A lawyer for President Donald Trump's campaign is dropping out of a Pennsylvania lawsuit challenging the election results a day after complaining about being harassed for her work, including by an attorney from a firm representing the state of Pennsylvania.
Linda Kerns, who leads her own law firm in Philadelphia, said in a court filing Monday she and two other lawyers reached agreement with the campaign that it would be best if they withdrew from the case. Marc A. Scaringi will represent the Trump campaign, she said. Kerns did not provide a reason for the withdrawal request and there is no indication her harassment complaint had anything to do with it.
But late Sunday she said in a court filing, an attorney with Kirkland & Ellis in Washington left her a one-minute voice mail that "falls afoul of standards of professional conduct."
The Trump campaign lawsuit seeks to block Pennsylvania from certifying the election result unless thousands of ballots are tossed out. Another firm on the case, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP, gave notice last week it is withdrawing from the matter. A Trump spokesman blamed that decision on harassment by "leftist mobs," after the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump group that funded Democrats, targeted lawyers working for the campaign.
Kerns, who did not identify the lawyer who allegedly harassed her in the filing, also said she "has been subjected to continuous harassment in the form of abusive e-mails, phone calls, physical and economic threats and even accusations of treason – all for representing the President of the United States' campaign in this litigation."
The case is one of several the Trump campaign and the GOP have filed seeking to challenge the election amid rampant voter fraud. A hearing on Pennsylvania's motion to dismiss the suit is set for Tuesday.
Kirkland & Ellis's lawyer on the matter apologized to Kerns and told her the attorney who left the voice mail does not work on the Pennsylvania case. In her filing, Kerns said that is "not good enough." She asked the judge overseeing the case to issue an unspecified sanction against the firm.
In a response filed with the court Monday, Kirkland & Ellis lawyer Daniel T. Donovan said an associate was "acting unilaterally, in his personal capacity," when he made the call. During the call, the associate provided Kerns with his personal email address while a baby was "babbling in the background."
"We disagree with the characterization of the voice mail in the motion," Donovan said in the filing. "The firm expects that every lawyer will conduct themselves with the highest standards of professional conduct, including being respectful of and courteous to other members of the bar."
Kerns responded to that filing with another letter to the court, saying the associate who "foolishly chose to vent his ideological hatred" had not personally apologized. She also rejected the law firm's suggestion the associate did not represent Pennsylvania.
"Every lawyer at a firm is counsel to every client of that firm," Kerns said.
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