A coalition of Wyoming attorneys condemning Harriet Hageman’s false statements about the 2020 election delivered a followup letter to the congressional candidate’s law office Friday. 

Originally, a group of 41 legal professionals wrote Hageman, a natural resources attorney, asserting that her comments during an August candidate forum were professional misconduct in violation of her oath as an attorney. 

“Absolutely the election was rigged,” Hageman said during the event, marking the first time the candidate had taken such a clear position. Previously, she had equivocated about the validity of 2020 presidential election. 

“We ask that you not make any further statements denying the lawfulness of the 2020 election, or of the legitimacy of President Biden’s authority,” the attorneys said. “Beyond that, we also hope that you challenge, or at least distance yourself from, those that continue to perpetuate the dangerous myth of the ‘stolen election.’”

Instead, Hageman shared a link to the letter in a press release and called it an attempt “to squelch my own 1st Amendment rights because they disagree with me.” She also characterized the letter as a “threat to file a bar complaint,” but she did not respond directly to her colleagues. The group clarified in its second and most recent correspondence, that the first letter was not sent to the state bar’s disciplinary counsel. 

“You may have misunderstood our concerns, so we — joined by additional colleagues who were not sponsors of our initial letter — write again to clarify,” the attorneys, now totaling 51, said in their most recent correspondence. The additional signees include retired District Court Judge Peter Arnold, former Wyoming Bar Association Presidents Richard Davis and William Hiser, as well as Jack Speight, former chairman of the Wyoming Republican Party. 

“Harriet heard them the first time,” Tim Murtaugh, a Hageman campaign advisor, said in an email on Monday. “They don’t like her opinion and want her silenced. Same response [as before] applies.”

Separately, an attorney not associated with the group filed a grievance against Hageman with the Wyoming State Bar this summer, as originally reported by WyoFile. Darby Hoggatt submitted the complaint after a June 30 debate in which Hageman downplayed the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and said there were “serious questions about the 2020 election.” 

The state bar declined to investigate following Hoggatt’s complaint, because Hageman’s conduct in question took place outside of the courtroom, according to documents provided to WyoFile by Hoggatt. 

Second letter

In her press release regarding the first letter, Hageman did not repeat that the election was “rigged,” choosing instead to say that “there remain serious questions about that election.” 

The attorneys expressed disappointment that the congressional candidate has continued to make “vague statements about [the election’s] legitimacy,” they wrote. They also said some of the attorneys in the group received “vitriolic emails” from Hageman supporters following the press release. 

“These kinds of responses, and worse, are what happens when political leaders peddle misinformation and innuendo in support of their electoral ambitions,” the group wrote. 

The letter goes on to lay out the signatories’ position. It details, for example, how courts evaluate and decide claims, such as allegations of election law violations, and how those processes are outlined in federal and state laws. Using those parameters, courts in more than 60 cases found the claims of election law violations “were either factually or legally insufficient,” the letter said.

The oath of attorney obliges Hageman and other lawyers “to accept the outcome and to ‘support, obey and defend’ the legal system,” according to the letter’s authors.

Lawyers, the 51 co-signers argue, “are not free to go out and publicly attack courts, judges, or the legal process that resulted in our being on the losing side of a case.” 

“This is what is at the heart of the ‘Rule of Law.’ And this is what is at the heart of the peaceful transition of elective power imperative to maintaining a free and democratic society,” the letter said. “That is what our previous letter, and this letter is about.”

If Hageman would ever face disciplinary action by the state bar, such as suspension or disbarment, it would not prohibit her from holding public office.

Maggie Mullen reports on state government and politics. Before joining WyoFile in 2022, she spent five years at Wyoming Public Radio.

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  1. In doing some research, ran across the following info. that I was not aware of, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, the Trump campaign failed, in the states, to qualify for a recount, failed to request a recount, or requested a recount that ultimately provided confirmation of the outcome’s accuracy. Despite these facts, Trump supporters continue to make false claims of fraud.
    Additionally, according to The National Conference of State Legislatures, most states conduct a post election audit of an election to ensure authenticity.
    Now, I don,t know how many of our fellow citizens volunteer to facilitate our elections, I would guess in the neighborhood of hundreds of thousands across the country, maybe they all got together in Toledo (no offense to Toledo), and decided to steal the election. While I haven,t heard this, maybe it should be looked into.
    Regarding Mrs. Hageman,s response to the attorney’s letter to her, I’m reminded of the old sports adage “the best defense is a good offense”. In politics, you first claim victimhood, then you attack. Maybe Mrs. Hageman didn’t read the letter or didn’t understand it, let’s hope, for all our sakes, that she reads and understands any legislation presented to her.

  2. Zero sufficient claims found? How many more than 61 claims were there? Exactly what makes a claim factually insufficient and how many were there? And how many claims were legally insufficient and why? How many less claims did The Most Secure Presidential Election Ever Thus Far have compared to the 2016 Election Hillary conceded only to discover Trump knew he was illegitimate and has told everybody so ever since? Surely the 51 have sufficient supporting facts…The Election and the Legal System are two different entities? ‘Rigged election” the phrase, refers to tabulating.

  3. A major problem in our great country, today totally because of Donald Trump. So many presidential elections throughout the years have been in a position to be contested. And for so many reasons that were true. Donald Trump twice did NOT get the popular vote but did once get the most electoral college votes. If it were based on popular votes only, he would never have been president. But he is still complaining. Others with better reason could’ve contested their elections. But for the good of the country, they conceded to the laws of the land. Trump has been trying to disrupt our complete way of life and our democracy. He is getting away with breaking so many laws and everyday norms. He needs to be put to account for his words and actions. He needs out of politics and out of the news. He does nothing for the country. He is destroying it .

