Lawyer Sidney Powell asked the Supreme Court to overturn Joe Biden’s election victories in Michigan and Georgia, while the city of Detroit is asking a federal judge to impose sanctions on her personally.
The latest requests by Powell appeared on the court’s online docket Tuesday, a day after the Electoral College confirmed Biden’s victory.
Powell sued last month on behalf of Republican voters in Michigan and Georgia describing her litigation as “releasing the Kraken.”
In rejecting the Michigan suit, U.S. District Judge Linda Parker said it “offered nothing but speculation and conjecture that votes for President Trump were destroyed, discarded or switched to votes for Vice President Biden.” In Georgia, U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten dismissed the suit orally after an hour long hearing.
The cases King v. Whitmer, 20-815, and In Re Pearson, 20-816 Powell is seeking to challenge those rulings directly at the Supreme Court, bypassing the federal appeals court level.
In a move to punish Powell, the city of Detroit is asking a federal judge to impose sanctions against her and other lawyers involved in filing the “Kraken” lawsuit. A lawyer for the city of Detroit is asking Judge Parker to sanction the “Kraken” team with fines, a sweeping ban from practicing in the Eastern District of Michigan and a referral to the state’s bar for grievance proceedings.
In the motion—which will be filed after a three-week window during which Powell can opt to withdraw her offending litigation (Powell told Forbes over email that she will not do so)—Detroit lawyer David Fink argues that the pro-Trump team violated standards of legal professional conduct under federal Rule 11, which requires that lawyers must not make cases in court “for any improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation.”
“These are not run-of-the-mill lawsuits and these are not minor factual and legal errors,” said Fink in a phone interview with Forbes, “I don’t think lawyers who practice with such disregard for the law and the facts should be allowed to practice.”
If the sanctions motion moves forward, Powell could be forced to post a $100,000 bond before filing any more appeals of the “Kraken” lawsuit in addition to the sanctions mentioned in the motion, but may also be exposed to other potential avenues of discipline which could include a review by the state bar even if the motion is denied, said University of Miami School of Law professor Jan Jacobowitz.
Detroit is the first jurisdiction to officially pursue sanctions against lawyers, whose questioning of whether the 2020 election was fair, has drawn anger and calls for punishment from Democrats. On Nov. 20, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.) filed complaints with ethics boards in five states, calling for the investigation and disbarment of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and other members of the legal team. A group of over 1,500 attorneys buoyed these complaints earlier this month in a letter urging the American Bar Association to investigate the team’s conduct.