Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Nessel Says Pro-Trump Lawyers “Violated the Rules of Professional Ethics”

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Nessel discusses GOP efforts to overturn election results, her probe into the state’s controversial contact tracing contract, and more.

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Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Monday doubled down on her criticism of attorneys for President Donald Trump and others allied with his attempts to overturn the results of the presidential election.

Just because they are representing the president of the United States, does not mean that they are held to a different or lower standard than any other attorney that appears before a court of law.” — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel

In late December, Nessel said she would seek sanctions against attorneys who lied in court about voter fraud in the election. There is no credible evidence of widespread voter fraud. She tells Stephen Henderson on Detroit Today that the attorneys violated rules of professional ethics.


Listen: Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel discusses GOP efforts to overturn election results.


Attorneys in our state, and in every state of the union, we take an oath the same way a public officer takes an oath,” Nessel tells Henderson. ”And that’s an oath to uphold and to support the constitution. But there’s more to it than that. And that is that you not file frivolous or meritless cases. And it’s also to not make intentional misrepresentations of fact, or of the law to a court or a tribunal. And so in my mind, these attorneys, many of them who have been representing either the Trump campaign directly or allies of the Trump campaign, they have violated the rules of professional ethics.”

Just because they are representing the president of the United States, does not mean that they are held to a different or lower standard than any other attorney that appears before a court of law,” Nessel continues. ”And so they should be held accountable the exact same way.”

No criminal wrongdoing found in probe of state’s contact tracing contract

Nessel also discusses her probe into the state’s controversial contact tracing contract with a firm that had ties to Democrats. Her investigation found no criminal wrongdoing, but the investigation report noted that three current or past government officials did not make themselves available for interviews in the probe. 

We interviewed absolutely everyone that we could,” says Nessel. ”It was a very comprehensive 29-page report. We evaluated in that report that we made public, each and every potential law that could come into play, and we found that there were no violations of the law.”

Nessel explains that to compel those officials to answer questions in the probe, investigators would have needed a subpoena based on evidence of criminal wrongdoing, something they did not have. 

The attorney general also addresses the rising number and severity of violent threats made against public officials and her efforts to investigate and prosecute them, increased activity among white supremacist groups in Michigan, and gives an update on investigations in the Flint Water Crisis. 

On the topic of the state’s historic $640 million dollar settlement with victims of the Flint Water Crisis, Nessel says she expects more money to be awarded to Flint residents as more entities settle their own lawsuits.

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