Sidney Powell’s Loony Election Claims, Which Gave Birth to the Deadly Capitol Invasion, May Finally Cost Her
During the January 2 telephone conversation in which President Donald Trump pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the votes necessary to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in that state, Raffensperger tried to test the outer boundaries of Trump’s election-fraud allegations. Raffensperger suggested that Trump’s concerns focused on “the absentee ballot process,” as opposed to the outlandish claim that Dominion Voting Systems had helped Democrats deliver a phony victory to Biden by supplying them with fraud-facilitating election software. But the president made it clear that he was not ready to give up that fantasy, which is the focus of a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit that Dominion filed against former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell on Friday.
“I don’t believe that you’re really questioning the Dominion machines,” Raffensperger said. “Because we did a hand re-tally, a 100 percent re-tally of all the ballots, and compared them to what the machines said and came up with virtually the same result. Then we did the recount, and we got virtually the same result. So I guess we can probably take that off the table.”
Nope. “Well, Brad,” Trump replied, “not that there’s not an issue, because we have a big issue with Dominion in other states and perhaps in yours. But we haven’t felt we needed to go there.”
In reality, both Trump and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, have gone there over and over again, promoting Powell’s preposterous conspiracy theory in tweets, speeches, TV appearances, and press conferences. Her claims about what she describes as “the biggest crime in American history” were never substantiated in litigation by Trump’s lawyers or her own lawsuits. But amplified by credulous right-wing TV and radio hosts such as Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, Maria Bartiromo, and Rush Limbaugh, Powell’s wacky notions helped persuade a large majority of Trump supporters that the election was rigged to deny the president a second term.
The results were apparent last Wednesday, when hundreds of enraged Trump followers, summoned to D.C. by the president and inflamed by a speech in which he warned that an “egregious assault on our democracy” was about to destroy the country, invaded the Capitol, where a joint session of Congress was convening to affirm Biden’s election. Before that deadly attack, Trump told the thousands of fans who had gathered for the “Save America March” that they should be outraged by “the highly troubling matter of Dominion Voting Systems.” He claimed that Dominion machines in Fulton County, Georgia, “had an astronomical and astounding 93.7 percent error rate.”
At the same rally, Giuliani said he had “conclusive proof” that in Georgia “the votes were deliberately changed by the same algorithm that was used in cheating President Trump and Vice President Pence.” Giuliani promised that “over the next 10 days” the president’s legal team would reveal “machines that are crooked.” Instead, the president’s lawyers dropped four lawsuits challenging Georgia’s election results the very next day, avoiding a trial scheduled for Friday at which they would have had a chance to present their supposed evidence.
As Dominion’s 124-page complaint against Powell shows in great detail, that has been her M.O. from the beginning: make wild claims, insist they are backed up by convincing proof that somehow never materializes, and ignore or dismiss all the countervailing evidence. Some highlights from the complaint:
• In a Newsmax interview on November 17, Powell said she had a video in which Dominion’s founder bragged that the company “can change a million votes, no problem at all.” She said she would tweet a link to that incriminating evidence. “Powell never tweeted out such a video because it does not exist,” the complaint says.
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