By the time the 2020 election rolled around, there were few reputable lawyers willing to work with Donald Trump. So he had to rely on Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell. To say that it went badly for all of them would be an understatement.
What we need to recognize is that when returned these verdicts will not just tell us about these individual cases; they will foretell whether we are moving toward a political culture of accountability to the nation’s stated ideals.
Following his November election loss, Donald Trump compiled his “elite strike force” of lawyers. The team featured noted kooks like Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis. But Sidney Powell certainly stood out as the zaniest of the group.
Powell made increasingly wild claims about the long-dead Hugo Chavez as being a part of the plot to hand the election to Joe Biden. And she made plenty of claims about Dominion voting machines.
In response, Dominion named the lawyer in a $1.3 billion lawsuit. Powell is defending herself by claiming that no one would take her claims seriously. And all over Twitter, users are referring to this as the Tucker Carlson Defense.
According to Buzzfeed‘s Zoe Tillman, “She (Powell) argues that when she accused Dominion of being part of an election-rigging scheme with ties to Venezuela, ‘no reasonable person would conclude’ those were truly statements of fact.”
Sidney Powell has moved to dismiss Dominion's defamation lawsuit. She argues that when she accused Dominion of being part of an election-rigging scheme with ties to Venezuela, "no reasonable person would conclude" those "were truly statements of fact" https://t.co/RDPD1eGvY3 pic.twitter.com/p5zssgV5JJ
In the months after Donald Trump’s election loss, many of the ex-president’s supporters attempted to find arguments that could overturn the results. And one of those main targets became Dominion voting machines.
Dominion Voting Systems has filed a defamation lawsuit against lawyer Sidney Powell for pushing blatantly false claims about the election, including that Dominion machines were compromised. Dominion says it has been the victim of a “viral disinformation campaign” that Powell mounted “to financially enrich herself, to raise her public profile, and to ingratiate herself to Donald Trump.”
“We feel that it’s important for the entire electoral process,” Dominion CEO John Poulos told The Washington Post, adding that he would prefer the case go to trial so the facts around the 2020 election can be presented. “The allegations, I know they were lobbed against us . . . but the impacts go so far beyond us.”
Dominion says it has spent more than $565,000 on protection for its personnel since the claims about its software began to circulate.
The claim that Dominion voting machines were compromised in some way has already been debunked. A statement posted last month by the federal Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), part of a joint statement from the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees, revealed the agencies found “no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” The statement went on to refer to the 2020 general election as “the most secure in American history.”
These facts did not stop President Trump from urging his Twitter followers to watch a broadcast from Fox News host Sean Hannity that gave still more air time to the Dominion conspiracy theory, which originated from the pro-Trump
Must see @seanhannity takedown of the horrible, inaccurate and anything but secure Dominion Voting System which is used in States where tens of thousands of votes were stolen from us and given to Biden. Likewise, the Great @LouDobbs has a confirming and powerful piece!
Donald Trump’s legal fights over the 2020 election have gone terribly. And with such a lack of success, the president would hope that his legal advisers are, at the least, on the same page.
That is not the case at all, however. Rudy Giuliani, a long-time friend of Trump, seems to have the president’s ear more than any of his other lawyers. But Sidney Powell, who was removed from the legal team weeks ago, was still invited to a weekend summit at
the White House
During one of the “elite strike force” press conferences, Sidney Powell accused everyone from Republican lawmakers to Hugo Chavez (who’s been dead for 7 years) with conspiring against Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
This was a bridge too far for the Trump campaign who soon fired Powell. For Lou Dobbs, though, nothing seems to go to far. Since her firing, the Fox host has hosted the former Trump lawyer a number of times. During her Thursday appearance, Powell likened the 2020 election to a ‘cyber Pearl Harbor.”
Dobbs asked, “Well, what is the evidence that you have compiled? How have you constructed the architecture of this relationship among these four individuals?
“Well, we are still reviewing the massive amount of documents that we have, but we have communications between them and all different kinds of messages that indicate their involvement in it. It’s a massive amount of additional information to go through that’s only been in our hands a short time, but we will be producing more and more of it. It will be coming out more by the day. And then also the connections with the Chinese–“
In the days of Donald Trump, the Republican party has been more and more willing to buy into conspiracy theories. From climate denial to QAnon congresswomen to climate denial to Burisma, nothing has seemed out of bounds.
Then along came lawyer Sidney Powell. While she was at one time a member of Trump’s “Elite Strike Force,” her increasingly unhinged diatribes eventually saw her removed from the president’s legal team.
Still, Fox hosts and Trump sycophant Lou Dobbs was more than happy to have Powell appear on his Fox Business show. While there, Powell continued with the kind of conspiracy theorizing that made her persona non grata to Team Trump.
She told the host:
“I mean, people sitting on the floor writing on the side of buses filling out ballot after ballot. It’s in your face everywhere. The statistical evidence is insurmountable. The mathematical evidence is to a mathematical impossibility. This is no way there was anything but widespread election fraud here. We’ve got one witness that says in Arizona at least there were 35,000 votes added to every Democratic candidate just to start their voting off. It’s like getting your $500 of Monopoly money to begin with when you haven’t done anything. And it was only for Democrats.”
Donald Trump lost the 2020 election in convincing fashion. And like he has done throughout his entire business career, the president has responded to failure by suing everyone and everything.
But the Trump administration has had a very tough time in the court room. Legal firms like Jones Day quickly decided against representing Donald Trump after seeing how poorly their efforts were going over in the court of public opinion.
And last night, the “Elite Strike Force” lost a member in Sidney Powell. Despite the fact that the conspiracy-loving Powell obviously a member of the legal team, the White House is now claiming she was not.
The team has now lost 35 of 36 cases in court. So the next strategy was to convince Republican electors in states to not vote for Biden. On Monday, that attempt failed in Michigan as the state’s Board of Canvassers certified Biden’s win in the state.
The Chair of the Board, Aaron Van Langevelde, said in a statement, “This board must do its part to uphold the rule of law and comply with our legal duty to certify this election. I will be supporting the motion.”
THERE IT IS. Vice Chair Van Langevelde before the board votes to certify says complaints of election fraud must be investigated adding, "This board must do its part to uphold the rule of law and comply with our legal duty to certify this election. I will be supporting the motion"
On Thursday afternoon, Donald Trump’s legal team held a press conference. Many viewers were unable to take their eyes off Rudy Giuliani as his flop sweat made his hair dye run down his face.
But even more stunning than that were the claims made by lawyer Sidney Powell. In a wild claim of election fraud, Powell talked about Venezuela, George Soros, Bill and Hillary Clinton and the hacking of voting machines.
Republican senators have been slow to call out the Trump legal teams shenanigans, but the lawyer’s performances were enough to get Joni Ernst to speak up.
The Iowa senator was particularly perturbed by Powell saying, “In terms of the level of corruption we are looking at here, we have no idea how many Republican or Democratic candidates… paid to have the system rigged to work for them.”
This is a holy crap moment: “In terms of the level of corruption we are looking at here, we have no idea how many Republican or Democratic candidates… paid to have the system rigged to work for them.” – Sydney Powell
Listen up, GOP. They're calling out your elections next.