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Gov. Whitmer, AG Nessel and Secretary of State Benson respond to granted sanctions

AG Dana Nessel
Posted at 6:13 PM, Aug 04, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson responded to the order from United States Magistrate Judge N. Reid Neureiter in the United States District Court of Colorado after granting sanctions against attorneys a part of a lawsuit related to the 2020 presidential election wherein Michigan officials were named as defendants on Aug. 8, 2021.

“This ruling sends a resounding message: attorneys who neglected their oath to support the Constitution by taking part in election lawsuits based neither in fact nor reality not only undermined our legal system – they did irreparable harm to our election processes and will be held accountable,” Attorney General Nessel said. “These sanctions affirm that although severe damage was done by these baseless lawsuits, the democratic foundation on which this country was built remains intact and the rule of law still prevails. I appreciate my team’s dedication to pursuing these sanctions on behalf of the State and I sincerely hope Michiganders take note of this pivotal ruling.”

Alongside AG Nessel in pursuing sanctions against plaintiff attorneys were Dominion, Facebook, Center for Tech and Civic Life and Pennsylvania.

In April, the Court dismissed the entire case for lack of standing according to the Michigan Department of the Attorney General.

“I am pleased with the court's decision to issue sanctions as it caps off a historic election that was safe, fair, and secure,” Governor Whitmer said. “These lawyers acted in bad faith seeking to overturn a fair and valid election. The foundation of our democracy and the principles that we collectively cherish can withstand even the most divisive of times, and today’s decision is an important step toward accountability.”

“Actions have consequences. Today’s ruling is a clear affirmation that if you intentionally abuse your authority as an attorney to deceive voters about the safety and security of our elections - you will be held accountable,” Secretary Benson said. “This is an important victory in the fight to hold bad actors accountable for their attempts to undermine our democracy and use our legal system as a vehicle to spread conspiracy theories for personal and partisan gains.”

The sanctioned attorneys are Gary D. Fielder and Ernest J. Walker and have been ordered to pay defendants’ fees related to the suit the Michigan Department of Attorney General reports..

The State’s motion for sanctions can be viewed here while reply in support of the motion can be found here.