A dark money group with ties to powerful Democratic Party figures will soon seek to get disbarred more than 100 lawyers who were involved in former President Donald Trump's legal attempts to overturn the 2020 election, Axios reported Monday.
What are the details?
The group — called 65 Project after the number of lawsuits filed seeking to invalidate the results — reportedly plans to spend millions over the next year to expose and discredit 111 lawyers involved to some degree in the post-election efforts, with the ultimate goal of forcing them out of their jobs.
Through TV and radio ads and political pressure on the American Bar Association as well as state bar associations, the group aims to deter right-wing legal talent from engaging in attempts to question the results of future elections, Axios said.
Ads in battleground states, such as Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, are set to start this week.
Furthermore, the group plans to push bar associations to codify rules prohibiting certain election challenges and adopt language stating that "fraudulent and malicious lawsuits to overturn legitimate election results violate the ethical duties lawyers must abide by."
But the initiative is expected to be even more bare-knuckles than that, as it targets the lawyers, some of whom work at large national law firms and others who work at smaller, regional firms.
One of the group's top advisers, Media Matters for America founder and Democratic fundraiser David Brock, told the outlet that the idea is to "not only bring the grievances in the bar complaints, but shame [the lawyers] and make them toxic in their communities and in their firms."
"I think the littler fish are probably more vulnerable to what we're doing," Brock added. "You're threatening their livelihood. And, you know, they've got reputations in their local communities."
Axios reported that other advisory board members "include former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.); and Paul Rosenzweig, a conservative and member of the Federalist Society who was former senior counsel for Ken Starr's Clinton-era Whitewater investigation and served in George W. Bush's Department of Homeland Security."
The project was reportedly devised by Melissa Moss, a Democratic consultant and former senior official in the Clinton administration.
In response to the news, some of the lawyers targeted decried the intimidation tactics espoused by the group.
"This move is nothing more than a desperate attempt by leftist hacks and mercenaries to neutralize anyone on the right with the ability to stand in the way of the left's efforts to hide malfeasance in the 2020 elections and to clear the path for a repeat of similar malfeasance in the 2022 mid-terms," said Paul Davis, a Texas attorney under the group's gaze for his presence at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riots.
Another targeted lawyer, Cleta Mitchell, said, "I'm betting Marc Elias isn't on the list," in reference to a story about the Democratic lawyer's challenge to the results of an Iowa House race last year, as well as his further claims of voting machine "irregularities" in New York.
"OK for Dem lawyers to file election challenges. Of course," she chided.