Dominion Voting Systems, an infrastructure company, sued Powell for defamation after he addressed conservative media on behalf of then-President Donald Trump to cast doubt on the outcome of the 2020 election. Dominion claims that Powell knew their allegations of voter fraud were false and harmful to society.
In a new court filing, Powell’s lawyers write that she shared her opinion and that the public could have drawn its own conclusions about voting machine tampering.
Given the highly charged and political context of those statements, it is clear that Powell was describing the facts on which she based the lawsuits she has filed in support of President Trump, Powell’s lawyers wrote in a court filing Monday.
The complainants themselves characterize the allegations in question as wild accusations and bizarre claims. They are constantly described as inherently implausible, even impossible. This characterization of the allegedly defamatory statements supports Defendants’ position that reasonable persons would not accept these statements as facts, but would merely consider them as assertions pending judicial review at opposing counsel’s trial.
Election authorities and Dominion have loudly proclaimed that Trump’s election loss is OK and poses no major security risk. Lawyers for Donald Trump and his allies quickly lost all but one of the 60 or so smaller cases after the election, as the then-president tried to undo Joe Biden’s victory in several key states.
Peter Meyer of Michigan, one of the Republicans who endorsed Trump in January after Jan. 6 Capitol attack voted to prosecute, tweeted that Powell’s argument is pathetic.
Absolutely boring. The GOP lost the Senate and 5 people were killed in the Capitol attack, in part because Sidney Powell misled millions by claiming the election was stolen. Powell says that no reasonable person could believe that she would want to be tried – that’s a fact!? It’s pathetic.
Although the Trump campaign tried to distance itself from Powell after she held a conspiratorial press conference with her other lawyers, Trump told People that he appreciated Powell’s arguments and wanted to see her on television more.
During a chaotic meeting in the Oval Office in December, Donald Trump said he was considering appointing her as special counsel to investigate allegations of voter fraud.
In addition to Powell, his client, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, two people familiar with the matter previously told CNN to describe the meeting, which began as an impromptu meeting but eventually degenerated into shouting at some points as some Trump aides pushed back against more outrageous suggestions by Powell and Flynn to undo the election results.
The next day, the Trump campaign’s legal team sent a memo to dozens of employees asking them to keep all documents related to Dominion and Powell voting systems because of the ongoing lawsuit against the company.
In a lawsuit filed in January, Powell detailed her television appearances and online postings, including when she repeated her unsubstantiated belief that Dominion had ties to communist Venezuela and that Georgia officials were involved in voter fraud.
Encouraged by Trump’s confirmation of her false accusations that made her a political superstar, Powell continued and intensified her smear campaign after her media appearances, Dominion alleged in her indictment.
Powell, a former federal prosecutor from Texas, has criticized Robert Mueller’s investigation and promoted right-wing conspiracy theories in a number of social media topics.
Powell also argued before the court that his statements about the 2020 election were a matter of public concern regarding Dominion, known to the public, and therefore protected speech.
Her lawyers also argue that she was justified in making the accusations because she acted as an advocate for the Trump campaign even in her appearances on right-wing TV channels. Powell is asking a judge in Washington, D.C., to dismiss the case or transfer it to a federal court in Texas.
This story has been updated with comments from Rep. Meijer.
CNN’s Paul LeBlanc contributed to this story.
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