After experts and major media outlets declared Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 election, then-President Donald Trump began insisting that he was the true winner, and that Democrats had somehow "stolen" the election from him.
This claim would come to be known as the "Big Lie," and it would culminate in pro-Trump extremists storming the United States Capitol to upend the joint congressional certification of Biden's victory, resulting in the deaths of at least five people.
One of the most visible culprits of that escalation is pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell. After Trump's official legal team disassociated itself with her, Powell went on to file various lawsuits seeking to overturn the 2020 election results, coupling them with bizarre press conferences amplified by far-right media outlets.
It was in these suits and during these widely watched press conferences that Powell repeatedly claimed elections software companies like Dominion and Smartmatic were corrupt and secretly worked with Democrats to switch Trump votes to Biden votes.
With its reputation tarnished by Powell and those who supported her, Dominion served her with a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit, alleging that she acted "in concert with allies and media outlets determined to promote a false preconceived narrative about the 2020 election."
Now, as Powell fights the case in court, her attorneys are arguing that Powell's claims are protected, and were never meant to be taken as fact.
Sidney Powell has moved to dismiss Dominion's defamation lawsuit. She argues that when she accused Dominion of bein… https://t.co/GBEXtyjROU— Zoe Tillman (@Zoe Tillman) 1616446156.0
The attorneys wrote in a 90 page motion to dismiss:
"Determining whether a statement is protected involves a two-step inquiry: Is the statement one which can be proved true or false? And would reasonable people conclude that the statement is one of fact, in light of its phrasing, context and the circumstances surrounding its publication. ... Analyzed under these factors, and even assuming, arguendo, that each of the statements alleged in the Complaint could be proved true or false, no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact."
Powell presented her false claims under the legitimacy of nationally televised press conferences with the President's legal team, falsely stating as fact that Dominion was founded in Venezuela to deliver the long-deceased Hugo Chavez a victory, and leaving no room for equivocation.
The motion confirmed to many that Powell has no place in a court of law, except as a defendant.
So in Sidney Powell’s motion to dismiss the Dominion lawsuit...she admits she was lying and that her lies were so o… https://t.co/yXvU5MQRPD— Gabriel Sterling (@Gabriel Sterling) 1616455879.0
This ludicrous argument—these weren’t facts just things we were trying to convince the courts were facts—is both go… https://t.co/QVnjoHVKV7— Ted Boutrous (@Ted Boutrous) 1616450983.0
And with this, Sidney Powell declares she must be disabarred. She is now stating that the allegations she filed in… https://t.co/sISavnfCwJ— Kurt "Masks Save Lives" Eichenwald (@Kurt "Masks Save Lives" Eichenwald) 1616449662.0
“I’m not liable for defamation because it should have been clear to everyone that I was just making s*%t up.” https://t.co/tnNwt0iAYB— Steve Vladeck (@Steve Vladeck) 1616446380.0
I'd like Sidney Powell to tell this to every single one of the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on January… https://t.co/sn3gpaKvBQ— Kurt Bardella (@Kurt Bardella) 1616448652.0
This makes me violently angry. My own *mother* believed Sidney Powell. I'm so angry people like Powell claim they a… https://t.co/JMkZo5RriQ— Eve Fairbanks (@Eve Fairbanks) 1616446767.0
In the aftermath of the election, Powell told the world that she was working on the 'Kraken' of a case that, when revealed, would prove unequivocally that Joe Biden lost the 2020 election.
People haven't forgotten.
Does this mean the Kraken weren't real either?🐙 https://t.co/8WjIjMPUM0— Marc E. Elias (@Marc E. Elias) 1616462010.0
The kraken is backtrackin https://t.co/woaRpBsEYu— Andrew Egger (@Andrew Egger) 1616447378.0
Wait a minute... Sidney Powell and the Kraken was a giant lie? That nobody would believe was true? Someone should… https://t.co/TdpIREEA4P— stephen fowler (@stephen fowler) 1616455984.0
From Kraken to goldfish. https://t.co/SV9Qdfr3CY— DarkMatter2525 (@DarkMatter2525) 1616463578.0
It remains to be seen whether Powell's motion will hold.