Gov. Tony Evers has asked federal courts to force Donald Trump, his attorneys and the parties in a second lawsuit seeking to overturn Wisconsin’s election results to reimburse the state for $250,000 in legal costs to hire private attorneys in the cases.
In a filing yesterday, Evers’ private lawyers urged a federal judge in Milwaukee to make “an example of Trump and his attorneys to discourage future frivolous litigation.” Otherwise, they warned, perennial target state Wisconsin will see similar cases in the future after razor-thin results.
“Simply put, a message must be sent that this type of behavior cannot be tolerated in the judicial system, and that attorneys should avoid these types of frivolous attempts to disenfranchise voters in the future,” the attorneys argued.
The guv’s lawyers are seeking market rates on their time, which was more than Evers agreed to pay them for the work.
For example, legal bills WisPolitics.com had previously obtained show attorney Jeffrey Mandell was paid $275 an hour for the work he did for Evers on various issues related to the November election. In the filing, he’s seeking reimbursement at $500 an hour for his time.
If the request is successful, the state would be reimbursed for what it was charged to hire the attorneys with anything above that potentially going to the private attorneys.
The requests were filed in two suits, including Trump’s unsuccessful bid in federal court to overturn his narrow loss to Joe Biden in November. That case went to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld a district judge’s ruling rejecting the president’s request to overturn the results and have the Legislature decide who should receive the state’s 10 electoral votes. Trump asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, but the justices declined.
The other suit was filed by former Trump attorney Sidney Powell on behalf of Bill Feehan, chair of the La Crosse County GOP. The suit was rife with errors when it was originally filed, including seeking video from a Detroit arena as part of its attempt to overturn Wisconsin’s election results. It originally listed a former GOP congressional candidate as a plaintiff even though he hadn’t given Powell and the other attorneys permission to do so.
Evers’ attorneys cited various errors in the filing as well as what they described as conspiracy theories advanced in the lawsuit that Dominion voting machines altered votes to favor Biden while supporting no proof to support the claim.
In a separate defamation case, Dominion has sued Powell for $1.3 billion. In a response, she claimed a reasonable person wouldn’t have believed her claims of Dominion machines altering votes as fact.
After losing the Wisconsin case at the district court, Feehan’s legal team ultimately filed an emergency petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. That was rejected, and a second one was filed only to have Feehan’s attorneys join a defense motion to dismiss it after Congress certified the election results.
“There is no reason for Wisconsin taxpayers to bear the expense of this attempt to hijack
the democratic process,” the filing argues.
See the filing in the Trump case:
See the filing in the Feehan suit: