Sidney Powell is in a pickle. On the one hand, Dominion Voting Systems is suing her for a billion dollars because she accused it of cahootsing with Hugo Chávez to rig the 2020 presidential election for Biden. On the other, she’s fending off sanctions motions from multiple state defendants who had to waste time dealing with her rancid squid carcass “Kraken” lawsuits.
When Sidney Powell promised to “blow up” swing states which certified the election for Joe Biden, this is probably not what she meant. But Powell is nothing if not creative, so last month she fired off a motion to dismiss Dominion’s suit asserting the “I’m full of shit” defense.
“Analyzed under these factors, and even assuming, arguendo, that each of the statements alleged in the Complaint could be proved true or false, no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact,” she insisted, characterizing them rather as “claims that await testing by the courts through the adversary process.”
At which point the Michigan defendants pounced, pointing to the motion in the Dominion case as proof that Powell knew all along that her claims about election rigging in Michigan were total nonsense.
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. 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.
It’s an awkward position, but the best defense is a good offense, right? What if it’s the state defendants who themselves should be sanctioned for filing a frivolous sanctions motion?
The State Defendants’ attorneys should know better; and indeed, should be sanctioned for filing this frivolous brief based on the intentional misrepresentation of a legal argument. As explained herein, the snippets of partial sentences and paragraphs taken out of context by the State Defendants to sow a false narrative and a phony argument do not support their frivolous motion for $11,000 in sanctions. These State Defendants have actually engaged in the very same conduct they try to condemn. They pathetically believe that such malicious and unethical conduct will bolster their political careers. This Court should not be misguided by the State Defendants’ continued frenzy of frivolous and repetitive filings, even though, sadly enough, they are brought by the highest officers in the state.
She then goes on to cite “hundreds of pages of exhibits, scholarly articles, government sources, Congressional statements and sworn declarations and affidavits from both fact witnesses and experts in support of [Powell’s] claims.” She fails to mention that Powell reportedly played a major role in drafting those affidavits and appears to have worked hard to conceal the identity of multiple witnesses from the court, obscuring the reality that they were rando internet conspiracy theorists with major credibility problems, not the super-secret spy types she claimed they were.
The motion also makes some very strange arguments about the First Amendment, analogizing a lawyer’s right to make unsubstantiated statements of fact in a legal pleading to a journalist’s right to report on matters of public import. And to continue to make them, over and over again, after multiple federal, state, and appellate courts have told her she is wrong and her “experts” are blithering idiots.
The motion concludes by accusing the state Defendants of “political bluster and a continued abuse of process,” which is a bit melodramatic over a motion for $11,000 in legal fees.
Well, good luck to them!
Elizabeth Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.