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‘One enormous conspiracy theory’: Federal judge orders attorneys who pushed election fraud lie to pay sanctions to Pa. and other defendants.

  • Julia Agos/WITF
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro

 Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro

(Denver) — A federal judge is determining the cost of sanctions for two attorneys ​whose lawsuit contained baseless claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed the motion in May ​to recover legal fees from Gary Fielder and Ernest Walker.

Shapiro says the two lawyers attacked how Pennsylvania’s election was conducted and attempted to undermine faith in the results.

“While any reasonable attorney would have been aware from the start that this entire case was unjustifiable, plaintiffs’ attorneys were specifically made aware of the spuriousness of their case soon after they filed it,” Shapiro wrote in the filing brief. 

In the class action suit ​filed in Colorado, United States Magistrate Judge N. Reid Neureiter found the lawyers acted in bad faith and tried to mislead the court with unfounded claims of fraud.

The class-action suit asked for $1,000 for each of the 160 million voters.

Last month, Neureiter granted motion​s for sanctions brought by Pennsylvania and other defendants, and said the attorneys’ work on the case amounted to “one enormous conspiracy theory.” 

The lawyers couldn’t be reached for comment. But during proceedings last month, Fielder said he and his co-counsel did not trust the government officials who certified the election.

​But Neureiter said the lawyers repeated claims from other failed lawsuits, and cited a “woeful lack of investigation” of the claims.

“Plaintiffs’ counsel in this case did precious little to ensure that they were not part of an immense malignant feedback loop,” Neureiter wrote in the order. 

A spokesperson for Shapiro said they expect the ruling on the dollar figure for the sanctions to be handed down sometime this month.

“The Judge’s order to impose sanctions is a positive step toward holding these attorneys accountable for their bad faith efforts, and puts other attorneys on notice,” Shapiro said. “Abusing our courts to promote the Big Lie will have consequences.”

In a separate case, a federal judge in Michigan issued a similar ruling, when saying election officials there are entitled to reimbursement for legal fees in cases they defended against lawyers for former President Donald Trump.

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