The downfall of attorney Sidney Powell, of Kraken election lawsuit infamy, has been a long time coming. After casting doubt on what’s been widely acknowledged as a free and fair election, she faced defamation lawsuits for the wild claims she made about the 2020 election and the election technology companies involved.
Powell’s defamation defense was… unique. In her motion to dismiss, she basically argued she’s a big ol’ liar and no one would ever believe her anyway. But that argument may be too clever by half as it’s being used against her in another matter.
You see, after the election lawsuit filed in Michigan was thrown out, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson filed a motion for sanctions. Because when Powell went all ‘it’s not defamation if my legal filings weren’t believable,’ Michigan official were all ‘Um…’
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is asking the question on everyone’s mind: if no reasonable person would believe you, THEN WHY ARE YOU FILING A LAWSUIT BASED ON THOSE CLAIMS. Seriously, inquiring minds want to know.
“These attorneys seemingly made statements they knew were misleading in an effort to further their false and destructive narrative,” Nessel wrote in a statement on Wednesday. “As lawyers, fidelity to the law is paramount. These individuals worked to further conspiracy theories in an effort to erode public trust in government and dismantle our systems of democracy. Their actions are inexcusable.”
In supplemental briefing on the sanctions motion, Powell’s double talk is put on display, as reported by Law & Crime:
“In their prior briefs, defendants have gone to great pains to show that no reasonable person would believe the claims advanced by plaintiffs in this case. Plaintiffs have pushed back on Defendants’ arguments, but now Ms. Powell herself has admitted as much,” Nessel’s assistant Heather S. Meingast wrote, highlighting those words in original.
“If there were any doubts about counsel’s mindset when filing this action, Ms. Powell has put them to rest—she and her co-counsel knew there was no reasonable basis for the statements they made in this litigation, but they made them anyway,” the brief continues.
See, talking out of both sides of your mouth just doesn’t pay. But even if sanctions are awarded in this case, it’ll probably be a great deal less money than the BILLIONS being sought in the defamation cases. Perhaps Powell’s just making a shrewd cost-benefit analysis.
Powell had a statement, of a sort, on the supplemental briefing:
Reached for comment, Powell supplied a terse statement in an email to Law&Crime: “‘Horsefeathers’ and another political publicity stunt.”
In fairness, political publicity stunts are something Powell knows an awful lot about.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).