Democratic Member Seeks To Disbar Two Dozen Lawyers Challenging Election Results

We have been discussing the campaign of harassment and threats against Republican lawyers to get them to drop election challenges. New Jersey Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell expanded that campaign this week with a malicious and frivolous demand for New York and other states to disbar roughly two dozen lawyers for representing Trump, the Republican party, or the Trump campaign in the litigation.  While Democratic members and the media discuss attacks on democracy and the rule of law, they appear to have little problem with campaigns to threaten and harass both lawyers and legislators for raising questions about the election.


Such calls have become common place. Indeed, during the impeachment trial of President Trump, North Carolina Law Professor Michael Gerhardt predicted that the entire Trump legal team would be disbarred after their representation of the President.

Many of us criticized Rudy Giuliani for his performance in this litigation, particularly the controversial press conference held last week. Indeed, I have previously criticized Giuliani for his public comments and allegations. However, Pascrell wants Giuliani disbarred specifically for filing these legal actions as well as a host of other lawyers.

Pascrell wrote to the Grievance Committee for three New York Judicial Districts that “Mr. Giuliani has participated in the filing of a series of absurd lawsuits seeking to overturn the will of the voters … and has caused irreversible damage to the public trust in the fair administration of our elections.” Pascrell claimed that filing the cases constitutes “clear” evident that he was violating the state’s Rules of Professional Misconduct that prohibit “dishonesty, fraud, deceit” and “misrepresentations.”

The letters to various state bar associations seems to go out of its way to self-identify as a vicious attack on any lawyers who do not yield to demands that they remove themselves from any election challenges:

“The pattern of behavior by these individuals to effectuate Mr. Trump’s sinister arson is a danger not just to our legal system but is also unprecedented in our national life. In carrying out that perversion, they have clearly violated the … Rules of Professional Conduct they swore to uphold and should face the severest sanction your body can mete out: revocation of their law licensures. The holding of a law license is a sacred responsibility. You have an opportunity here to make a powerful statement in support of our democracy and deter future charlatans and miscreants from warping our legal and political
systems for their own profit.”

As I have previously discussed, it is a familiar campaign that is unfolding without objections from most media figures, lawyers, or law professors. Indeed, this is a campaign that has been led by lawyers against lawyers.

Groups like the Lincoln Project targeted law firms and launched a campaign to force lawyers to abandon Trump or his campaign as a client. This effort resulted in Twitter blocking the Lincoln Project for targeting individual Trump lawyers in a tweet (accompanied by a skull-and-crossbones emoji) that was deemed threatening and abusive. That only seemed to thrill the Lincoln Project. It reportedly joined Democrats in targeting law firms like Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur and threatening its lawyers with professional ruin. It claimed that any firm working for Trump on election litigation was part of a “dangerous attack on our democracy.” Trying to strip people of their counsel, of course, is the real attack on our democracy — and it worked: The firm buckled and withdrew, saying the pressure caused internal struggles and at least one lawyer’s resignation.

At the same time, Democratic leaders like Michigan’s Attorney General  Dana Nessel have threatened criminal prosecution against those who have posted videos alleging voting fraud and even threatened possible prosecution of legislators who meet with President Trump or raise challenges to the election results.  The media is virtually silent on these threats to coerce lawyers and legislators into silence. That is not viewed as a threat to the rule of law.  The threats against lawyers follows a pattern where Democratic members are calling for blacklists and others denounce any questioning of the Biden victory as akin to “Holocaust denial.” I spoke last week to Republican lawyers who described death threats, doxxing, and continual harassment for their representation in these lawsuits. The message is that if you represent the wrong side you will be denounced, doxxed, and disbarred.

Pascrell is not alone in calling for such bar actions as a new way to pressuring Republican lawyers, particularly after the dismissal of the Pennsylvania lawsuit a couple days ago. However, while the court offered a scathing analysis of the claims, it also found that the individual voters had “adequately pled that their votes were denied” and might be entitled to other relief. However, the court balked at the notion of negating the votes of others in response to such alleged voting errors.  That is not the type of ruling that leads to suspension, let alone disbarment. While the court slammed the Trump campaign on its legal claims, it did not impose sanctions against the lawyers. I agree with the court’s conclusion and I have been critical of claims in some of these lawsuits as facially insufficient to block certification. However, that does not mean that these voters — or their lawyers — should be barred or punished in seeking judicial review.

