Former Trump Lawyer Facing Sanctions In Michigan Now Saying The Things She Said Were Opinions Are Actually Facts

from the chronic-self-inflicted-foot-injuries-now-traveling-to-mouth-area dept

The Kraken is on the move!

Former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell — last seen being sued by a voting machine maker after making (and filing) a bunch of baseless claims about a “stolen” election — is headed to Detroit, Michigan. There will be some more Michigan-focused courtroom action, but it won’t be Powell playing offense.

Sidney Powell and other attorneys who defended former President Trump’s false claims about the 2020 presidential election have been summoned for a sanctions hearing in a Michigan federal court.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Linda Parker ordered the attorneys to appear at a hearing on July 6, according to court documents.

This case for sanctions has been building for months, beginning late last year after Powell (and several others) filed a bunch of BS lawsuits in Michigan courts seeking to overturn election results. The state’s sanctions complaints were compiled with the inadvertent assistance of Powell herself, whose response to Dominion’s defamation lawsuit was to assert that no reasonable person would believe the outlandish claims she made about the voting machine maker.

Unfortunately for Powell, that group of “reasonable” people apparently included the judges presiding over lawsuits she filed late last year. Claiming you’re really in the business of dispensing hyperbole and rhetoric may play well when faced with defamation allegations, but it plays much worse in courts where you’re the plaintiff trying to convince a judge these same statements are potentially verifiable facts.

Even with all of this going on, Powell just won’t quit making things worse for herself. As Jacob Sullum reports for Reason, Powell recently attended a conference in Dallas, Texas where she claimed all the stuff she just finished telling Dominion was nothing more than heated rhetoric mostly free of facts is actually a bunch of facts she stands behind.

“I don’t think they realized that some of us litigators were going to catch on and hold their feet to the fire and expose what really happened,” Powell said during the “For God & Country: Patriot Roundup” gathering on Memorial Day weekend, which also featured prominent election conspiracy theorists such as former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Florida congressman Allen West, and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R–Texas). She predicted that Dominion’s lawsuit will be dismissed because “we meant what we said, and we have the evidence to back it up.” If the lawsuit proceeds, she added, “then we will get discovery against Dominion, and we will be on offense.”

That’s not what she told the court. Playing defense against Dominion, Powell said:

[I]t was clear to reasonable persons that Powell’s claims were her opinions and legal theories on a matter of utmost public concern…

But in front of this crowd of conspiracy theorists and Trump torch-carriers, Powell claims to have the “evidence” to back up her “opinions and legal theories.” Well, we’ll see how that plays out when she returns to court to continue facing Dominion’s lawsuit. We’ll also see what effect being sanctioned for filing bullshit lawsuits in Michigan will have on the lawsuit she didn’t file. Chances are, none of this will work out well for Powell. Trying to have it both ways just isn’t going to work.

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Comments on “Former Trump Lawyer Facing Sanctions In Michigan Now Saying The Things She Said Were Opinions Are Actually Facts”

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Tanner Andrews (profile) says:

Re: Re:

A company running an election on contract is a state actor. They lost any right they had to act like a private entity and must respect First Amendment rights

It might be, though I do not see any citation to authority for your bare assertion.

UItimately, however, the lack of authority does not matter because the implicit premise is missing. That is, the voting machine company was not running the election, on contract or otherwise. It was simply providing machinery for use in the election.

The nature of the machinery may make it distinguishable from the car dealer who sold the vans that carry the ballots between the supervisor of elections office and the polling places, but it is not going to be an easy distinction to make. It is as though the paving company which put down the blacktop for the roads would deemed a state actor rather than a vendor, because in theory the state could pour the blacktop itself.

If I say untruthful things about the paving company, I could get sued. If I say untruthful things about the car dealer, I could get sued. If I say untruthful things about the voting machine vendor, I could get sued. Indeed, if I say untruthful things about the supervisor of elections, with reckless disregard for their falsity, I could get sued.

