Sidney Powell, the former Trump campaign attorney behind a series of “Kraken” lawsuits challenging the results of the 2020 election in multiple states where the president lost the popular vote, appears to have misled courts as to the qualifications of one of her key witnesses.
Powell’s team described the witness in question as a “Military Intelligence expert” who would provide unambiguous proof that voting systems used in the election were compromised. The witness was known only as “Spyder” to protect him from an “established pattern of witness and attorney harassment and coercion,” Powell’s team wrote. But a Friday report from the Washington Post revealed that “Spyder,” whose real name is Joshua Merritt, was actually an army vehicle mechanic who had never even worked in military intelligence.
According to the report, the 43-year-old Merritt is an information technology consultant in Dallas who had previously been enrolled in the 305th Military Intelligence Battalion training program but failed to finish even the entry-level training course.
“[E]ven by his own account, he was only a trainee with the 305th, at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, and for just seven months more than 15 years ago,” the Post reported.
“His separation papers, which he provided to The Post, make no mention of intelligence training. They show that he spent the bulk of his decade in the Army as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. He deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he said he worked in security and route clearance.”
Merritt even conceded to the Post that describing himself as an “electronic intelligence analyst under 305th Military Intelligence” was specious. He said legal clerks on Powell’s team wrote that information on his declaration without informing him of the specific language.
“That was one thing I was trying to backtrack on,” he told the Post. “My original paperwork that I sent in didn’t say that.”
Despite the fact that the Post had spoken with Merritt and confirmed his identity as “Spyder,” Powell refused to answer questions about his qualifications.
“I cannot confirm that Joshua Merritt is even Spider. Strongly encourage you not to print,” she wrote in a text to the outlet, adding, “If we made a mistake, we will correct it.”
In the court filings, “Spyder” alleged that Dominion voting machines were “certainly compromised” by foreign actors:
In my professional opinion, this affidavit presents unambiguous evidence that Dominion Voter Systems and Edison Research have been accessible and were certainly compromised by rogue actors, such as Iran and China. By using servers and employees connected with rogue actors and hostile foreign influences combined with numerous easily discoverable leaked credentials, these organizations neglectfully allowed foreign adversaries to access data and intentionally provided access to their infrastructure in order to monitor and manipulate elections, including the most recent one in 2020. This represents a complete failure of their duty to provide basic cyber security. This is not a technological issue, but rather a governance and basic security issue: if it is not corrected, future elections in the United States and beyond will not be secure and citizens will not have confidence in the results.
Attorneys for the Democratic party rubbished those allegations because they “uses[d] no discernable [sic] methodology” and otherwise failed the threshhold legal test for expert testimony to be admitted in federal courts.
Nearly all of Powell’s legal claims have been dismissed by various courts.
[image via Fox News screengrab]