Nebraska AG Doug Peterson faces ethics complaint for supporting 2020 election lawsuit

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — A group aiming to protect American democracy against what it calls a “coup-via-courtroom” is accusing Nebraska’s attorney general of violating the ethics set forth by the State Supreme Court.

In a letter to the Nebraska Counsel for Discipline, 65 Project founder Michael Teter said AG Doug Peterson used his office “to amplify false assertions and frivolous claims” about the 2020 presidential election.

Peterson signed onto an amicus brief supporting Texas v. Pennsylvania claiming several states conducted the election in a manner that violated their laws.

“By the time that Attorney General Peterson signed on to this effort, every reasonable attorney would have known that they should not be pursuing this matter any further and that there could be real destructive consequences to doing so,” Teter told Channel 8 in a phone interview. “And he disregarded that he had an oath to abide by the statutes and the Constitution, and he did not uphold that.”

According to a December 2020 press release, Peterson signed onto the brief on Nov. 9, 2020, one day before Election Day, but the suit wasn’t filed until Dec. 11.

Teter said Peterson should receive “at the very least a reprimand or suspension” for abusing his power to further a political agenda.

“There’s responsibility that needs to be had,” he said. “Not just by those who are being charged with a crime of insurrection and charged with vandalizing and attacking the capital, but also those who have inspired them to their use of language and their winks and nods to the fraudulent bogus claims that the electoral system was not accurate or there was not legitimate results.”

Teter said as a lawyer, he couldn’t stand by and watch his colleagues abuse the justice system.

“Our effort is one for those lawyers to be held accountable for abusing the legal system and the credibility and the trust that the legal profession has, and the role that it plays in society and also the role that it plays in democracy,” he said.

In response to the complaint, Peterson’s office said, “A different complaint was previously filed regarding the Attorney General’s decision to join the amicus brief in the Texas election case. The Counsel for Discipline already produced a thorough report exonerating the AG of any wrongdoing.”

The AG’s Office said Peterson doesn’t regret joining the amicus brief.

“The amicus brief that the AG joined encouraged the Supreme Court to decide an important constitutional issue involving the separation of government powers,” a statement said. “That issue was whether it violates the U.S. Constitution for state courts rather than state legislature to change election laws. That question continues to be important, as illustrated by the fact that the Supreme Court recently decided to hear a case, Moore v. Harper, addressing that question.”

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