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Sidney Powell


Sidney Powell is a far-right, Dallas-based attorney and former federal prosecutor who has been associated with QAnon and bizarre conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election. She actively assisted in Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the election, filing multiple lawsuits and spreading lies via media interviews that amplified unfounded theories of election fraud.

In August 2023, Fulton County, Georgia’s District Attorney Fani Willis indicted Powell, Trump and 17 others charged in a sprawling “criminal enterprise” aimed at overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election. Although she initially pleaded not guilty to Georgia’s seven felony charges of conspiracy and racketeering, by mid October she made a surprise about-face by striking a plea deal with prosecutors—one that let her off remarkably lightly relative to Trump supporters who believed her lies and stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“The deal turns Powell into the government’s most prominent known asset in its quest to convict Trump,” The Washington Post reported. But her sudden guilty plea proved to be somewhat perplexing given that she is still actively raising funds for MAGA causes, including the legal defense of people accused of breaching the Capitol.

Although the Trump campaign ostensibly distanced itself from Powell a month after the election, she proceeded with filing ill-conceived and sloppily written lawsuits on behalf of the then-president. After she filed federal cases in Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, and Wisconsin, a Michigan judge formally sanctioned her and several other Trump attorneys for “a historic abuse of the judicial process.” In addition, voting machine companies Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic sued Powell for defamation after she continued to make outrageous claims against them on various Fox News broadcasts.

In 2019 Powell represented retired lieutenant general and former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who was prosecuted for lying to the FBI when they questioned him about alleged conversations he had with the Russian ambassador between the 2016 presidential election and Trump’s inauguration. Prior to that, she had already aligned with Trump and MAGA conservatives in repeatedly attacking special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation on Fox News, among other places.

The Big Lie

  • Immediately after the November 2020 election, Powell began speaking to as many media outlets as possible to push baseless conspiracy theories to delegitimize Biden’s win. 
  • She coined the catchphrase “release the Kraken,” taken from the 1981 movie Clash of the Titans, to describe efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Powell alleged that voter fraud had been “organized and conducted with the help of Silicon Valley people, the big tech companies, the social media companies and even the media companies.” 
  • Speaking on CBN News, Powell maintained: “First of all, I never say anything I can’t prove… and President Trump won by not just hundreds of thousands of votes, but by millions of votes that were shifted by this software that was designed expressly for that purpose. We have sworn witness testimony of why the software was designed. It was designed to rig elections.”
  • Powell filed federal cases alleging election fraud in Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, and Wisconsin. None of the lawsuits proved to have any merit.
  • Powell’s lawsuits incorporated an affidavit from Joshua Merritt, a former employee of the Allied Security Operations Group owned by Phil Waldron (who was trained in psychological warfare). Merritt never completed the intelligence training program he began in the armed forces, but readily claimed that Iran and China had access to Dominion Voting machines.
  • PBS Frontline aired a documentary called Plot to Overturn the Election showing, in part, that Powell was part of a group—including former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn—that met at Lin Wood’s South Carolina plantation in the weeks following the election to strategize about how to overturn the results.  
  • During an extensive and highly contentious meeting with Trump on December 18, 2020, participants discussed the idea of appointing Powell as a potential special prosecutor focused on alleged election fraud. 


  • Although the DOJ’s January 6 indictment against Trump alludes to Powell as one of six co-conspirators, she has only been officially indicted in the Georgia RICO case.
  • In August 2023, a grand jury working with Fulton County DA Fani Willis indicted Powell on seven felony charges of conspiracy and racketeering. Even though she initially pleaded not guilty, two months later she struck a plea deal with prosecutors that largely exculpates her from her actions on behalf of the former president but also makes her one of the state’s potential key witnesses against him.