January 28, 2023

Sidney Powell, attorney for President Donald Trump, holds a press conference on Thursday, November 19, 2020, on the Republican National Committee on lawsuits related to the 2020 presidential election outcome.

Tom Williams | CQ Appeal, Inc. | Getty Images

Pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell’s attorneys said “no sane person” would believe their false claims and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election were “real statements of fact”.

Powell’s new argument, aggressively advocating allegations that the election was rigged against former President Donald Trump, came Monday in a trial that asked a federal judge to suspect the lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems in January Dismiss $ 1.3 billion of libel.

Dominion, whose voting systems have been used in numerous states in the 2020 Contest, claims that Powell and other prominent election theft conspirators, including Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, did “irreparable harm” to the company.

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Trump and his legal team, which Powell was once part of, claimed victory in the November 3rd election, even after media and officials set the race for Joe Biden. At a press conference in late November, along with Giuliani and other lawyers, Powell claimed that Dominion was part of an international electoral conspiracy involving “communist money” from countries such as Venezuela and Cuba.

Trump’s attorneys distanced themselves from Powell shortly afterwards – but they filed lawsuits in which they made similar allegations of the theft of Trump and full of fraud in order to decertify the voting results in key states.

In the court filing released Monday night, Powell’s attorneys argued that Dominion’s defamation lawsuit should be dropped because their allegations were constitutionally protected expressions of political opinion rather than statements of fact.

“Determining whether a statement is protected requires a two-step investigation,” Powell’s attorneys wrote on the file in the federal court in Washington. “Is the statement one that can be proven true or false? And would reasonable people conclude that, given the way it is worded, its context, and the circumstances of its publication, the statement is a fact.”

“Analyzed under these factors … no sane person would conclude that the statements are really statements of fact,” argued the attorneys.

The motion for dismissal contained a number of precedents to support the view that political speech “lies at the center of the protection of the First Amendment”.

“Given all the circumstances of the statements, their context, and the availability of the facts on which the statements were based, it was clear to reasonable persons that Powell’s allegations were their opinions and legal theories on a matter of extreme public concern,” argued the attorneys.

Following Trump’s loss to Biden, Powell made a series of fancy-sounding election theft claims, promising that she would “release the Kraken” and reveal evidence of their conspiracies. “It will be biblical,” she said in late November.

The judges dismissed their complaints in several battlefield states. But by January, many Republicans said they believed Trump received more votes than Biden, according to polls at the time.

Trump, who never conceded to Biden, called at a rally outside the White House on Jan. 6 that GOP lawmakers reject the results of electoral college in major swing states. A crowd of Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol shortly after the rally, forcing a joint congressional session to go into hiding and temporarily halt the confirmation of Biden’s victory.

The invasion resulted in five deaths. More than 300 people were charged in the Capitol riot. Trump was charged with inciting a riot at home but was acquitted in the Senate.

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., Who spoke at the pre-uprising rally in Washington, reiterated false claims of election theft as he launched his Senate campaign on Monday.

Dominion has made a strong suggestion that it will file additional libel suits. The latest lawsuit against MyPillow’s Lindell is “definitely not the last,” Dominion CEO John Poulos told CNBC last month.