“Albeit disorganized and fantastical, the Complaint’s allegations are extraordinarily serious and, if accepted as true by large numbers of people, are the stuff of which violent insurrections are made,” Neureiter added in the 68-page opinion.
Following Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, numerous lawsuits were filed to challenge the results and allege widespread voter fraud. The Tuesday opinion referred to other, similar election fraud suits that failed, saying the plaintiffs in this suit should have been on notice that “the lawsuits from which they were copying had failed.”
In the opinion, the judge also noted that independent and Republican sources, including former Attorney General William Barr, have found no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Neureiter took issue with the lawyers including former President Donald Trump’s groundless assertions that the election was stolen, without attempting to verify the statements. In the opinion, Neureiter said that including in the filing a debunked tweet from Trump was reckless in the political landscape of the Jan. 6 insurrection and unchecked claims of election fraud.
The opinion said the plaintiff lawyers would have to pay a portion of the defendants’ legal fees, saying that the sanction award would “not be excessive” and that the lawyers could appeal the sanction decision if they chose.
Gary Fielder and Ernest John Walker, the lawyers who filed the suit, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday’s opinion.