Sidney Powell is a far-right, Dallas-based attorney and former federal prosecutor who has been associated with QAnon and readily promotes conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election. In 2019 she represented retired lieutenant general and former White House National Security Adviser 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.
Powell joined Trump’s legal team as he tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election, giving multiple media interviews to promote unfounded theories of election fraud. Although the Trump campaign distanced itself from her, she proceeded with filing lawsuits on behalf of the then-president. After Powell 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.
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, there was discussion about appointing Powell as a potential special prosecutor focused on alleged election fraud.