Judge says lawyers challenging election fomented unrest with ‘pointless, unjustified lawsuit’

U.S. Magistrate Judge N. Reid Neureiter said the lawyers must take responsibility for their conduct because the defendants in the “pointless and unjustified lawsuit” were defamed in public court filings.(Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)
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Joe Schneider Bloomberg News (TNS)

Two lawyers who unsuccessfully sued to overturn the results of the 2020 U.S. election must pay almost $187,000 to cover the legal fees spent by Facebook Inc., Dominion Voting Systems Inc. and others defending the lawsuit.

U.S. Magistrate Judge N. Reid Neureiter said the lawyers — Gary Fielder of Denver and Ernest John Walker, of Benton Harbor, Michigan — must take responsibility for their conduct because the defendants in the “pointless and unjustified lawsuit” were defamed in public court filings.

“This lawsuit has been used to manipulate gullible members of the public and foment public unrest,” the judge wrote in a 21-page order Monday.

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Fielder and Walker were ordered to pay $4,900 to Michigan state officials, $6,162.50 to state officials in Pennsylvania, $50,000 to Facebook, $62,930 to the Center for Tech and Civic Life and $62,930 to Dominion Voting.

The judge put the order to pay on hold while the lawyers appeal his dismissal of their lawsuit.

Fielder and Walker didn’t immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.

The two lawyers sued Dominion Systems, Facebook and the others accusing them of a vast conspiracy engineered to prevent former President Donald Trump from being re-elected.

Trump and his allies filed dozens of lawsuits contesting the results of the 2020 election. Almost all were thrown out by judges. The unsupported claims that the election was stolen from Trump inspired the crowd that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, seeking to stop the certification of the election.

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