Over the past four years plus, I have watched Trump and his attorneys repeatedly abuse the legal process. They ignore subpoenas, make baseless arguments, then make baseless appeals of those losing arguments. The goal is often not success in court, but DELAY. Too often judges have assisted Trump and his attorneys in accomplishing that goal.
Probably the worst area has been with regard to congressional subpoenas. I have criticized Congress for not exercising the option of enforcing their own subpoenas. Instead congressional leaders go to court for an order that will come months down the road, which order will inevitably be further delayed by appeals.
Contrary to what lay people think, and the media report, courts can act with alacrity. What it takes is a commitment by judges to expediate matters, especially when one party is clearly using the legal process to "win" by delaying enforcement. Too often, justice delayed is justice denied.
|Judge Linda Parker|
On Wednesday, A Michigan federal judge handed down some "justice" to Trump attorneys on Wednesday. In her 110 page opinion sanctioning the attorneys for filing a frivolous lawsuit to decertify the election results in Michigan, a state Biden won by 150,000 votes, Judge Linda Parker addressed each and every argument for fraud offered by attorneys in a bid to overturn the election results. It turns out the "evidence" cited by the attorneys was merely speculation and conjecture. No tangible evidence of election fraud was ever offered by the attorneys. Go figure.
Of course, the lawsuit was not filed with the expectation of success in court. Rather, the lawsuit was filed to help advance a false public narrative of a "stolen election." Judge Parker, rightfully, thought courts should not be used as pawns in a disinformation campaign.
Former federal prosecutor Barbara McQuade wrote about the decision for Microsoft News:
These lawyers most certainly were aware they lacked the evidence to win this lawsuit. And yet they filed it anyway because it advanced an affirmative disinformation campaign designed to convince the public that the election had been stolen. As Parker wrote, “This case was never about fraud—it was about undermining the People’s faith in our democracy and debasing the judicial process to do so.”
Filing a lawsuit without any factual basis sounds a lot like the strategy that a book by two Washington Post reporters said another Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, articulated on election night in November: “Just say we won.”
Similarly, Powell and her colleagues did not need to win their lawsuits in Michigan and elsewhere; they just needed to file them to give Trump and his allies the talking points they needed to perpetuate the big lie. Parker wrote, “Many people have latched on to this narrative, citing as proof counsel’s submissions in this case.”
In imposing sanctions, Parker called out the lawyers who are willing to kill truth to advance a political agenda. Sanctions, she wrote, were necessary in this case to deter “future frivolous lawsuits designed primarily to spread the narrative that our election processes are rigged and our democratic institutions cannot be trusted.”
OOP's short takes:
- In other legal developments, seven U.S. Capitol police officers have sued former President Donald Trump, his longtime adviser Roger Stone, and members of far-right extremist groups over the January 6th insurrection which resulted in hundreds of police officers injured, including several deaths. While I certainly side with the U.S. Capitol police officers filing the lawsuit, I also realize these types of cases are difficult to win. Unfortunately, if the case gets dismissed, Trump and his extremist allies will consider it a victory.
- Speaking of the Capitol Police, the officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt finally spoke out in public after being cleared of wrong doing. There were 60-80 House members and staffers barricaded in the House chambers awaiting rescue. The insurrectionists had broken out a window and were intent on getting those people still in the chamber. The officer warned the insurrectionists with a raised gun to stop their efforts to enter the House chamber, but he was ignored. Babbitt was the first person who climbed through the window and the officer reacted by shooting her in the shoulder. She later died of the gunshot.
- The shooting stopped the intrusion giving the people inside the House chamber time to get out. The officer no doubt saved countless lives. He is a hero. Babbitt might have been a hero during her previous service to the country, but on January 6th she was engaged in a violent act that endangered lives. For some Trumpers to treat her as some martyr is laughable. On January 6th, Ashli Babbitt was playing the role of a violent thug and her being shot was 100% justified.
- An interesting side note, Trump's often attorney former New York City Mayor and former federal prosecutor Rudy Giuliani was spotted shaving while eating a meal at an airport restaurant. I kid you not. I'm not laughing though. I have long suspected Giuliani might have a form of dementia that affects one's judgment and decision-making. I have that type of dementia in my family and know that shaving while one is eating in a public restaurant is the type of behavior you see from people suffering from that affliction.