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Wisconsin cities request attorneys fees in election dispute brought by Donald Trump

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Trump sign

Competing campaign signs for Joe Biden and Donald Trump are visible from I-94 in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, on Saturday, October 10, 2020.

The cities of Green Bay, Kenosha and Racine are asking a federal judge to make former President Donald Trump pay thousands of dollars in legal fees in a case he brought challenging Wisconsin's presidential election results, just days after Gov. Tony Evers made a similar request. 

The three cities want Trump to pay a total of $42,570 in attorneys fees for bringing a lawsuit the cities view as meritless and that was dismissed. 

Supporters of President Donald Trump rallied in Madison on Nov. 6, 2020, where they were met with counter-protesters.

"The objective bad faith of plaintiff’s counsel in filing and litigating this action is evidenced by the scope of the relief sought and their relentless pursuit of it all the way to the United States Supreme Court, well after the election results in Wisconsin had been determined and certified," wrote Daniel Lenz, attorney for the cities. "In essence, plaintiff’s counsel sought to disenfranchise every Wisconsin voter."

In March, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up the lawsuit, which Trump filed after the election in federal court in Wisconsin challenging his loss in the state. U.S. District Judge Brett Ludwig threw out the lawsuit in December, calling the case "extraordinary." 

“If the relief that’s been requested were granted, this would be a most remarkable proceeding and probably the most remarkable ruling in the history of this court or the federal judiciary,” Ludwig said.

President Joe Biden won Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes, a result that a partial recount affirmed. 

The suit alleged elections officials failed to abide by the rules for the election set forth by the Legislature and therefore “likely tainted more than 50,000 ballots,” and asked the court to allow the Republican-controlled Legislature to determine how to award Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes. 

Trump's lawsuit challenged cities' use of absentee ballot drop boxes and for accepting grant money from the Mark Zuckerberg-funded Center for Tech and Civic Life. A conservative group had previously filed a lawsuit challenging use of the grant money, but a federal judge dismissed the case. 

In the case brought by Trump, Evers last week also asked the former president to pay $144,000 in legal fees. 

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