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(Reuters) – One week after they signed on to represent a former Trump administration official who is facing potential sanctions after suing to overturn the election results in Michigan, Winston & Strawn and one of its high-ranking partners are walking away from the case.
U.S. District Judge Linda Parker on Thursday approved an order allowing Thomas Buchanan, a former federal prosecutor who co-leads Winston’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act task force, to withdraw as counsel for Emily Newman, a former chief of staff to the U.S. Agency for Global Media.
In Buchanan’s place, Newman will be represented by Timothy Galligan, a Clarkston, Michigan-based attorney.
Winston in a statement confirmed that it “will no longer have any role in the matter” following Monday’s sanctions hearing, but the firm declined to say why.
Galligan and Newman did not respond to requests for comment. After graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, Galligan was an associate at Winston and Detroit-based Butzel Long before striking out on his own in 2000, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Galligan touts himself on LinkedIn as having “extensive litigation experience in the automotive, construction, real estate, insurance and information technology industries.”
The substitution comes three days after Buchanan and Newman appeared in a six-hour hearing Monday, where Parker appeared likely to reprimand Sidney Powell, a former campaign lawyer for Donald Trump, and other attorneys over a lawsuit they filed in Michigan seeking to overturn Democratic President Joe Biden’s election victory.
Buchanan argued during the hearing that Newman should not be sanctioned because she was a contract attorney who did five hours of work on the lawsuit that made baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in the U.S. presidential election in Michigan.
He also argued that Newman was never served the sanctions motions filed by the city of Detroit and Michigan state officials.
Parker, who dismissed the lawsuit in December, spent a large portion of the hearing grilling Newman, Powell and the other attorneys on whether they vetted affidavits claiming voter fraud in Michigan before filing them in federal court. She said she would issue a written ruling “in due course.”
Additional reporting by Jan Wolfe
David Thomas reports on the business of law, including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based out of Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.