News & Politics

Why Did Donald Trump Cut Sidney Powell From His Legal Team?

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

On Sunday, President Donald Trump’s lawyers former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis released a statement distancing themselves from Sidney Powell, the lawyer who represents former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Powell had promoted a conspiracy theory involving voter machines switching votes from Trump to Joe Biden. She appears to have grown more unhinged, recently attacking Gov. Brian Kemp (R-Ga.) and even Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), who faces a runoff election against Raphael Warnock.

“Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own,” Giuliani and Ellis insisted. “She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity.”

Earlier this week, however, Powell appeared with Giuliani and Ellis in a Trump legal team press conference. The president listed her as part of his legal team.

Yet Powell appears to have taken the announcement in stride. “I agree with the statement today. I will represent #WeThePeople and seek the Truth,” she said in a statement. “I intend to expose all the fraud and let the chips fall where they may. We will not allow the foundations of this great Republic to be destroyed by abject fraud or our votes for President Trump and other Republicans to be stolen by foreign interests or anyone else.”

Powell had made headlines in recent weeks for promoting a vibrant conspiracy theory about Dominion Voting Systems. She claimed that Dominion machines were switching votes from Trump to Biden, based on Smartmatic software somehow engineered by Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez to switch election results. Powell promised she would “release the kraken” of evidence, but refused to present evidence when reporters asked.

Smartmatic issued a statement, claiming that the company “has never provided Dominion Voting Systems with any software, hardware or other technology.” In fact, Smartmatic and Dominion are “competitors in the marketplace.” Smartmatic also insisted that it “does not have any ties to any governments or political parties in any country. It has never been owned, funded or backed by any government,” let alone that of Hugo Chavez.

Matt Walsh faulted Powell for taking the very serious issue of voter fraud and turning it “into an embarrassing sideshow circus that will now undermine all of the extremely serious and valid concerns we have. And many conservatives with large platforms knowingly helped her do it. It’s infuriating.”

On Saturday, Powell claimed that Trump lost Georgia because Gov. Kemp — a fierce Trump ally — had been bribed by a Venezuelan front company in cahoots with the CIA to throw elections to communists. She also claimed that Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) would have beaten Sen. Loeffler in the Senate race had Kemp not rigged the election machines, Forbes reported.

While President Trump is completely in his rights to challenge the preliminary election results in court, his position appears to be getting desperate. Meanwhile, some Trump supporters in Georgia are threatening to boycott the runoff election, effectively handing the critical Senate races to the Democrats, in protest against Georgia Republicans whom they see as insufficiently loyal to the president.

While there is a slight possibility Trump may prevail in his election challenges, Biden is more likely to hold on to his leads and take the presidency in January. Republicans have held on to 50 Senate seats and they only need one more to take the majority, two to overcome the margin of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah). If the Democrats win both of Georgia’s Senate races thanks to misplaced anger at Georgia Republicans, Biden will be able to force his far-Left agenda through Congress with a bare majority in the U.S. Senate, as Vice President Kamala Harris will cast the 51st vote for Democratic bills.

Powell arguably should not have promoted the Dominion conspiracy theory — especially if her claims of evidence prove hollow. Yet it seems she may have crossed a vital line by suggesting that Collins, not Loeffler, should be the Republican in the runoff on January 5.

Trump has achieved many important victories as president, but Biden may be able to run over them all, especially if he can eke out a majority in the U.S. Senate. With the Senate in Democratic hands, radical policies like the Green New Deal, codifying Roe v. Wade (1973), the pro-transgender Equality Act, and even packing the U.S. Supreme Court may suddenly be on the table.

Perhaps the Trump legal team should have cut Powell earlier.

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Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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