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Wisconsin governor seeks legal fees from Trump, Republicans

April 1, 2021 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is seeking more than $250,000 in legal fees from former President Donald Trump and a Republican Party official related to fighting a pair of election lawsuits filed last year.

Evers made the request in two different federal courts on Wednesday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Thursday.

If Evers is successful, Trump would have to pay more than $145,000 in one case. In the other, William Feehan, the chairman of the Republican Party of La Crosse County, would have to pay about $107,000. Evers also asked for more money to deter future meritless lawsuits, according to his filings.

Trump and his supporters filed several lawsuits in state and federal courts after he narrowly lost Wisconsin to Democrat Joe Biden. Republicans lost every challenge.

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Trump had sought to have the Republican-controlled Legislature decide how to award the state’s 10 electoral votes instead of voters, arguing that long-standing voting practices in Wisconsin were improper.

U.S. District Judge Brett Ludwig said letting state lawmakers decide the outcome of the election would have resulted in “probably the most remarkable ruling in the history of this court or the federal judiciary.” Ludwig, who was put on the bench by Trump, ruled against him in December.

Feehan’s lawsuit alleged elaborate conspiracies that have been widely discredited. U.S. District Judge Pamela Pepper threw out the case in December.

Feehan is represented by Sidney Powell, who is now the target of a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems, which makes voting machines.

Evers’ attorney, Jeffrey Mandell, told Pepper that Wisconsin residents should not be on the hook for the cost of defending against a lawsuit that was “frivolous” and “without any merit.”