I suspect that you are largely engaging in the practice known as “making stuff up” to reach your conclusion. That practice might explain the lack of cited authority.

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Anonymous Coward says:

So. Much. Evidence

She predicted that Dominion’s lawsuit will be dismissed because "we meant what we said, and we have the evidence to back it up."

It would have really been nice if she pulled out this evidence last year, when it might have been useful! Oh, that’s right, it doesn’t exist. It’s amazing how stupid the rubes are that keep believing the garbage that she keeps shoveling. And they keep donating money for an endgame that will never happen.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: So. Much. Evidence

"It would have really been nice if she pulled out this evidence last year, when it might have been useful! Oh, that’s right, it doesn’t exist."

It’s a high-stakes game. Powell may end up finding that performing perjury in front of a judge is one of those things which result in the bar association taking her off their rolls.

"It’s amazing how stupid the rubes are that keep believing the garbage that she keeps shoveling. "

…and the fact that she keeps bragging about evidence she is very loath to actually show tells us a lot. "Evidence" by it’s very definition, is "facts you can show everyone". It’s not a limited supply which gets worn out or something you can reasonably prepare to counter in court.

My money is on her finally getting to a courtroom, swamping the court with hearsay or outright forged testimony then getting smacked down by Dominion simply presenting verified logs.
If I credited her with the sense to pour water out of a boot I’d say she’s taken a good, long look at her career as a lawyer, decided it’s going nowhere after having been dipped in Trumpism, and is looking for a way to make enough of a bang to move into politics where the base she’ll be representing is a lot more gullible than a courtroom judge…

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Hardly. The copyright issue is very real, but may be able to be defeated at some point with logic and evidence (not killed completely, but perhaps a further extension can be avoided).

The Trump thing is more like a kid who thinks that if he just wishes hard enough then Santa will be real again and he’ll make a special delivery for all the presents they missed. Sad and pathetic at any time, but scary and disheartening when the "kid" is a middle aged adult with greater voting rights than people with a grasp on reality

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"They’re too busy claiming that Trump is secretly still in power and will reveal himself in August (or whenever, the date keeps changing)."

What I heard is he’s planning his big reveal alongside Arthur Pendragon returning as the Once And Future King, the Second Coming, and they’ll all be sailing into New York Harbor on the Naglfar.

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PaulT (profile) says:

"Michael Flynn, former Florida congressman Allen West, and Rep. Louie Gohmert"

I found some leftover food behind my cat’s litter box earlier, something I’d put near her bowl after I’d cooked lunch but now as dried up and funny looking as anything she leaves in the box. I reckon there’s more integrity, honesty and intelligence there than there was at this event.

"we meant what we said, and we have the evidence to back it up"

Cool. Now, all that anyone has been asking is that you let the rest of us look at the evidence. It seems highly suspicious that you’re still holding on to the evidence nearly 6 months after the person you can prove lost the election was sworn into office, but there’s an easy way to get everyone else on your side…

"If the lawsuit proceeds, she added, "then we will get discovery against Dominion, and we will be on offense

Wait… I thought you already had all the evidence. What would discovery do to benefit you?

Who am I kidding? Most likely she knows she’s screwed so there’s only a short amount of time to grift the rubes before she loses everything she owns.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You know, it is marginally possible that she believes everything she’s saying. She would have to be delusional and totally disconnected from some aspects of reality, but it does happen. Maybe the pressure of being in an impossible position with a demanding overlord who expects everything and gives zero support was the trigger of a psychotic break (or whatever the actual term is).

But I do think it more likely that’s she’s an incompetent grifter who’s out of her depth and doesn’t know where the shallow water is.

David says:

Re: Re: Re:

You know, it is marginally possible that she believes everything she’s saying. She would have to be delusional and totally disconnected from some aspects of reality, but it does happen.

She’s just hedging her bets in case Melania files for a divorce and Donald looks for some kindred spirit to relate to next.

And I don’t mean Donald Duck.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"You know, it is marginally possible that she believes everything she’s saying."

