The lawyer for seven lawyers facing penalties for their bid to overturn the 2020 Michigan election on Wednesday asked a federal judge to release six-hour video of a hearing focused on their possible penalties.
Detroit US District Judge Linda Parker dismissed the request within hours, saying the court had already opened “virtual doors to the July 12 proceeding.”
Lawyer Donald Campbell filed the initial motion, in which he argued that the distribution of the video would help his clients “refute what they believe to be public misrepresentations” of the proceedings, which took place on Monday.
The request came despite rules in the Eastern District of Michigan which state that any recording of court proceedings “is absolutely prohibited.”
“On an issue of this importance for the country, the rule of law and the practice of law itself, the video of the proceedings already carried out should be made available to the public so that they can judge the arguments of the lawyers and the entire hearing itself, ”Campbell wrote in his motion.
Members of the public were able to watch Monday’s hearing as it unfolded on YouTube. The hearing was controversial throughout the discussion, with Parker considering imposing financial penalties on the legal team behind the November lawsuit to overturn Michigan’s election. The case was part of what Tory lawyer Sidney Powell described as a legal effort to free the “kraken” after the election.
More than 13,000 people watched the hearing live, according to documents filed Wednesday. In his order denying the video to be shown, Parker noted that access was far more important than what could have been allowed if the hearing had taken place in person.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, the City of Detroit and Wayne County Elector Robert Davis have called for the penalties.
Parker called the elements of the unsuccessful trial to have Donald Trump named the winner of Michigan “fantastic”, “obviously questionable” and “layers of hearsay.” Parker also said that lawyers have a responsibility to investigate the claims they make.
But attorney Sidney Powell, one of the lawyers at the center of the election case, refused to back down. She said that “the duty of lawyers” was to raise “difficult and even unpopular issues”.
“We practiced law with the highest standards,” said Powell. “We would file the same complaints again. We welcome the opportunity to actually prove our case. No court has ever given us this opportunity.”
Powell is one of nine lawyers facing potential penalties. Campbell represents seven, including Powell of Texas and Lin Wood of Georgia.
On Tuesday, Davis and his attorney, Andrew Paterson, asked Parker to consider whether Wood should be charged with criminal contempt for posting a message on the Telegram platform that included a recording of Powell’s closing remarks.
In his motion Wednesday, Campbell said the video cut by Wood “was made by someone else, appears on multiple Telegram channels and is part of at least one news article published by the publisher.”
The court rules allow a district judge to authorize the recording and broadcast of court proceedings when authorized by the United States Judicial Conference, Campbell added. His clients have asked the court to apply to the Judicial Conference for permission to broadcast the hearing.
“(No one) has a valid basis for opposing such transparency of an important hearing that has already taken place in public,” Campbell said of the posting of the video of the hearing.
Campbell acknowledged that he had already obtained an official transcript of the treatment, but argued having the video would help prepare for future briefs. The recording will provide “insight into manners and demeanor,” the attorney said in his petition.
Parker responded that lawyers regularly prepare such briefs “after a hearing without video or audio recordings of the proceedings and often without a transcript.”
Lawyers for the city of Detroit previously asked the court to fire the lawyers behind the lawsuit for expungement proceedings, impose monetary penalties, award legal fees to the city and demand that the plaintiffs themselves post a bond before filing a complaint in the future.