President Donald Trump called for Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to be sanctioned after she announced that Michigan would be pursuing sanctions against attorneys that intentionally misrepresented claims of voter fraud.
Trump posted a tweet on Saturday hitting back at Nessel after her announcement earlier last week. Trump has pushed dozens of unsuccessful legal challenges to the election results across a handful of battleground states, and he has not yet conceded the election to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
“These lawyers are true patriots who are fighting for the truth and, obviously, getting very close. AG should be sanctioned. Fight on!” Trump tweeted.
The president’s post prompted responses from Nessel.
“A patriot is a person who vigorously defends their country against its enemies and detractors. History will reveal which you were. I wish you loved your country half as much as you love yourself. Also, time to stop obsessing about those women from Michigan. You’re not our type,” Nessel tweeted on Sunday morning.
“Can’t a random state AG from the Midwest sleep in on a Sunday morning without waking up to find that the President of the United States has mean-tweeted about you overnight (again)? The answer is ‘yes’ come January 20th,” she added later.
Nessel announced on Tuesday that she, along with Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, would be pushing for sanctions against lawyers who made “intentional misrepresentations” of alleged instances of voter fraud in lawsuits over the election. One of the lawyers in Nessel’s crosshairs is Trump ally Sidney Powell.
“Some of these cases where we know for a fact there were intentional misrepresentations made — the kind of misrepresentation that there is no question of fact that these were inaccurate statements that were presented to the court — yes, myself and also Secretary Benson, will be filing complaints to the attorney grievance commission,” Nessel said.
Nessel and Benson also intend to file complaints against lawyers who brought election lawsuits in other states, as well. Michigan has yet to file complaints against any attorneys, but Nessel says that she intends to begin filing complaints after all the legal challenges over the election are concluded.
“I think we need to go back to a time where you can trust an attorney is making an accurate and truthful representation to the court because if they don’t, then they won’t be able to practice law anymore,” Nessel said.
Nessel has sought to punish Republicans for questioning the result of the election in Michigan, or for even meeting with Trump to discuss Michigan’s election outcome. In November, Nessel reportedly explored whether she could bring criminal charges against GOP state lawmakers who met with the president and attempted to block the certification of electors for Biden.
George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley said that Nessel’s push for retribution was an “abusive use” of the law.
“When Democrats like Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Cal.) challenged the certification of Ohio’s electoral votes in 2004, no one suggested criminal investigations. Nessel is threatening state legislators that, if they meet to discuss such objections, they might be targets of criminal investigations. That would seem an effort to use the criminal code for the purposes of intimidation or coercion,” Turley said.
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