A Philadelphia lawyer who had represented the Trump campaign was placed under official protection after receiving “threats of harm,” according to court papers that were filed Nov. 18.
The attorney, Linda Kerns, was “the subject of threats of harm, to the point at which the involvement of police and US Marshals has been necessary to provide for her safety,” the filing stated (pdf).
Judge Matthew Brann allowed Kerns to be “withdrawn as counsel” for the Trump campaign, according to a court filing.
Earlier this week, Kerns sought sanctions against a lawyer working for a law firm representing Democratic Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar after Kerns received harassment and a threatening phone call over the weekend in connection to her representation of President Donald Trump’s campaign.
Kerns wrote on Nov. 16 that she had “been subjected to continuous harassment in the form of abusive emails, phone calls, physical and economic threats, and even accusations of treason—all for representing the President of the United States’ campaign in this litigation.” Campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh also confirmed the development.
Kerns later sought permission to quit working on the case.
Kerns said that a lawyer with Kirkland & Ellis in the District of Columbia left her a one-minute-long voicemail that “falls afoul of the standards of professional conduct.” In a response, Kirkland lawyer Daniel Donovan said he thought the call was “discourteous and not appropriate” but disagreed with how Kerns had described it.
He also said the company associate was “acting unilaterally, in his personal capacity, without the knowledge or authorization of undersigned counsel or the firm.”
It came as anti-Trump group the Lincoln Project, which has hundreds of thousands of social media followers, suggested that people should attempt to put pressure on Trump’s legal team. The Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur law firm also withdrew from the case in Pennsylvania.
Kerns had taken over after Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur withdrew, the papers said.
What’s more, two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers in Michigan said they were threatened and harassed earlier this week after they said they wouldn’t vote to certify the election. They then changed their votes to certify, but later signed affidavits to rescind the votes.
“I rescind my prior vote to certify Wayne County elections,” canvasser Monica Palmer said in an affidavit signed Nov. 18. “I fully believe the Wayne County vote should not be certified.” The other canvasser, William Hartmann, also signed an affidavit, echoing Palmer’s complaint.
The two argued that “intense bullying and coercion” forced them to vote to certify the results. They also said that officials promised that a full audit of the election would take place to address their concerns, but the pair later learned that no audit would take place.
Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley on Nov. 19 wrote in his blog that the threats against lawyers and Republicans haven’t been denounced by top Democrats or legacy news outlets.
“What is missing however are calls in the media or from Democratic leaders to end such campaign of intimidation and abuse by groups like the Lincoln Project,” Turley said.
“While President-elect Joe Biden has called for unity and healing, he has said nothing about the campaign against Trump campaign lawyers and their clients. He has said nothing about reports of violent threats against officials or lawyers tied to election challenges.”
In addition, he said that groups such as the Lincoln Project haven’t been denounced, and support for it is still high on social media.