President Donald Trump reportedly “discussed” having controversial attorney Sidney Powell installed as special counsel to investigate claims of voter and electoral fraud. According to the New York Times, Powell attended a “raucous” White House meeting on Friday night where the potential and highly controversial would-be appointment was discussed—along with other ideas for how Trump could spend his final month in office.
From that report:
It was unclear if Mr. Trump will move ahead with such a plan.
Most of his advisers opposed the idea, two of the people briefed on the discussion said, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, who in recent days sought to have the Department of Homeland Security join the campaign’s efforts to overturn Mr. Trump’s loss in the election.
Powell is an equal parts odd and natural choice for Trump, who has been adamant about installing two separate special counsels since his November loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
The litigation arm of the president’s failed re-election campaign was previously and directly affiliated with Powell before quickly sending her packing over the apparently poor optics of her oftentimes fire-breathing rhetoric in service of various conspiracy theories—including the much-maligned allegation that dead Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez ran rigged elections in a pattern similar to what Powell claims without legally acceptable evidence happened in the U.S. in 2020.
Trump has, of course, peddled his own brand of conspiracy theories accusing various elections authorities and others of widespread fraud during the 2020 general election. None of those claims, Bolivarian or otherwise, have been supported with reliable evidence.
Still, Powell and others (like similarly situated attorney L. Lin Wood) have beat the drum on Trump’s behalf by losing dozens upon dozens of lawsuits premised on such unproven fraud allegations in various state and federal courts for nearly two months straight. That Powell herself attended the Friday White House meeting suggests the arms-length stance for the former “elite strike force” member may soon be coming to an end. The Trump campaign on Nov. 22nd said Powell was “not a member of the Trump Legal Team” and was “not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity.”
“Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own,” read a statement at the time from actual Trump attorneys Giuliani and Jenna Ellis.
The Times‘ report casts doubt on the official affirmations of distance between Powell and Trump.
Most legal commentators dismissed the idea out of hand that Powell might be picked as special counsel, and the Times report itself notes that Trump’s inner circle “pushed back” against the idea. Still, that Trump was reportedly entertaining the prospect was alarming to many.
America is full of reputable law firms, steeped in history, prestige, stature and standing. What does it say, if anything, that none have come within a million miles of this? https://t.co/1Rducj9tUM
— Jason Fechner (@jasonfechner) December 19, 2020
Appointing Sidney Powell as special counsel for election fraud is necessary to enforce the Voting Rights Act. https://t.co/AIgtSbdv2g
— Leah Litman (@LeahLitman) December 19, 2020
If Hugo Chavez was still alive, he would be very concerned. https://t.co/uUzUelzoUQ
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) December 19, 2020
“No chance this happens,” Tulane Law Professor Ross Garber said. “But the fact that Trump wants Sidney Powell made special counsel, Rudy wants to seize voting machines, and Michael Flynn was in the meeting shows that this could be a very dangerous month.”
Flynn, a retired lieutenant general and Trumpworld favorite who was pardoned after he admitted he lied to federal investigators, recently called on the 45th president to institute martial law—the suspension of civil law in favor of direct military rule.
[image via screengrab/Epoch Times]
Aaron Keller contributed to this report.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]