  4. If you don’t have the right to criticize a process…that process is clearly illegitimate and will not survive scrutiny. Why is every law today longer than the Constitution? Because lawyers study how to legally commit fraud using language as a weapon. Who were the top Nazis? Lawyers. There is a small fraction that care about honor and justice. They struggle against a massive Byzantine network of pencil pushers and rubber stampers who only care about themselves. The people are waking up. This cannot continue.

    1. Mr. Baker: You state in part that the top Nazis were lawyers. Wrong again, Grasshopper. Here is a list of the top Nazis and their civilian occupations. There’s not a lawyer among them.

      Adolf Hitler – wallpaperer; art student; vagrant
      Hermann Goering – pilot; drug addict
      Joseph Goebbels – bank clerk
      Heinrich Himmler – chicken farmer; manure-processing plant worker
      Albert Speer – architect
      Adolf Eichman – traveling oil salesman
      Joachim Von Ribbentrop – wine merchant
      Martin Bormann – estate manager; criminal
      Franz Van Papen – aristocrat; spy

  5. All of these 51 lawyers have failed to investigate the massive election fraud that stole the 2020 General Election from President Trump for Biden. Thousands of cyber experts, lawyers, and election observers on election day in all 50 States have documented the massive election fraud for the 2020 General Election. These 51 lawyers are the ones who are engaged in disinformation by stating that the 2020 General Election was not stolen without having investigated the election fraud when the election data shows that it was. Judges have refused to rule on election fraud out of fear of being cancelled where they have incorrectly dismissed the cases across America for lack of standing without ever having ruled on the election fraud evidence.

    1. For an investigation to be conducted there needs to be evidence and standing. There has been neither of those. Election fraud is a lie.

  6. If what Trump and Hageman say about the 2020 election is true don’t you think it would be legitimized in some way by now. In order to happen what they claim, it would have to involve a very large conspiracy with many, many coconspirators. I don’t believe there is one person that has admitted to being involved in massive cheating. It stretches the imagination that hasn’t happened if Trump’s and Hageman’s claim is true.

  7. I support Harriett Hageman and will never use these 51 lawyers. Ben Carson says the biggest threat to our country is this cancel culture where people are not allowed to speak. Jordan Petersen says totalitarianism is rooted in lies – “you will lie or else get canceled”

  8. So the “honorable” Tim Murtaugh says those who signed the letter don’t like Ms. Hageman’s opinion. Hear, hear. Until she, or any of the other election deniers amongst us, come with actual facts and proof of the wide scale fraud they claim to have tipped the scales against their craven idol it’s all just opinion (BS) at best, and pandering to the base at worst.

  9. So let me get this straight. Those who say they support the 1st amendment, now want to use their 1st amendment rights, to threaten and suppress Hagemen’s right to have an opinion, that illegal shenanigans took place in the 2020 election. OK. But am I the only one who see’s this as hugely hypocritical? Or is hypocrisy now justified as long as it’s used against the right people?

  10. Let’s see…
    1) Receive a letter challenging an opinion you voiced in public.
    2) Misrepresent the contents of the letter (the senders never threatened to file a complaint with the state bar, nor did they copy the bar on the letter. The 1st Amendment doesn’t apply here, since the senders aren’t a government organization).
    3) Play the victim and start fundraising.
    Harriet will go far.

    1. Accused of at least violating the spirit of the bar oath if not the bar oath itself is clearly a threat that if your actions continue then we will bring a complaint. Why else include that in the letter?

    2. I think Harriet Hageman ought to find 51 wyoming lawyers who agree with her trolling statements and have them all sign a letter showing their support.

  11. Simple solution- since she’s an attorney, every time she appears in public someone needs to ask her to present her theory of the case. Her options are either to refuse or to start sounding like the pillow guy. Should be fun to watch.

  12. Thanks Maggie Mullen for concise and accurate statement of facts behind this madness of these Trump ring kissers and because of that are a threat to our democracy and rule of law.. Hageman has flipped big time from her anti trump stance in 2016 eh

    1. Yes, Many pro Trumpers have flipped on the validity of the election and for Hageman to say the election was valid then say it wasn’t should have made the Wyomi gites who voted for her ask themselves some serious questions. But it didn’t. What does that say about Wyomingites?

  13. It is unlawful to yell out fire in a theater. This action could cause harm to the public. If you do so your first amendment rights will not protect you when charged. The public interest and safety are put first. Hageman and many others claim election fraud when zero evidence has ever been produced! After all this time if republicans had the proof, they dang sure would be putting it out there. Even the forensic audit in Arizona by the so called Ninjas firm showed Biden had more votes than first reported after the election. No fraud found. So when people like Hageman lie about election fraud it harms the country. They effect the well being of the nation by creating divisions between the public. People are worked up and mad, they are purposely led to believe their vote did not count. That would anger anybody. The principal regarding yelling out fire in a crowded theater and jeopardizing the public interest and safety go for yelling out election fraud when there was not! It is criminal and harms the public! They are doing it for profit and personal gain. It must stop or the law should bring charges of conspiracy to commit fraud against all, all who falsely claim election fraud. They are lying!

  14. So — if you in whatever your profession and now a visible public “servant” receive a letter of reprimand from 51 others in your profession, let alone these be lawyers who have the “power” of legal action and often exercise it, how would YOU interpret something of this sort? Just wondering …..