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Pro-Trump attorney arrested after hearing over leaking Dominion documents

Dominion voting tabulator machines are shown in use for the Michigan primary election in Grosse Pointe Farms on Feb. 27.
Paul Sancya
Dominion voting tabulator machines are shown in use for the Michigan primary election in Grosse Pointe Farms on Feb. 27.

An attorney facing criminal charges for illegally accessing Michigan voting machines after the 2020 election was arrested Monday after a hearing in a separate case in federal court in Washington, D.C.

Stefanie Lambert was arrested by U.S. Marshals after a hearing over possible sanctions against her for disseminating confidential emails from Dominion Voting Systems, the target of conspiracy theories over former President Donald Trump's 2020 election loss. Lambert obtained the Dominion emails by representing Patrick Byrne, a prominent funder of election conspiracy theorists who is being sued by Dominion for defamation.

In a statement, the Marshals office said Lambert was arrested on "local charges." A Michigan judge earlier this month issued a bench warrant for Lambert after she missed a hearing in her case, in which she's charged with four felonies for accessing voting machines in a search for evidence of a conspiracy theory against Trump. Lambert had earlier, unsuccessfully, sued to overturn Trump's loss in Michigan.

Earlier Monday, Lambert had acknowledged passing on the records from Dominion Voting Systems to "law enforcement." She then attached an affidavit that included some of the leaked emails and was signed by Dar Leaf, a county sheriff in northern Michigan who has investigated false claims of widespread election fraud from the 2020 election, to a filing in her own case in Michigan. The rest of the documents were posted to an account under Leaf's name on X, the social platform formally known as Twitter.

Leaf did not respond to requests for comment. Lambert's attorney, Daniel Hartman, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Byrne wrote in a text that he did not know if Lambert had been arrested, "but if she was, I respect her even more, and she can raise her rate to me."

Lambert contended the Dominion documents obtained under discovery were evidence of "crimes" and needed to be disclosed.

Byrne wrote on X that Lambert "signed an NDA, but she found evidence of ongoing crime, and reported it to law enforcement. If she found a severed head in discovery box she had a duty to report it to law-enforcement, too."

Dominion on Friday filed a motion demanding Lambert be removed from the Byrne case for violating a protective order that U.S. District Court Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya had placed on documents in the case. It said Lambert's disclosure had triggered a new round of threats toward the company, which has been at the center of elaborate conspiracy theories about Trump's loss.

"These actions should shock the conscience," Dominion wrote in its motion seeking to disqualify Lambert. "They reflect a total disregard for this Court's orders, to say nothing of the safety of Dominion employees."

Upadhyaya during a hearing Monday said she had scheduled a subsequent one to determine whether sanctions against Lambert or removing her from the case were appropriate.

Dominion filed several defamation lawsuits against those who spread conspiracy theories blaming its election equipment for Trump's 2020 loss. Fox News settled the most prominent of these cases for $787 million last year.

Dominion's suit against Byrne is one of several the company has filed against prominent election deniers, including MyPillow founder Mike Lindell and attorney Sidney Powell.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Associated Press
[Copyright 2024 NPR]