I don’t necessarily doubt that, I just hope that in all these cases we’ve seeing a simple con game that got out of hand, rather than people with genuine untreated mental illnesses being given this kind of attention. Hopefully, the legal fallout of this will convince certain news networks to not give a platform to people with such issues if this is true. I often joke about how Powell’s unhinged or that Lindell is back on crack, but if those are the real problems instead of a bad grift, I hope they get the help they so desperately need.

"I do think it more likely that’s she’s an incompetent grifter"

I’m fairly sure at this point that "incompetent grifter" is the main, if not the only, qualification demanded from Trump for anyone to enter his circle. I can’t think of anyone associated with him who hasn’t been up to shady stuff in the past, and god knows he wasn’t employing people due to their ability in the roles he installed them into.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"It seems highly suspicious that you’re still holding on to the evidence nearly 6 months after the person you can prove lost the election was sworn into office…"

Well, to be fair she only has to show the evidence she insists she has to a court. Just like Rudy Giuliani who was just as insistent about the stolen election all the way up to where an actual judge asked him for anything solid about it and he produced…an anonymous post-it note he’d found in a ballot room which said more or less; "The libtards done stole the eleksjun".

It remains to be seen whether Powell has more to go on than Rudy once she gets to a courtroom, but Dominion, at least, appear to be fairly secure in themselves here.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"It remains to be seen whether Powell has more to go on than Rudy once she gets to a courtroom"

I dare say she has less, since at least Rudy managed to present a supposed witness (as insane and unqualified as that witness turned out to be). Powell just has ramblings about krakens and documents that have been laughed out of court already.

"Dominion, at least, appear to be fairly secure in themselves here"

Dominion can prove material damage to their business by the people they are suing, and are prepared to battle any claims against them. Given that Powell’s tactic appears to be to hope that standing is rejected by a court then use a different court to gather the evidence she already claims to have… it’s not looking good for her.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: she's snapped

She knows the law, she knows she has no evidence, yet she keeps saying she has it.

She watched Trump do the same thing for 4 years.

She figured if the simple minded rubes who support him could be convinced not to trust their own eyes, or believe the functional equivalent of a 4chan prank (Q), that the courts must’ve come around the same way.

Fortunately that level of abject stupidity is only affecting less than half of the populace. And the only reason I say that optimistically, is my hope that these morons will acquire Darwin Awards at some point.

That One Guy (profile) says:

'It's fact! I mean opinion! I mean totally fact!'

Yeah, I don’t see this working out so well for her in her pending lawsuits and sanction hearings, trying to argue both that what she’s saying is nothing but opinion and iron-clad facts is probably not going to look to well for the judges and those in charge of sanctions, not to mention Dominion’s lawyers have got to be salivating over bringing this up in court.

At this point I suspect that unless she is really mentally ill(which I wouldn’t rule out) PaulT is right and she knows she’s screwed and is trying to grift as much as possible before the hammer comes down so hard she no longer can.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Worse: The wave function always "collapses" and is updated when an observation* is made. This shit keeps changing no matter how many times it has been observed.

And both states in this equation are lies.

  • (in real physics this, like "measurement", is a complicated usage of a human language word and doesn’t mean what woo-woo people think it means.)

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restless94110 (profile) says:

Errors

Former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell — last seen being sued by a voting machine maker after making (and filing) a bunch of baseless claims about a "stolen" election — is headed to Detroit, Michigan. There will be some more Michigan-focused courtroom action, but it won’t be Powell playing offense.

1.Powell was not Trump’s lawyer former or current.

  1. Powell was last seen on video at a recent convention predicting the decertification of Joe Biden by August.
  2. The claims are not baseless. There are mountains of proof.
  3. The election wasn’t "stolen". The election was instead stolen.
  4. Patience,little locust. You have no idea at all what role Powell will be playing, but my money is on her going on offense.

