Judge Orders Lawyers Who Sued Facebook, Dominion Over 'Election Fraud' to Pay Over $180,000 in Fines
16:59 GMT 23.11.2021 (Updated: 18:23 GMT 03.11.2022)
© AFP 2023 / MICHAEL M. SANTIAGOA Pennsylvania State elector holds an electoral college binder after exiting the Forum Auditorium after casting his vote in the 2020 Presidential election on December 14, 2020 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Electors in Pennsylvania will meet today to certify the 2020 presidential election for President-elect Joe Biden who won the electoral college 306-to-232 against incumbent President Donald Trump. On Friday, the Supreme Court tossed out a lawsuit filed by Texas that intended to overturn Biden's win in four battleground states that included Pennsylvania.
© AFP 2023 / MICHAEL M. SANTIAGO
The team of former US President Donald Trump has made a lot of unsuccessful attempts to legally challenge the outcome of the 2020 presidential election – something that Trump has never admitted, continuing to cry voter fraud to this day.
US federal judge in Colorado Judge N. Reid Neureiter ruled on Monday that the two lawyers who filed a lawsuit against Facebook and Dominion on the pretext of them being a part of an alleged election fraud scheme now have to pay around $180,000 in legal fees to their defendants.
The two attorneys, whose names are Gary Fielder and Ernest John Walker, have been ordered to pay some $50,000 to Facebook and $62,930 to Dominion, along with $62,930 to the Centre for Tech and Civil Life, an organisation advocating for election reforms.
"They are experienced lawyers who should have known better. They need to take responsibility for their misconduct", the judge said in his ruling. "Defendants have been significantly prejudiced, not just because they have had to incur legal fees to defend this pointless and unjustified lawsuit, but because they have been defamed, without justification, in public court filings."
Fielder and Walker filed their "fatally flawed" lawsuit in late December 2020, alleging that Facebook and Dominion conspired to mastermind a scheme to snatch Donald Trump's victory and hand the presidency to Joe Biden.
Among others who may expect legal fees compensations from the two attorneys are Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan State Secretary Jocelyn Benson, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, and Kathy Boockvar, former Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
"I conclude that the repetition of defamatory and potentially dangerous unverified allegations is the kind of 'advocacy' that needs to be chilled. Counsel should think long and hard, and do significant pre-filing research and verification, before ever filing a lawsuit like this again," Neureiter finalised.
Neither Fielder nor Walker has yet commented on the decision. Earlier, according to The Washington Post, the two lawyers said they did not file their lawsuit in bad faith. The outlet also said that the attorneys have appealed Neureiter’s order.
Fielder and Walker now join a handful of other pro-Trump lawyers who have seen their legal battles for "election fraud" claims backfire. Among them is Trump's former personal attorney Rudy Guiliani, who was suspended from practising law in New York after his statements about voter fraud. Ex-campaign lawyer Sidney Powell accompanies him on that list, having promised to "release the Kraken" that would expose the truth about the 2020 election, but instead being sanctioned over her unsuccessful lawsuit on Michigan's election results.