards in other states will also review these sanctioned attorney’s actions.

Judge Parker’s opinion is also on the Department of Attorney General’s website

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