Legal representatives for Sidney Powell, a lawyer aligned with former President Donald Trump who filed numerous lawsuits promoting his quest to overturn the 2020 presidential election on the false basis of election fraud, responded to a lawsuit against her this week by suggesting her allegedly defamatory words shouldn’t be taken as serious by “reasonable people.”
Dominion Voting Systems, an electronic voting hardware company, is accusing Powell of knowingly making several false claims about the integrity of their products by wrongly suggesting votes from their machines in the 2020 election were switched from Trump to President Joe Biden.
The lies that Powell spread, Dominion suggested in its lawsuit filed earlier this year, were perpetrated “to financially enrich herself, to raise her public profile, and to ingratiate herself to Donald Trump.”
Powell did indeed make many questionable and error-filled assertions about the company in lawsuits seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election result. In one instance, where she filed a brief with several grammatical errors, Powell claimed (without evidence) there was “massive election fraud [that] occurred throughout the Georgia in this past November in the context of voting machines using Dominion software.”
Lawyers for Powell, responding to the lawsuit filed by Dominion against Powell, argue that she was merely sharing her opinion about the company, not articulating ideas that she believed were absolute fact, so that the public could draw “their own conclusions” about the matter. They further stated, in their legal brief defending Powell, that her words couldn’t possibly do any financial harm to Dominion since they were not believable.
The approach is a novel defense, as it argues that Powell, who filed a number of lawsuits and made several media appearances impugning Dominion, was not to be taken seriously.
The defense, in seeking to get the lawsuit dismissed, tried to use Dominion’s own words against them in their response.
“Plaintiffs themselves characterize the statements at issue as ‘wild accusations’ and ‘outlandish claims,'” Powell’s defense team’s legal brief stated. “They are repeatedly labelled ‘inherently improbable’ and even ‘impossible.’ Such characterizations of the allegedly defamatory statements further support Defendants’ position that reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact but view them only as claims that await testing by the courts through the adversary process.”
One problem that the defense team may encounter, however, in making such claims is that a number of people did buy into Powell’s false ideas about Dominion. Several conservative voices and Republican lawmakers have repeated her false accusations about the company. In one example, a bill in the Texas legislature is seeking to require all voting machines be made in the United States — seemingly a reference to Powell’s claims that Dominion has foreign influences, including receiving “communist money” and having direct ties to deceased Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.
Dominion, in fact, has no foreign owners, according to a fact-check of the claim. The company is seeking more than $1.3 billion in damages from Powell as a result of her false claims after the election.