Former Trump campaign and alleged freelance attorney Sidney Powell filed her so-called “Kraken” lawsuit in a Georgia federal court on Friday. The case seeks to de-certify the Peach State’s 2020 election results which indicated Joe Biden won a slim but decisive victory. The lawsuit was previewed late Wednesday evening when it was made available on the conservative lawyer’s personal website–around the same time that a similar complaint was filed in Michigan federal court.
Initially hyped up to intense fanfare among Trump’s stalwart followers, the Georgia petition came under intense scrutiny and close-readings that quickly led to a cascade of Twitter-based mockery and scorn as legal observers noted several clumsy formatting and typographical errors. Freshly filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, the actually-submitted lawsuit appears to repeat each and every one of those heavily discussed and reported on errors.
“If you thought Sidney Powell and her Kraken team of lawyers might have fixed the typos prior to filing their Georgia lawsuit, you were wrong,” noted Democratic election attorney Marc Elias via Twitter.
“You can’t correct the errors,” tweeted Fox News contributor and political strategist Donna Brazile, who certainly knows a thing or two about non-salvageable mistakes after running Al Gore‘s disastrous presidential campaign in 2000 and leaking CNN’s debate questions to Hillary Clinton (and then getting caught) in 2016.
“She’s definitely invoking some sort of Lovecraftian entity now,” joked journalist Asteris Masouras via Twitter–apparently referencing the mytho-monstrous folklore associated with the concept of the Kraken, a gigantic and fabled sea creature that is said to have the characteristics of a squid or octopus. (The horror and science fiction author H.P. Lovecraft is currently popularly associated with monsters bearing tentacles.)
One popular Twitter account got to the heart of the matter:
Seems as well as being astoundingly incompetent, Sidney Powell and her Kracken team either paid no attention at all to the reaction of attorneys on Twitter who trashed their terribly written suit, or they’re actually proud of their incompetence. https://t.co/brT7yEF7rf
— Khashoggi’s Ghost (@UROCKlive1) November 27, 2020
Speaking of the legal team behind the filing, the submitted complaint lists the attorneys-of-record as Georgia-based lawyers Harry W. MacDougald and L. Lin Wood. The latter lawyer, known for representing Nicholas Sandmann and obtaining a presumably small settlement from the Washington Post and for losing what was widely-viewed as a lay-up defamation case against Elon Musk, recently lost an election-themed lawsuit in the same court before Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Steven D. Grimberg.
New York-based attorney Howard Kleinhendler and Powell herself are also listed as attorneys-of-record and have submitted applications to appear pro hac vice–a Latin term meaning “for this occasion.” Such requests are typically rubber-stamped by judges unless there are good reasons to deny them.
But others have pointed out that there may be an additional unsung hero (of sorts) among the Kraken legal team:
Next up: PDF metadata. The author of the PDF isn’t Sidney Powell, it’s Juli Haller. Who is Juli Haller? pic.twitter.com/mcphBrpqhD
— Arieh Kovler (@ariehkovler) November 26, 2020
Haller describes herself as a former White House liaison who previously “organized events including at Trump International Hotel.” She appears to currently work in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, she was named in a report which raised concerns about her treatment of an Iranian-American at the state department. While her name in the metadata is not dispositive proof of authorship, the mystery attorney’s role is likely to be a point of contention and inquiry in the days and weeks to come.
The lawsuit itself is a long and rambling document. It tops out at 104 pages; just like the originally typo-littered preview.
Pete Woods, a comic book artist whose punditry about an election fraud-themed lawsuit should suffice to explain the widespread notoriety Powell has been able to achieve in such a short time, offered a representative criticism of the filing: “Turns out you shouldn’t let cephalopods type up complaints after all,” he tweeted.
[image via MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]