Colorado: ‘A propaganda tool’ for Trump: A second federal judge castigates attorneys who filed a lawsuit challenging the 2020 results | Rosalind S. Helderman/The Washington Post
Just before Christmas, two Colorado lawyers filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of 160 million American voters, alleging a vast conspiracy to steal the 2020 presidential election by the voting equipment manufacturer Dominion Voting Systems, Facebook, its founder Mark Zuckerberg, his wife Priscilla Chan and elected officials in four states — and asking for $160 billion in damages. The case was dismissed in April, but now a federal judge is considering disciplining the lawyers for filing a frivolous claim — sharply questioning the duo in a Friday hearing about whether they had allowed themselves to be used as “a propaganda tool” of former president Donald Trump. “Did that ever occur to you? That, possibly, [you’re] just repeating stuff the president is lying about?” Federal Magistrate Judge N. Reid Neureiter asked the two lawyers, Gary D. Fielder and Ernest John Walker, during a hearing to consider sanctioning them. The two lawyers argued they had a good-faith belief that the election was stolen and did not trust government officials and others who affirmed that it was secure and that there was not widespread fraud. It was the second time this week that a judge dressed down lawyers who filed cases alleging fraud in the 2020 election, as the legal system grapples with how to hold accountable those who used the court system to spread falsehoods about the vote.