What Pascrell is doing is undermining our legal system by using his office to advance a campaign targeting lawyers and legislators who raise objections to his party prevailing in the presidential election. As with the Lincoln Project’s campaign, this is raw retaliation and intimidation to deter the use of our legal process. When such actions were taken against lawyers representing civil rights groups and others in the 1960s, it was correctly denounced as an outrageous abuse of our legal system. Now that Republican lawyers are being targeted, it has become a campaign supported members of Congress, thousands of lawyers, and the media.

What Pascrell is doing is a dangerous form of demagoguery that should be denounced by people of good-faith regardless of their political affiliations.


309 thoughts on “Democratic Member Seeks To Disbar Two Dozen Lawyers Challenging Election Results”

  1. City of Detroit worker swears she witnessed thousands of ballots being falsified

    Nearly three quarters of Detroit’s precincts had mismatched voting totals

    Unfolded, pristine mail-in ballots flagged in Georgia

    Thousands of ballots went uncounted initially in Georgia, belatedly discovered during audit

    Large numbers of Pennsylvania voters say their absentee votes weren’t counted or someone else requested their mail-in ballot

    Social worker charged in Texas with submitting voter registration applications for nursing home residents

    Computer issue in Oakland County, Mich., blamed as a GOP incumbent belatedly declared winner after first being told he lost.

    Antrim County, Mich., reversed election results after error found

    Numerous Republicans poll observers in multiple states say they were improperly ejected

    Voter drive in Nevada targeting Native Americans offered gifts as voting incentives

    Los Angeles prosecutors uncover scheme in which thousands of fraudulent ballots cast

  2. If lawyers got disbarred for filing frivolous lawsuits, there would be about 12 left practicing in the US. Good lord. Dr. Turley,, do you ever tire of seeing the crap these puke democrats are trying to pull? I sure do. They disgust me. They ignore the constitution, and if in power unchecked, we are all in trouble.

    1. Attorneys are routinely suspended or disbarred for filing frivolous lawsuits. See ABA Rule 3.1 and its state counterparts. The question is whether some special protection applies if it’s a matter of political speech.

          1. Different points of law, different judges. If it ends up in the SC the Trump team only has to win once. Some are counting the numbers which is rather foolish. 99:1 is a Trump victory if the 1 decides the Trump team prevails.

      1. This is not true. Attorneys may be sanctioned by the trial Court for frivolous claims, but suspension or disbarment is rare absent a repeated pattern of proceeding after admonitions.

  3. Trump’s Lawsits Are Frivolous

    Yet Lawyers Are The ‘Victims’ (according to Turley)

    An incumbent President loses his reelection bid. So he files a string of frivolous lawsuits to stay in power. Like Presidents can really sue their way to victory! It all sounds like the plot of a dark comedy. But this is happening for real and it’s a political nightmare for the country.

    Trump’s lawyers have put forth claims so ridiculous that only an imbecile would consider them. Rudy Giuliani actually wanted to invalidate the entire state of Pennsylvania. Republicans in Michigan wanted to invalidate the entire city of Detroit. Georgia went to the trouble of a hand recount. Still Trump wants yet another recount in Georgia.

    Amid Trump’s frivolous claims, Joe Biden’s Popular Vote lead has surpassed 6 million. If one considers ‘only’ the Popular Vote, this election is really not that close. Biden is scoring a very typical victory for a President-Elect. Trump’s refusal to concede is nothing more than sabotage if not borderline treason. Trump’s obvious desire is to deligitimize Biden long before the latter takes office.

    As usual Trump puts his own interests ahead of the nation. It’s a about ‘him’ and no one else. But Johnathan Turley feels that Trump’s legal team are the victims here. Like their frivolous lawsuits, on Trump’s behalf, are more important than a smooth transition during a global pandemic.

    1. there’s no “nation.” there’s Americans on one side…..

      then there’s the billionaires and their teeming hordes of mercenaries
      whether that’s Pelosi or biden or kamala, or the bureaucrats, BLM, or the bankers, well, it’s a lot of people who are all pretty selfish and fake
      but at the top, we know who the enemy is. billionaires

      there’s a lot of pathetic billionaire bootlickers busy here. see what your fake elections are protecting:

  4. If Turley is truly outraged by lawmakers harassing Republicans who are scrutinizing election results, then why ignore Georgia’s 2 Republican Senate runoff candidates, Loeffler & Perdue, demanding the resignation of Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Raffensperger for confirming no election fraud was found in their state? Raffensperger’s crime? Declaring that “Georgia’s voting system has never been more secure or trustworthy.”

    Trump’s former attorney, Sidney Powell, accused Raffensperger & Georgia’s Republican Governor Kemp of being bribed by Dominion to rig the election for BIden.

