A court in Minnesota has ordered GOP attorney Susan Shogren Smith to pay a $10,000 fine for committing “fraud” after signing Republican voters onto election challenge lawsuits against the state’s Democratic officials, among them Representative Ilhan Omar, without their knowledge or permission.
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 reports.
“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 report.
In the lawsuits, 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.
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, Pioneer Press reported.