Attorney Lin Wood blamed former President Trump’s lawyer Sidney Powell for adding his name to a lawsuit challenging the result of last year’s election, during a hearing today to decide whether they should be punished for their role in pushing claims of fraud.
The pair unsuccessfully sued Michigan election officials as they tried to claim widespread rigging.
Now they face sanctions as state officials accused them of bringing a ‘frivolous’ lawsuit in bad faith.
In a hearing conducted by video link, Wood tried to distance himself from the action.
‘I did not review any of the documents with respect to the complaint,’ he told U.S. District Judge Linda Parker.
‘My name was placed on there, but I had no involvement.’
There has never been evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election.
Yet loyalists to Trump launched a string of lawsuits last year to overturn the results.
In Michigan, their complaints were dismissed by Judge Parker in December when she rejected their application for a temporary restraining order.
The fallout from the slew of cases has already cost Rudy Giuliani.
Trump’s personal lawyer has been barred from practicing law in New York for making making false statements during the election battle.
Atlanta-based Wood tried to pass off the blame on Powell, saying ‘he didn’t do anything in Michigan.’
‘I do not specifically recall being asked about the Michigan complaint, but I had generally indicated to Sidney Powell that if she needed a quote-unquote trial lawyer, I would certainly be willing or available help her,’ he said.
‘Would I have objected to being included by name? I don’t believe so.’
The city of Detroit has asked for the attorneys to be referred to disciplinary authorities in their home states and to be barred from practicing in the district court.
The pair achieved notoriety last year when they took on Trump’s cause.
Dallas-based Powell was ridiculed when she described the case she was mounting as a ‘Kraken’ that, once released, would destroy the case for Joe Biden having won the presidency.
But the Trump campaign distanced itself from her after she claimed at a chaotic news conference in November that electronic voting systems had switched millions of ballots to Biden.
Wood is known for pushing a string of conspiracy theories and in April insisted that former President Trump was still in the Oval Office, despite being replaced by Biden on Jan. 20.
Powell disputed Wood’s version of events. She said she ‘did specifically ask Mr. Wood for his permission,’ she also admitted there may have been a ‘misunderstanding.’
She took an uncompromising position, dismissing Monday’s court proceedings as the sort of display that would leave the American people with no confidence in either the electoral of judicial systems
‘I would file the same complaints again,’ she said.
Parker, sitting in Detroit, suggested the pro-Trump lawyers should have investigated the Republican former president’s voter fraud claims more carefully before suing.
‘Should an attorney be sanctioned for his or her failure to withdraw allegations the attorney came to know were untrue?,’ she said. ‘Is that sanctionable behavior?’
She said she thought affidavits in the case had been submitted in ‘bad faith.’
And she clashed frequently with the pair’s lawyers, expressing incredulity at the affidavits they submitted with their claims of fraud and questioning why they had not done more to vet the allegations.
‘If you have not asked even the minimal questions, I find that problematic,’ she said.
When their attorney Donald Campbell tried to push back, he triggered a bad-tempered exchange.
‘I caution you not to question my procedure,’ she said.
‘And I am not a potted plant,’ Campbell replied.
Parker dismissed the Michigan lawsuit last December, saying in a written decision that Powell’s voter fraud claims were ‘nothing but speculation and conjecture’ and that, in any event, Powell waited too long to file her lawsuit.
Parker did not rule in the hearing’s initial hours whether she would impose judicial sanctions on Powell and her co-counsel, or refer them to a regulatory body for disbarment proceedings.
Starting in January, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and other government lawyers asked the judge to discipline the pro-Trump lawyers, saying they filed a frivolous lawsuit full of typos and factual errors and should be held accountable.
‘What they filed was an embarrassment to the legal profession,’ David Fink, a lawyer for the city of Detroit said during Monday’s hearing. ‘This was a sloppy and careless effort.’
Powell represented Trump’s campaign when he tried to overturn last Nov. 3’s presidential election in the courts.
Trump’s campaign distanced itself from Powell after she claimed without evidence at a Nov. 19 news conference that electronic voting systems had switched millions of ballots to Biden.
On Nov. 25, a team of lawyers led by Powell filed a lawsuit on behalf of Michigan Republicans alleging rampant voter fraud.
The also sought to have Trump named the winner of the Midwestern state’s election, giving him Michigan’s votes in the U.S. Electoral College which selects the winner of presidential races.
During the hearing, Parker asked Powell and her co-counsel why they did not voluntarily dismiss their Michigan case on Dec. 14 when the Electoral College formally confirmed Biden’s election victory.
‘Why did the plaintiffs not recognize this lawsuit as moot and dismiss it on that date?’ Parker asked.
Campbell replied that the election was ‘fluid’ and unpredictable and that the pro-Trump legal team believed its lawsuit was still viable after Dec. 14.