In the latest sign of the mid-coup implosion on President Trump’s legal team, the campaign disavowed attorney Sidney Powell on Sunday night — just eight days after announcing she was one of the lawyers representing his efforts to overturn the election.
“Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own,” read a statement from Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis. “She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity.”
The release did not provide a rationale for the separation, though an appearance on Newsmax on Saturday may have something to do with it. In an interview on the conspiracy-minded conservative network, Powell claimed that the Georgia governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — both Republicans — had taken payoffs to skew the state’s election results toward Biden. She followed up on Sunday,
threatening to file a “biblical” lawsuit against Kemp in the wake of his decision to certify the results of an election that turned Georgia blue for the first time since 1992.
Powell’s promotion of unsubstantiated claims during her brief employment by the president are not her first forays into conspiratorial thinking. The attorney, whose client list has included Michael Flynn and Enron executives, has described Flynn as a victim of a “deep state” plot to frame him, while her Twitter background is a reference to “the storm,” the event in the QAnon universe in which the Satanists in the federal government are arrested en masse.
A few questions remain unanswered regarding Powell’s dismissal. If Republican leaders are critical of her comments, why have both the national GOP and campaign attorney Jenna Ellis endorsed her claims in the past week? As for conspiratorial thinking, it’s hard to boot her out of a legal effort which has provided no evidence for its claims — or ostracize her from a party that has openly embraced her fellow Q-supporters. And prior to her allegations against Kemp and Raffensperger, Powell’s election claims weren’t any more outlandish than her fellow “strike force” members. Giuliani, Powell, and Trump have all referenced the Dominion conspiracy suggesting a software firm connected to Hugo Chávez, the Chinese Communist Party, and George Soros stole hundreds of thousands of votes from the president.