Texas-based attorney and one woman irony machine Sidney Powell is currently on the defensive as she battles the $1.3 billion lawsuit filed against her by the voting equipment company Dominion Voting Systems. In an effort to one up herself by saying something even crazier than her past pronouncements, and distance herself from wild conspiracy theories she herself promoted, Powell has come up with a defense that legal scholars will be pondering for years to come, not in an academic way, more in a ‘what the f………’ sort of way.
Powell was the one time Trump appointed special counsel tasked with investigating the supposed massive election fraud that cost him a second term in the White House, until she wasn’t. She claims that not only was the election stolen from Trump but that voting software used in key states was created at the behest of the Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. Apart from the several problems that could be brought up about that statement, the fact that Chávez had died from cancer in 2013 was front and center. It seemed Powell was too crazy for even Trump and his Republican allies.
She would double down on her statements about ‘voting software’ by continuously and publicly claiming that votes were illegally switched on Dominion voting machines. She repeatedly spread the conspiracy theory that both Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic were part of some nefarious Democrat-backed plot to flip Trump votes in favor of Biden, count ballots more than once and even fabricate votes for Biden out of whole cloth.
On January 8, 2021, Dominion filed a defamation lawsuit after previously sending her a letter demanding she publicly retract her baseless allegations about the company, a letter that surely found its way into the waste paper basket beside her desk moments after it was received. This is when the chickens came home to roost for Powell, as not only would she soon have egg on her face, her defense was the equivalent of her smearing the eggs all over her own face herself.
So, finally, on March 22, Powell would take the lawsuit seriously (well not quite) by claiming she couldn’t possibly be sued for defamation. All those times she repeatedly promoted the false conspiracy theory about the 2020 election being rigged was mere “hyperbole” and political speech entitled to protection under the First Amendment and that “no reasonable person would” believe that her comments “were truly statements of fact.”
In a nutshell, and one from which Ms. Powell apparently sprung from fully formed, anyone with half a brain in their head couldn’t possibly believe the things that were actually coming out of her mouth due to their wild and crazy nature. Unfortunately for her, some so-called ‘reasonable’ people, like Jeffrey Sabol, actually did. So much so, that they are now using it as a defense against being prosecuted for assaulting police officers and storming the Capitol on Jan 6.
And her defense team’s legal gymnastics were done just yet. Even though Powell had previously asserted that there was ‘voluminous evidence’ of voter fraud and even went on the Fox Business Network and told host Lou Dobbs “We are talking about hundreds of thousands of votes,” and she would soon “Release the Kraken,” her lawyers argued that even if the “evidence” she so confidently touted proved unreliable or false, she was still entitled the same protection afforded to journalists who reported information that they learned from sources.
The fact that Lou Dobbs interview took place on Friday the 13th says everything about the future of this narrative for Powell. Which certainly seems to be the case as Dominion is not buying these paper thin postulations and plan to press on with their defamation case. Unfortunately for Powell, even if she were to defeat Dominion in court, despite having lost every case she filed claiming voter fraud, there is another fire waiting for her as she jumps out of the Dominion frying pan, the other voting software company, Smartmatic.
They too sent a letter, this time to conservative television outlets, asking them if they could maybe not claim their company was involved in widespread voter fraud, to which the outlets replied by immediately broadcasting segments on their respective channels completely walking back the conspiracy allegations they had been touting alongside Powell. Smartmatic, however, were far from done.
One month after Dominion filed its defamation lawsuit, Smartmatic would file theirs accusing Powell, Fox News, some hosts at Fox News, and Rudy Giuliani of engaging in an “unhinged disinformation campaign”, stating that “Without any true villain, Defendants invented one,” it continued. “In their story, Smartmatic was a Venezuelan company under the control of corrupt dictators from socialist countries.” They have gone one better than Dominion and are seeking $2.7 billion in damages.
Hopefully, these cases will set a precedent for future spouters of basely conspiracy theories about rigged elections. It must be reiterated that head election officials, federal officials and a coalition of the country’s top cybersecurity experts all concluded that there was “no credible evidence of computer fraud.” and that the 2020 election’s safeguards made it “the most secure in American history.”
Rather than listen to the actual experts in their fields, the American public are being asked to believe unscrupulous and unethical lawyers looking to make a name for themselves, TV hosts with ratings on their minds not the integrity of democracy in our country and a former President who is the poster boy for bad losers.