Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers asked a court to order former President Donald Trump to pay nearly $150,000 in legal fees and costs related to his “frivolous” election lawsuit, Law & Crime reports.
Attorneys for Evers filed a motion on Wednesday asking a federal judge to recoup $145,174 in legal fees and costs related to Trump’s lawsuit challenging his loss in the state.
The motion said Trump’s claims were “bereft of legal or factual basis” but forced the state to spend taxpayer dollars to defend against the “scattershot litigation tactics.”
“From this case’s inception through the staggeringly expedited subsequent proceedings, there is no doubt that Trump and his attorneys brought and litigated this lawsuit in bad faith,” the motion said. “Unconscionably, they did so for the purpose of sowing doubt about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election, with a goal of disenfranchising nearly 3.3 million Wisconsin voters in order to secure the presidency contrary to majority will.”
“This Court has both statutory and inherent authority to make the State whole for attorneys’ fees necessitated by this frivolous suit and to issue sanctions, for which Trump and his attorneys should be jointly and severally liable, to dissuade future candidates and attorneys from engaging in such reckless abuses of the judicial system,” the filing argued.
Trump sued to block certification:
The motion comes in response to a lawsuit filed by Trump’s team in December asking a court for an injunction to block the state from certifying its election results.
Judge Brett Ludwig, who was appointed by Trump himself, rejected the lawsuit just days later.
“This is an extraordinary case,” he wrote. “A sitting president who did not prevail in his bid for reelection has asked for federal court help in setting aside the popular vote based on disputed issues of election administration, issues he plainly could have raised before the vote occurred. This Court has allowed plaintiff the chance to make his case and he has lost on the merits.”
“In his reply brief, plaintiff ‘asks that the Rule of Law be followed,'” he added. “It has been.”
Trump team vows to fight back:
“We deny the claims,” Trump attorney William Bock told Reuters. “They’re attacking in the pleadings my motives and the motives of my partners, of which they know nothing. The statements made about our motives were absolutely false.”
But an appeals court that held up Ludwig’s decision agreed that the suit was frivolous.
“We agree that Wisconsin lawfully appointed its electors in the manner directed by its Legislature and add that the President’s claim also fails because of the unreasonable delay that accompanied the challenges the President now wishes to advance against Wisconsin’s election procedures,” the court said. “On the merits, the district court was right to enter judgment for the defendants. We reach this conclusion in no small part because of the President’s delay in bringing the challenges to Wisconsin law that provide the foundation for the alleged constitutional violation. Even apart from the delay, the claims fail under the Electors Clause.”