Dominion can not bear examination of their machines. This is a gigantic bluff on their part and you fell for it. Remind me to play poker with you. You are so easily led astray by your TDS.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Errors

The claims are not baseless. There are mountains of proof.

The election was 7 months ago. There were dozens of lawsuits alleging election fraud.

Why is it taking so long for the "mountains of proof" to appear? If there was so much proof, why didn’t it show up before Jan. 6, when it would have been most needed?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: 'I had it right here...'

Ah but you see the inability to bring to court those mountains of proof is just evidence of how amazingly successful the plot was and continues to be, as the second those claiming fraud step into court where people can challenge their claims and lying has a potential penalty all the iron-clad evidence is instantly vaporized and/or teleported back to the office/home of those making the claims, leaving them nothing but hearsay and lies.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Errors

If there was so much proof, why didn’t it show up before Jan. 6, when it would have been most needed?

Because us Democrats are so fucking powerful, and Republicans are just impotent and incapable of accomplishing anything because of us.

It’s why you don’t have your Trumpcare, Mexican-funded wall, locked up Hillary, trickle-down economics, a non-existent federal deficit, COVID gone by Easter of last year, the end of DACA, a denuclearized North Korea, an end to the opioid crisis, a better Iran nuclear deal, and the triumphant return of coal.

I mean, what else could it be?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Last I heard about Rudy, he fell out of favour with Trump and is now struggling to claw back any of the legal bills he’s owed, while at the same time having to fight lawsuits from Dominion, etc., for the lies he spread. Meanwhile, his son is running for New York mayor, claiming "4/5 decades (reports have varied) of experience in politics" because his dad was mayor when he was a kid.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Errors

"Dominion can not bear examination of their machines. This is a gigantic bluff on their part and you fell for it. Remind me to play poker with you. You are so easily led astray by your TDS."

So the Trump-appointed judges presiding over Rudy’s "evidence" all had TDS?

I realize that a certain kind of conspiracy-beholden lackwit thinks the entire world is out to get them (Mind you, in your case that might be true because almost no one likes a white supremacist) but even so it’s a bit out there to keep claiming massive election fraud based on nothing but that a dozen people with vested interests keep screaming about it.

At some point you’re going to have to face up to the idea that if Dominion is willing to walk into a lawsuit with high stakes while your girl there drags her feet to take anything she keeps hollering about into a courtroom then that is not a convincing look.

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Portent says:

I think the problem is some techblog not knowing the legal difference between facts and opinion.

If I give my opinion and believe it with evidence that doesn’t make it a legal statement of fact. An expert witness is giving their opinion that doesn’t mean they don’t believe their opinion is the truth.

The level of legal ignorance on this techblog is at times amazing.

Portent says:

Re: Re: Not A Fact

"You might have a point if Sidney Powell hadn’t been claiming that she had evidence of widescale voter fraud — which is a claim of fact, not opinion, and a bullshit claim to boot."

Not a fact. Its a statement of an opinion on the meaning of the evidence. The evidence itself is a fact. The narrative created by the evidence is always an opinion. That is why we have standards of proof because narrative opinions are never facts.

Lawyers take facts, evidence. And they use those facts to create their case which is a narrative opinion. Often times when the judge begins hearings they tells both sides to prove their case. When the judge says prove they mean provide evidence in support of your narrative to some standard of proof. That standard of proof varies depending on the type of hearing. The standard of proof can range from probable cause to beyond a reasonable doubt.

You frequently don’t get this as your often argue that ‘only god himself would know if this is true’. That is a logical fallacy called appeal to probability.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Not A Fact

Hmmm, isn’t there ‘something, something, don’t file an obviously bullshit case if you’re a lawyer’ thing she needs to abide by? Oh yeah…I found it:

A lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous …

Have you noticed the lack of the word ‘opinion’ in there? Because I did. You’d think a lawyer would, but then again, I’m not the one flushing my career down the toilet.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"I think the problem is some techblog not knowing the legal difference between facts and opinion. "

The entire OP is about that difference. Since Powell keeps claiming that her previously stated "opinions" are now magically "facts" then the ambiguity isn’t on this side of the fence.

