A Colorado judge slapped two attorneys with a substantial penalty for pursuing Donald Trump's election lies in court, and provided a blueprint for punishing the twice-impeached one-term president's legal enablers.
Magistrate judge N. Reid Neureiter ordered attorneys Gary D. Fielder and Ernest John Walker to pay nearly $190,000 to the defendants they sued in baseless election fraud case over Trump's loss, and Los Angeles Times columnist Mark Barabak hailed the news as a victory for truth and democracy.
"Here's hoping the action by the U.S. district court judge sets a precedent that spreads widely through the land, as former President Trump and his enablers continue to push the 'Big Lie' of rampant voter fraud and seek to undermine the legitimacy of the current chief executive," Barabak wrote. "It's one thing to market that mendacity to fleece donors, salve the former president's velveteen ego or build an audience on Fox News, OAN or other Trumpaganda media outlets. Things are different in a court of law, and must be."
The pair's lawsuit, supposedly filed on behalf of 160 million voters, sketched out a vast conspiracy involving Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the company Dominion Voting Systems to deprive Trump of another term in the White House, but Neureiter hauled the duo back into court after dismissing the case in April to consider possible sanctions for their actions.
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"He asked if it occurred to the co-counsel — Walker, a former government lawyer; Fielder, a onetime local prosecutor — that they were being used by Trump to spread his self-serving propaganda?" Barabak wrote.
Fielder claimed they had a "good faith" belief that President Joe Biden had stolen the election, based on conspiracy theories from Trump and others, including MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, which the attorney described as "serious allegations made by serious people."
"While they were at it, Fielder and his co-counsel might have consulted the works of Dr. Seuss," Barabak wrote, "who had some interesting and authoritative things to say about Lorax and Sneetches, which would have held just as much water and benefit to their case."
Neureiter wasn't impressed by the duo's claims, and he took action against Fielder and Walker, just as other judges and legal authorities have against Trump allies who tried to overturn the election results in court -- including Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Lin Wood.
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"For that reason it's worth toasting Neureiter's decision to slap a price tag on the spread of Trump's Big Lie. Maybe dollars and cents will prove a deterrent," Barabak wrote. "Cheers."