Stefanie Lambert released from DC jail after pledging to surrender in Michigan election-tampering case

Dieu-Nalio Chery/Reuters

Stefanie Lambert listens during a court hearing in Detroit on October 20, 2022.


A judge on Tuesday released pro-Trump lawyer Stefanie Lambert from a Washington, DC, jail after she promised to immediately return to Michigan and surrender to authorities there, where there is a warrant related to her indictment on election-tampering charges.

DC Superior Court Magistrate Judge Heide Herrmann released Lambert on a $10,000 bond, which she’ll need to pay if she doesn’t quickly turn herself in to Michigan authorities. She was in handcuffs and ankle restraints during the brief hearing in Washington, DC.

The hearing came one day after Lambert’s bizarre arrest at the federal courthouse in DC. She was taken into custody by US marshals immediately after she participated in a two-hour hearing in Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation case against her client, former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, regarding his 2020-related election lies.

That hearing was about Lambert’s recent leak of internal Dominion emails, which she obtained through her representation of Byrne, while that case is in the discovery phase.

But she was arrested due to a warrant in Michigan, which was issued after she failed to appear at two recent hearings in her separate criminal case. She was indicted last year in connection with an election system breach, which was one of several incidents in battleground states where Trump supporters tried to prove their voter-fraud theories.

A police affidavit regarding Lambert’s arrest described her as “a fugitive from the state of Michigan” and said an officer from DC’s Metropolitan Police Department confirmed Tuesday that Michigan “will extradite” her, according to court filings obtained by CNN.

During Lambert’s hearing Tuesday, Kevin Irving, an attorney representing her, said “there was some confusion between her and her attorney” in Michigan, which led to the bench warrant being issued after she failed to show up at two hearings in her criminal case.

“I don’t think it’s something she was running away from,” Irving said, adding that Lambert would “get in her car” and head to Michigan immediately after being released.

Irving told the judge that Lambert “was here doing work,” referring to her role in the Dominion-Byrne lawsuit. She appeared to be wearing the same professional outfit on Tuesday that she wore at the Monday defamation hearing.

A prosecutor said in court that they preferred to keep Lambert detained, and that Michigan authorities had informed them that they were willing to come to DC to pick her up. While releasing Lambert, the judge warned her that she could “continue to be arrested over and over again” if she didn’t promptly surrender in Michigan.

Lambert declined to comment after exiting the courthouse on Tuesday.

“We continue to encourage Ms. Lambert to turn herself in as soon as possible to satisfy the bench warrant issued by the Oakland County Circuit Court; which remains unsatisfied,” DJ Hilson, the Michigan-based special prosecutor who charged Lambert and other Trump allies in the alleged scheme to seize voting machines, said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

At Monday’s separate defamation hearing, Lambert admitted that she provided the Dominion emails to Sheriff Dar Leaf of Barry County, Michigan, who has promoted pro-Trump conspiracy theories and has used his office to hunt for supposed fraud in 2020. They have since made public thousands of pages of Dominion emails through court filings and social media posts.

Lambert, Leaf and their allies have claimed that the leaked emails implicate Dominion in an election-rigging scandal. In a conspiracy theory-laden letter to House Republicans on Sunday, Leaf urged them to investigate Dominion and further claimed that the leaked emails raise the possibility that “Serbian military criminals are running our elections.”

Dominion denies these wild allegations. A spokesperson told CNN on Monday that the company has a “small staff presence” in Serbia, but insisted that “any allegation that Dominion employees anywhere tried to interfere with any election is flatly false.”

The federal magistrate judge overseeing parts of the defamation case signed an order Tuesday requiring Lambert and Byrne to “immediately desist from sharing, distributing, providing access to or discussing any discovery material” that they received as part of the Dominion litigation.

Ever since former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, the voting technology company has battled a seemingly endless stream of disinformation. Its lawyers filed defamation suits against several Trump allies who championed these baseless claims, and right-wing news outlets where they found a home, including Fox News, Newsmax and OAN.

Some of Lambert’s fellow election deniers reacted to her arrest with outrage and even argued that it reinforces their long-debunked view that the 2020 results were tainted.

A right-wing group called the Election Integrity Force, which has promoted baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, posted copies of the leaked Dominion files on its website and claimed without evidence that Lambert’s arrest was “a calculated effort to intimidate and silence a prominent voice in the movement for electoral reform.”

Tina Peters, the former clerk in Mesa County, Colorado, who is facing state charges for a 2020-related election systems breach, praised Lambert on Tuesday for being a “whistleblower.”

This story has been updated with additional information.

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