A federal judge on Monday ordered two attorneys who filed frivolous lawsuits challenging the legitimacy of the 2020 election to pay almost $187,000 to cover the legal fees of the organizations they sued in December 2020.

Attorneys Gary D. Fielder and Ernest John Walker were ordered to pay attorneys fees of $50,000 to Facebook, $63,000 to Dominion Voting Systems and $63,000 to the non-profit Center for Tech and Civic Life. They were also ordered to pay  $6,000 to Pennsylvania and $5,000 to Michigan to cover their court costs.

United States Magistrate Judge N. Reid Neureiter of the District Court of Colorado excoriated Fielder and Walker in his scathing 68-page ruling, reprimanding them for behaving in a matter unbecoming of “officers of the court” and accusing them of deliberately instigating violence and social unrest through their bogus quest to overturn the results of the election at former President Donald Trump‘s behest.

“While Plaintiffs’ counsel insist that the lawsuit was not intended to challenge the election or reverse the results, the effect of the allegations and relief sought would be to sow doubt over the legitimacy of the Biden presidency and the mechanisms of American democracy (the actual systems of voting) in numerous states. In short, this was no slip-and-fall at the local grocery store. 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,” the judge opined.

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“As officers of the Court, these attorneys have a higher duty and calling that requires meaningful investigation before prematurely repeating in court pleadings unverified and uninvestigated defamatory rumors that strike at the heart of our democratic system and were used by others to foment a violent insurrection that threatened our system of government. They are experienced lawyers who should have known better. They need to take responsibility for their misconduct,” Neuretier wrote.

“I believe that rather than a legitimate use of the legal system to seek redress for redressable grievances, this lawsuit has been used to manipulate gullible members of the public and foment public unrest,” he added. “To that extent, this lawsuit has been an abuse of the legal system and an interference with the machinery of government. For all these reasons, I feel that a significant sanctions award is merited.”

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