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GOP Attorney Fined $10,000 for Bogus Election Challenges Against Ilhan Omar, Other Democrats


A Minnesota attorney has been fined $10,000 for signing Republican voters onto election challenge lawsuits against the state’s Democratic officials, among them Representative Ilhan Omar, without their knowledge or permission.

Attorney Susan Shogren Smith was sanctioned by a Minnesota court on Friday after she “bamboozled” voters into being named as plaintiffs in five complaints aimed at overturning the results of the 2020 election, Pioneer Press reported.

“Susan Shogren Smith … perpetrated a fraud against this court and, more importantly, perpetrated a fraud against these plaintiffs,” Ramsey County Chief District Judge Leonardo Castro said Friday.

Friday’s ruling came after Shogren Smith filed five complaints in a state court on December 1, naming as defendants Secretary of State Steve Simon, Congresswoman Omar, and every other Democratic candidate who won their congressional races. The cases were thrown out on December 18 after Castro ruled in the defendants’ favor, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

In the complaints, Shogren Smith reportedly used the names of 14 separate voters in Minnesota as plaintiffs – at least four of whom said they had no idea they were participating in the legal actions.

At the time, the GOP attorney was acting as a member of the Minnesota Election Integrity Team, a conservative group that sought to prevent the state from certifying its election results amid unsubstantiated claims from former President Donald Trump that the election was stolen due to voter fraud.

During Friday’s hearing, Republican activist Corinne Braun testified that she discovered her name was tied to the legal actions without her knowledge after she searched the state’s online court records system.

“To my horror, I saw that I had sued Steve Simon and Ilhan Omar. It was a surreal moment for me,” she said, according to Pioneer Press.

A GOP Attorney has been fined $10,000 for filing bogus election complaints against Minnesota Democrats including Representative Ilhan Omar. Here, Omar (D-MN) speaks during a news conference to discuss proposed legislation entitled Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act outside the U.S. Capitol on March 11, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Braun said her name was tied to one of the election challenges after she received an email asking to add her name to a petition list of disgruntled voters. Braun said she filled out the form and signed her name before forwarding the email to about 5,000 people on her mailing list, Pioneer Press reported.

Without knowing, however, Braun was actually signing an affidavit that agreed she “will be joining with other voters across Minnesota to contest Minnesota election results.”

But Braun testified Friday that she did not understand the implications of the petition.

“To me, that meant the same as going online and signing a petition,” Braun said. “As a lay person, an affidavit doesn’t mean anything.”

Shogren Smith acknowledged Friday that she never spoke with the plaintiffs who signed the affidavit or informed them of the outcome of the cases.

Judge Castro ruled that by not clearly explaining to the plaintiffs what they were singing onto, Shogren Smith effectively “bamboozled” the voters and committed fraud against the court, Pioneer Press reported.

Castro ruled that Braun’s name and others who were unknowingly signed on as plaintiffs will be taken off the case records, and Shogren Smith will be sanctioned $10,000.

“You should have had this conversation with your client back in November and not now,” Castro said. “This is not a position I think I’ve ever found myself in,” he added.

Newsweek contacted Omar for additional comment, but did not hear back in time for publication.



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