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Whitmer wants attorneys in Michigan election challenge suit disbarred

Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen Whitmer Watch live: Whitmer provides update on COVID-19 in Michigan Multiple GOP Michiganders test positive for COVID-19 after district meeting White House on Whitmer's handling of pandemic: She's shown 'serious' grit MORE (D) and top state officials are calling for the disbarment of four lawyers who sought to invalidate the state’s presidential election results in court.

Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) called for the disbarment of Michigan’s Greg Rohl, Scott Hagerstrom and Stefanie Junttila, as well as Texas-based Sidney Powell, a pro-Trump lawyer who promoted unproven election fraud claims.

The state officials accused the attorneys of contributing to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot through their involvement in litigation that would overturn President Biden’s victory in the state, according to The Detroit News.

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The four “used their law license in an attempt to disenfranchise Michigan voters and undermine the faith of the public in the legitimacy of the recent presidential election, and lent credence to untruths that led to violence and unrest,” the officials wrote.

The lawsuit, King v. Whitmer, which was based on a number of unproven claims and conspiracy theories, asked for the state’s electors to be disqualified in favor of declaring then-President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances Race debate grips Congress US reentry to Paris agreement adds momentum to cities' sustainability efforts MORE the winner. A U.S. district judge tossed the lawsuit Dec. 7 and said it was intended to “ignore the will of millions of voters.”

Powell frequently appeared at press conferences and briefings with Trump’s legal team ahead of the lawsuit, but shortly before it was filed the Trump campaign put out a statement saying she had no connection with it.

"The 2020 general election was the most secure in our nation’s history, and these lawyers abused their authority by filing meritless, frivolous lawsuits for the sole purpose of undermining public faith in the election," Benson said in a statement, according to the Detroit newspaper. "They must be held accountable for this unprecedented attack on our democracy and prevented from replicating such harm in the future."

Howard Kleinhendler, who is representing Powell in a separate sanctions action in the Eastern District of Michigan, said the complaint was “entirely inappropriate” with the sanctions pending.

"It very much shows there’s a political motive here and not a desire to preserve the integrity of the legal profession," he said.