    Why has Turley yet to denounce the vicious attacks Loeffler, Perdue & Powell levelled against Republican elected officials for simply having the audacity to confirm Biden as the legitimate winner of their state’s election?

    1. Because Turley wants to be a judge — in the very worst way. And he’d love to be a part of Trump’s legal team.

          1. I think Allan has been posting under a few different names for the last few weeks, including “S. Meyer.”

      1. Anonymous. Don’t worry. A nuance of opinion will never darken the Anonymous doorstep. I think that’s cool-aid on his chin.

    2. There is a difference between the demand for the resignation of the Secretary of State of Georgia and the attack on the lawyers of the Republicans. The attack on the Republican lawyers involves not just disbarrement but criminal charges that can result in up to ten years in prison. Under this threat one of these firms has withdrawn from there representation of the Trump administration. The lawyers here would represent a gangster involved in coercion even if they knew he did the crime because he would have the right of representation. They could still hate the crime. They no longer hate the crime of coercion when it is used against the lawyers representing Republicans. They are true lovers of the law indeed.

  5. We discover now that Anonymous is a lawyer. Fairness of the law in providing representation for both sides is a bedrock principle. Let’s just throw that out when it’s beneficial to our side. Throwing out fairness is not enough. We must twist the law to attack our enemies for their blasphemy. Have you now or have you ever been a member of the Republican Party? America rejected these charlatans in the 1950s and we should reject them now. It was done in the past for personal gain and it’s no different now. The perpetrator behind the mask eventually finds himself out.

  6. Surprise, surprise the republican lawyer network you belong to Jon is getting push back for selling out so hard to a carnival barker. I’m getting the popcorn ready and kicking back to watch the show.

  7. I would say there are two groups of lawyers representing Trump.

    There are those who are making, without evidence, claims of election fraud in public. Accusing people or companies or political parties, without evidence, of bribery, changing votes, etc. These lawyers should be disbarred and/or sanctioned. See, e.g., Sidney Powell. (If she ultimately produces real evidence, I would withdraw this, but that is not going to happen). If they actually believe what they are saying, they should perhaps be institutionalized but should not be representing members of the public in court. They should also be held to civil libel sanctions.

    There are some, like Guiliani, who are making wildly false accusations in court before backing down (there are millions of fraudulent votes, etc.),. These people should be sanctioned and disbarred. (Guiliani falls into the prior paragraph as well).

    There are others who are making rather limited and rather mundane challenges in court, saying clearly to the judge they are not alleging fraud, and their cases are being considered (mostly rejected) but don’t really matter. They should not be sanctioned. However, these lawyers should realize that however limited and plausible their small potatoes cases may be, their cases are being used as par of the larger inappropriate public relations effort by the lawyers in the first group, and they should seriously consider distancing themselves from the whole process. (A lot of large firms have gotten out of these cases for that reason).

    1. Are you trying to say that lawyers should bring their evidence to court before they have finished gathering it? A rather foolish idea unless there is a time limit which there is in this case. That is something else you didn’t think about.

      Try again.

    2. So making frivolous charges, like swearing falsehoods in applications for a FISA warrant have been vetted and are most likely true, is grouds for disbarrment? OK, then everybody who signed off on the Carter Page FISA applications should be disbarred. QED, Quite Easily Done.

  8. this is great because one day we will gain power. then we will start cancelling licenses. go ahead, bring it on

  9. I say slander away, Representative Pascrell and the anti-truth propagandists who support your accusations. I’m confident that people like you have a special place in the hearts of people like civil litigation specialist L. Lin Wood,

  10. Republicans for years starting with Bubba Clinton have thrown doubt at the legitimacy of any democrat POTUS. It doesn’t fit with their authoritarianism style of government. In order to right the ship of democracy the nation must have detrumpification of the republican party. These enablers of Trump, lawyers, politicians and yes Turley, must explain themselves to the nation on why that let a unwell, unfit incompetent con-man get to twist and mangle our laws and the dignity of our country.

    1. Fish – Out of the water and gasping for air. The biggest con in America is the Obama attempted Coup against DT while a candidate and while POTUS. From Obama, Biden, his DOJ, and FBI, CIA, NI, et al. Obama now running PAC commercials telling people to send another Democrat to Senate claiming the ones already their just went their and enriched themselves. Well, when Obama and Biden went to DC; they barley had two nickels to rub to gather. Now both are multi-millionaires. You explain it?

      1. It’s easy to explain: the money came from book royalties and speaking fees. You know that you can look this up, right?

