Analysis: How The Left Has Weaponized Ethics Complaints Against Election Integrity Attorneys

Analysis: How The Left Has Weaponized Ethics Complaints Against Election Integrity Attorneys

In this current era of Marxist-inspired cancel culture, working in election integrity is one of the most unnecessarily complicated jobs in the nation. The grossly false narrative about election integrity has prompted a new wave of cancel culture against election integrity attorneys, who are sworn in to uphold the laws, through potentially baseless and ill-founded ethics complaints.

The Genesis of this Assault

The assault against conservative attorneys started when 1,500 attorneys—through the non-profit Lawyers Defending American Democracy (LDAD)—publicly issued a dubious letter claiming Trump campaign attorneys abused their powers by bringing forth voter fraud lawsuits. In the letter—which was inspired by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), a Biden campaign ally—LDAD called for sanctions and the disbarment of these attorneys.

LDAD, which was born as a response to the Trump presidency, claims to be non-partisan.

The Chaos that Followed

Shortly thereafter, Trump campaign lawyers quit lawsuits multiple times, again, and again. They quit, not because of the merits of their lawsuits, but because of the “political pressure” they faced. Those who were brave enough to stay, now face the repercussions: ethics complaints and sanctions.

The intricacies of all the election lawsuits filed after 2020 are never-ending and too complex for the purpose of this analysis. This means that all attorneys should be judged on a case-by-case basis. Attorneys like Sydney Powell and Lin Wood currently face sanctions and a lawsuit from Dominion Voting machines.

Rudy Giuliani, former Trump attorney, was recently suspended in NYC from practicing law by the Attorney Grievance Committee (“AGC”) of the NYS Appellate Division’s First Judicial Department. The Committee is comprised of 21 volunteer members, appointed by the Appellate. 18 of the 19 Appellate justices were appointed by Democrats, including 13-Cuomo appointees. Giuliani is also facing an ethics probe in DC.

Election Integrity Attorneys are not a Monolith

The election watchdog integrity group Amistad Project—which is directed by Liberty law professor Phill Kline—has focused its electoral integrity efforts in the private funding of election judges and drop boxes by potentially biased non-profit groups, like CTCL, and Mark Zuckerberg. In April 2021, Special Counsel to the Amistad Project Erick Kaardal, told WEAU News that Amistad lawsuits are not claims of “voter fraud”.

Despite the distinction, an ethics complaint was filed against Kaardal himself. The ethics concern, as referred by a judge, is that Amistad’s DC complaint’s claim that the Federal Electoral Counting Act is unconstitutional is frivolous. The case currently is on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

Kaardal told the American Voters’ Alliance about the potential division ethics complaints could bring. “The courts should not weaponize lawyer ethics in election cases.  The country is already split on election integrity along political lines; the courts should avoid similar polarization if possible.  The ethics rules should be applied by the courts in the ordinary course,” said Erick Kaardal.

Scare Tactics Against Election Integrity Groups and Attorneys

Attorney Cleta Mitchell, who had advised former President Trump, resigned from her law firm, Foley & Lardner, amid internal uproar on her work with Trump. Mitchell blamed her departure—as reported the New York Times—on a “massive pressure campaign” by “leftist groups.” Texas AG Ken Paxton also faces an ethics complaint by the same “non-partisan” group that initiated this effort, LDAD.

Iowa House Democrats filed an ethics complaint against The Heritage Foundation’s 501(c)(4) non-profit, Heritage Action, accusing it of illegally lobbying the legislature in an election integrity effort. Heritage’s Hans A. von Spakovsky, an election integrity expert, slammed the complaint, calling it a “frivolous” and “factually baseless complaint.” Von Spakovsky said that Heritage never met with legislators, a statement supported by the GOP representatives.

January 6 and GOP Senators

One does not need to file lawsuits to face potential disbarment. After the GOP objections on the January 6 certification of the electoral college, Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) were the target of an online petition by thousands of leftists law students and lawyers who called for their disbarment. Hawley believed that Pennsylvania’s election results should not be verified because of a potentially unconstitutional 2019 law that allowed universal mail-in voting. The state Constitution, argued Hawley at the time, prohibits universal mail-in ballots—except in rare cases. The leftist-led disbarment petition claimed that the GOP senators caused the January 6 riots by objecting the certification.

One must wonder, however, where were these attorneys in 2017, when Democrats in the House objected the certification of Trump’s electoral win. Representatives Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), both attorneys, objected to votes of Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. We suppose that in their mind only the objections of GOP members can undermine democracy.

What’s Next?

This is not a defense of the merits of every election lawsuit, but rather a defense for the right of attorneys to pursue the upholding of the law without fear of disbarment. Only 43% of Democrats believed the 2016 election was free and fair. 4 years later, only 30% of Republicans do. As stated, Democrats objected the 2016 election because they, one can assume, genuinely believe something went wrong then. Conservative attorneys must be afforded the same privileges.

The 2020 election may be over, but there is much work needed to fully secure our elections from irregularities and potential fraud. Election security will provide much need trust for Americans. If we continue this path of cancel culture and politicized ethic complaints, there will be no attorneys willing to pursue cases in the name of election integrity. If that happens, we can rest assured that it will be the beginning of the end of our great nation.

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By Luis Cornelio

Luis Cornelio runs communications for American Voter’s Alliance and is the editor of our Currently Trending page. After graduating cum laude from the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, he went on to intern at The Heritage Foundation. Most recently he served on President Trump’s re-election campaign, writing research articles on topics of Law and Order, immigration, and the Supreme Court. He also works as the Associate Editor of the bilingual news organization El American and as a researcher for the Amistad Project.