But you already knew that, Baghdad Bob, which is why you feel compelled to make the claim that TD said the complete opposite.

At some point you’re going to have to realize that most people know how to read and that it’s more than a bit pathetic for you to try to claim the opposite of what is written at the top of the damn page.

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Portent says:

Re: Re: No the Problem Is Tim

The problem is that Tim has time and time again proven himself to be a legal novice. She said she has evidence. Evidence is facts but the narrative, the case created around those facts, is not a fact it is a narrative opinion. But it is always an opinion because no court of law has a 100% standard of proof. In this case we are talking about a civil case which is preponderance of the evidence, essentially 51% of the facts support my case.

Lets allow discovery and allow the legal process to play itself out.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: No the Problem Is Tim

Lets allow discovery and allow the legal process to play itself out.

Oh sure. I’m all for that. Watching her flop around like a fish out of water until the judge says ‘she’s not competent’ is my prediction. I mean, she really can’t get out of her own way. They’re not statements of fact, yet "we meant what we said, and we have the evidence to back it up."

I’m sure that ‘evidence’ in this context surely means ‘opinion’ amirite?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Then where the fuck is it? You’d think that someone with evidence that definitively proves the 2020 presidential election was somehow stolen would have presented it to the public by now. So where is the evidence she claims to have?

This, so much. We’re talking about leadership of the government of one of the most powerful (if not the most powerful) nations on the planet. If there’s evidence that the election was rigged in some way, you do not wait (assuming you’re a patriot and actually care about the country) until discovery in a legal action to release it.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I think the problem is some techblog not knowing the legal difference between facts and opinion.

I think the problem is a commenter not knowing that putting something that you later claim ‘no reasonable person would believe to be true’ in a court filing might cause a bit of a kerfuffle with the courts.

But you be you.

The level of legal ignorance on this techblog is at times amazing.

You don’t say…

Portent says:

Re: Re: Thats not what she said

If you follow Tims link chain what she said was

"it was clear to reasonable persons that Powell’s claims were her opinions and legal theories"

The problem is you are not a reasonable person and you cant tell the difference between facts, opinions, and legal theories.

We don’t base our legal system around idiots. If you cant tell the difference between facts and opinions then you are an idiot. You are not the kind of person the "reasonable person" standard is written for.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Thats not what she said

The problem is you are not a reasonable person and you cant tell the difference between facts, opinions, and legal theories.

Well to be fair, I think she’s entirely full of shit and should be forced to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. If that makes me unreasonable, then so be it. I really have no obligation to entertain ‘theories’ that are obviously bullshit. Sometimes you just have to say ‘fuck off, moron, you’re just nuts’ – that’s what she, Rudy, and the MyPillow guy should’ve done.

If you cant tell the difference between facts and opinions then you are an idiot.

Well, if you cite a ‘military intelligence expert’ as the basis for your ‘opinion’, who never actually was in the military, tell me – is that a fact or opinion? I mean wouldn’t a reasonable person at least verify that before putting it in a court filing? Or is that the kind of idiot you’re referring to?

Khym Chanur (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The problem is Powell offered three defenses in her motion to dismiss the defamation case: 1) opinion based on disclosed fact, 2) matter of opinion (something that can be proven neither true nor false in a court of law), and 3) that no reasonable person would believe what she said to be statements of fact. While opinion based on disclosed facts is something that perfectly fine for a lawyer to put into a legal filing submitted to the court, the other two things aren’t.

ECA (profile) says:

Dar Ms. Powell

I do hope you understand.
That we have more then 1 machine.
We will introduce ‘This one’, that hasnt had anything done to it. Its a good chance it has never been used.
So you get to tell us how it was done, and this machine wont Work the way you think.
Thank you for proving this system works, and you have enough tech knowledge to fill, a fraction of an atomic nuclei.
Why not go to Ohio and see how they did it. A congress that full of republicans.

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