        1. There’s one thing is life that’s sure outside of death and taxes, Trump supporters do not want to know facts.

        2. Wether it’s book royalties or speaking fees doesn’t matter. It’s still leveraging your political position for personal gain. A good example would be Bill Clinton speaking in Russia for a fee of $500,000.

          1. Wow, Bill Clinton got half a mil as POTUS for speaking in Russia? What ever you do, don’t tell Trump that one, he’d be on a plane for Moscow as we write.

    2. I hope you guys will allow visitors in my re-education camp. I confess to being in favor of all legal remedies and trying things in the courts, instead of street riots. I support the rule of law and the Constitution as written. As such, I’m an enemy of the woke, so I will need forceful deprogramming. My heath is dependent on pills, so I’ll probably die in the camps, but no big loss. Dissidents deserve to be punished, right?

  11. Turley, as usual is nothing but a partisan hack. He thinks these lawyers are being persecuted for supporting “the wrong side.” Wrong. They are being called out for being liars and incompetent boobs. When a federal judge throws out a suit with prejudice it means you have done something REALLY WRONG.

    1. Well, no, it means he considered your argument and you lost on the merits. A dismissal on the merits is in no way tantamount to a challenge to the ethics of the attorney in question. The judge was perfectly capable of making a referral to the bar association– if he did not do so, it means he did not see the need. You should correct your statement.

    2. Do. You know the important case that John Quincy Adam took on?

      If not, you should. It deals. With the right of slave to defend their rights to freedom.

      And, you know, his father took the defense of the soldiers involve in the Boston Massacre solely because everyone in our system of governance is entitled to the right of counsel.

    3. If all lawyers who are “liars and incompetent boobs” were consistently disbarred, we would already have far fewer lawyers.

      Lawyers are to be disbarred for unethical conduct – not for simply filing claims or entering defenses that officials or other lawyers find offensive.

      BTW, “unethical” is not defined as representing people you hate.

    4. Anonymous:

      “Turley… partisan hack…”.

      Try a little courtesy to your host.

      You come on to the site, using a pseudonym, and insult your host who obviously provides a lot of joy to you (or you wouldn’t spend hours every week on the site).

      If you want to insult someone, be brave enough to use your real name.

      You really are a low class coward.

      Steve Fleischer

  12. From my perspective, the New Jersey Congressman is likely not entitled to use the grievance process in New York State for the purpose stated in his letter. His actions bring to mind those of Tanya Harding’s ex-husband in attacking skater Nancy Kerrigan during the 1994 Olympics.

  13. Where were these high-minded muckymucks during the Kavanaugh debacle? With aid of attorney Katz, Blasey-Ford clearly perjured herself numerous times to the Senate and made wild assertions with literally no evidence to back them up. Heck, even hder corroborating witnesses and family didn’t believe her. Harris, Hirono, Feinstein, all aided and abetted that. Where are the calls for their disbarment?

          1. Are you competing with the other anonymous for the dummy award or are you pretending to be a different person? Either way you win the award.

            1. I know that reading can be difficult for woke leftist keyboard warriors, so let me clarify: I am “AnonyMOUSE.” not anonymous.

              Please pay attention. Now concentrate: I am talking about perjury to the Senate under oath by Blasey Ford and the culpability of her enablers, which is the proper analogy when comparing Trump’s attorneys being disbarred for being enablers of Trump’s alleged abuse of the judicial system. Trying to change the subject is a lame but all-too-common scheme of disingenuous leftists.

              Care to try again?

              1. Anonymouse, this came in as a reply to Mona instead of anonymous where it belongs. It seems 2 anonymous dummies are competing for the dummy award with a third that just entered the fray. The third seems to have some type of brain disease.

      1. Red Herring – I’m not talking about perjury by Kavanaugh, I’m talking about Blasey Ford and her enablers, i.e., Katz, Feinstein, Hirono, and most importantly, Harris. Clearly disbarment doesn’t apply to Feinstein, but Katz, Hirono, and again, especially, Harris should be held to the same standard as those who being called on to be disbarred because of their work for Trump.

        Perjury? Just off the top of my head:

        Ford testified that she didn’t coach re. taking polygraphs. That was clearly refuted by an eye witness, her old boyfriend, who was there at the time it happened.

        She claimed that she was afraid of flying, yet bragged on social media about going to the South Pacific on vacation (what, did she *drive* there?).

        I’m sure there are more (the lie about the extra door to her home?) but I don’t want to spend my time taking a deep-dive into this.

        The hypocrisy on the left is obvious and blatant: Just one example: Flynn got his hide nailed to the wall for (allegedly) lying to the FBI in an “interview” which he was falsely led to believe was “informal,” when in fact it appears to have been a setup.

