Rachel Maddow talks with David Fink, attorney for the city of Detroit in the case in which pro-Trump attorneys are facing possible sanctions from a federal judge over their involvement in a lawsuit attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Michigan.Maddow and David Fink made clear the connection between the legal attempts to overturn the election results and January 6 coup attempt. Both are expressions of the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen. Fink also made his case that the lawyers advancing Trump's case should not only be sanctioned, but disbarred. So did Michigan's Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson when Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon interviewed them about the sanctions hearing, which CNN spliced together into Trump election lawyer faces possible sanctions over thin fraud claims.
A judge in Michigan pinned down lawyers in a marathon video court hearing Monday on whether they had done due diligence before filing election fraud claims in federal court in November. The grilling came in a hearing over whether the Trump-supporting lawyers should be penalized -- with the possible consequence of losing their law licenses -- following their lawsuit to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.The montage of Sidney Powell reciting conspiracy theories about the election reminds me that I think calling the idea that the election was stolen the Big Lie doesn't go far enough.
Much of the six-hour hearing hinged on Judge Linda Parker's line-by-line questioning about broad claims the lawyers had made alleging fraud and about sworn statements they had submitted to court from supposed witnesses speculating about ballot malfeasance, sometimes based on second- and third-hand chatter.
Ultimately the hearing became a painstaking recounting of the thinness of the claims supporting election fraud, and it came as former President Donald Trump has continued to repeat lies about the election's result and, in recent days, has rallied fellow Republicans around his claims.
Several state and national officials have verified the security of the 2020 presidential election and the integrity of its result: that Trump lost multiple swing states, including Michigan.
The judge on Monday repeatedly asked how much work the lawyers had done to verify the fraud claims. In response, several argued that they did not need to do that, if the witnesses believed that what they were saying was true. Fact-finding could be done during the course of the lawsuit, the attorneys who filed it argued.
At one point, Parker, sitting in the Eastern District of Michigan, asked the nine lawyers who took part in bringing the lawsuit if they had ever followed up to learn if any of their so-called witnessed actually saw a vote being changed.
Personally, I'd rather call it Trump's dangerous delusion, his fixed belief that the election was stolen from him despite all evidence, which I see as related to his vulnerability to conspiracy theories, but "the Big Lie" is the established phrase used by CNBC and others, so I'm calling it that instead. It's a lie, too.Powell shows that Trump's delusion is not just dangerous but contagious and when its believers said the suits were "releasing the Kraken," they were really releasing the Krak(pot)en(ing). I liked the Kraken better in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies.
Rudy Giuliani wasn't involved in the sanctions hearing, but CBS News included his professional troubles in Michigan judge blasts "fantastical" election fraud claims.
In a hearing this week on possible sanctions for Trump-allied lawyers, a federal judge questioned whether the attorneys had done their due diligence before filing a lawsuit in Michigan last November in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. Washington Post political investigations and enterprise reporter Rosalind Helderman joined CBSN to discuss the hearing.This case shows that it's time for Rudy to retire and I think his suspensions will finally make that happen. As for Trump's lawyers in Michigan, I watched the hearing and heard the judge gave the attorneys two weeks to prepare briefs. I expect her ruling shortly afterwards. I hope to report on it here when that happens. Stay tuned.