Attorneys who pushed President Donald Trump's election-fraud claims in court face existential threats to their professional careers.
Sidney Powell and L. Lin Wood could be disbarred after lawyers for the city of Detroit asked a federal judge in Michigan to reprimand the pair, who worked with the Trump campaign, and refer them for disbarment and financial penalties, reported the Wall Street Journal.
"Lawyers can't just say stuff," said Tyler Maulsby, an expert on legal ethics and professional responsibility. "By signing your name to this pleading, you are saying you have concluded, based on your legal training, that there is some basis you can prove in discovery."
The pro-Trump lawyers sued on behalf of several Michigan voters who claimed state election officials had manipulated the vote using software designed by foreign dictators, among other allegations that were ultimately thrown out of court.
"The extent of the factual and legal errors in this complaint would warrant sanctions under any circumstances," wrote Detroit's lawyer, David Fink, to U.S. District Judge Linda V. Parker, "but here the court's processes are being perverted to undermine our democracy and to upset the peaceful transfer of power."
Michigan's attorney general Dana Nessel has said she may seek sanctions against lawyer's who filed suits challenging the state's election results, and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani faces possible discipline or disbarment in at least five states.
Longtime Republican lawyer Cleta Mitchell resigned from a prestigious law firm after taking part in a call from the president pressuring Georgia's secretary of state to reverse his election loss, and Powell was sued for slander by voting technology company Dominion.