        It’s abundantly clear to anyone who has any sense of measure, justice and impartiality that we have a multi-tiered system of justice currently in our country: First, for those who live in “Trump World,” the most harsh and uncompromising system is brought to bear. Next, anyone generally on the right is held to only a slightly lesser but still very strict standard. Next come those of us “little people” who are apolitical but still held to the letter of the law. Then comes those on the left, who are fairly regularly given a pass, in the name of “social justice” and “prosecutorial discretion.” And finally, those who are in the Democrat/leftist political class, i.e., those in the Obama and Clinton, Inc. world, who are basically untouchable and above any and all law, accountability and prosecution. “Let them eat cake” as they said just before the sh-t hit the fan.

        Yeah, we get it. One set of rules for leftist Democrats; more stringent, even Draconian rules for the rest of us.

          1. “We have to find a way to make America Decent again!”

            I agree. Start with the Blue State governors and mayors who do not allow the police to protect innocent citizens.

              1. No doubt you live in the same safe, gated, well-protected neighborhood that the arrogant, sanctimonious, elitist snobs who call themselves Democrat “leaders” live in. You know, like Pelosi’s Napa valley winery, Lightfoot’s block in Chicago where armed police cordoned off the block to keep the riff-raff away, etc. Meanwhile the rest of us have to live in fear of BLM/Antifa riots, arson, assaults, and in some cases, murder.

                You all might as well come out of the closet and proclaim “let them eat cake.” Or maybe do a Pelosi and tell us “let them eat ice cream.”

                1. I live in a tract house built in 1956 when it sold for $12,000 and is not gated.
                  What is wrong with you people that makes you assume nasty stuff like that about others?

    1. conservatives and republicans are loathe to attack lawyers., because it smacks of red guard, totalitarian, un-American tactics

      well. maybe it’s time to reconsider all that jive. Crack open the book of Maoist tactics and strategy, conservatives, and you will find a lot of clues for winning

      –Saloth Sar

  14. Pascrell was pumping his Communist crap out in Paramus High School in NJ in the 60s. He’s old and trying to get noticed one last time. He was a Communist then & one now. And he’s gotten filthy rich being one. Amazing.

  15. How much money has Antifa, BLM, Soros, et al given you all you fools who want to silence discussion, freedom of speech, the right to bring up any defense for the court to determine, SO MUCH LIKE THE TWINKIE DEFENCE? Fools.

  16. As an attorney, I wholeheartedly disagree with your assessment. The wild (defamatory) allegations made by members of the Bar impugning our legal system without a shred of evidence seems to clearly violate the rules of professional conduct. If these statements were made by any attorney they would be sanctionable. The reason the attorneys weren’t sanctioned in court is due to the fact that they specifically did not make those statements in court but waited to publicly impugn the legal system, including the judiciary, on Twitter and on the news. That became the purview of the sanctioning authorities. Whether the attorneys are sanctioned or not, they have clearly violated a lawyer’s ethical responsibilities and the rules of professional conduct. It’s actually not even a close call.

    1. Wait a minute. “Without a shred of evidence.”

      As I am sure you know, that in every case regarding this election, we have never even gotten to the discovery phase of any single case. There has not been enough time. As you know, a dismissal does not carry any implication whatsoever that there has been insufficient evidence, much less the implication that it lacks even “shred of evidence.”

      1. You have to have some evidence to go to discovery. Bald assertions are not sufficient. In fact an attempt was made to reach this first step. A number of affidavits were presented, but the judges have ruled that those were insufficient primarily because they were predominately hearsay, ie. the person swearing to the affidavit had no first hand knowledge of the event they were swearing to or they were general assertions without the specifics needed to test them.

        1. You don’t need to produce evidence “to go to discovery.” You need only to state a legally cognizable claim.

    2. Anonymous:

      You say “…as an attorney…”.

      I suspect that there is a fair bit of Pinko in your motivation – if you are honest.

  17. Here goes Jonathan Turley again. Looking for a cushy lobbyist job with a right leaning think tank. Lawyers who aid and abet people who are trying to play out their case in public by claiming fraud while bringing no real evidence in court should be sanctioned. Disbarment is probably a bit too steep but they should be sanctioned.

    1. Bartleby:

      “… looking for a cushy job…”

      Where is your evidence?

      Typical Pinko, accuse others of what you are doing.

    2. Bartleby. Why would Turley want another job? He makes big bucks sitting at his computer. He doesn’t have to glad hand a bunch of sleazy government agents. Work a little harder at getting your criticisms to make sense.

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