Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn Wisconsin’s election results were made in good faith so he shouldn’t be forced to cover the legal bills for Gov. Tony Evers and local state officials, Trump attorneys argue.
In a federal filing late yesterday, the Trump attorneys argued Evers and the local officials had failed to show the former president’s challenge of Wisconsin’s election results was frivolous. They also argued Evers waited too long to file his request for Trump and his attorneys to cover his legal bills.
Trump’s attorneys accused Evers of “hit and run tactics frequently used in political debate,” while arguing there is no basis for sanctions.
“Perhaps Governor Evers believes he scored political points by making unsupported claims which predictably received significant media attention,” Trump’s attorneys argued. “It does not take a public relations genius to understand this response will receive far less attention and therefore cannot repair the damage inflicted by the Governor’s initial false assertions.”
On March 31, Evers filed a motion in federal court seeking $145,175 in legal fees from Trump and his attorneys. The local officials in Milwaukee, Green Bay, Kenosha and Racine then sought another $108,090.
Trump originally sought a recount in heavily Dem Milwaukee and Dane counties. He then filed lawsuits in both the state and federal courts. A Milwaukee-based federal judge ruled Dec. 12 Trump’s suit failed on the merits and he had waited too long to challenge Wisconsin election procedures that were in place for November. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling Dec. 24, and the U.S. Supreme Court on March 8 refused to hear the case.
Yesterday’s filing argued the March 31 filing by Evers, followed by locals filing their own requests for legal fees in early April, was too late.
Evers and local officials have another request pending in federal court for legal fees from the legal team led by former Trump attorney Sidney Powell in a separate case that sought to overturn Wisconsin’s election results.
Read the filing here.