Ahead of Her Georgia Trial, Sidney Powell Seeks Distance From Trump

Sidney Powell, a former member of Donald Trump‘s legal team, is set to go to trial next week in the Georgia racketeering case against Trump and 17 of his allies. Powell, who promoted election fraud theories after Trump’s 2020 defeat, is now claiming that she “did not represent President Trump or the Trump campaign” after the election. However, her own past words and video evidence contradict this claim. Powell is facing charges related to her involvement in a data breach at an elections office in Coffee County, Georgia, where Trump allies copied sensitive and proprietary software used in voting machines.

In a recent court hearing, Powell’s lawyer argued that she had nothing to do with Coffee County. However, several documents, including a 392-page file from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, suggest otherwise. The file, which has been turned over to Georgia’s attorney general, Chris Carr, provides evidence of Powell’s involvement in the data breach. It is unclear whether Carr will take any action, as Fulton County’s district attorney, Fani T. Willis, has already brought racketeering charges against Powell and others involved in the case.

Jury selection for Powell’s trial, along with Kenneth Chesebro, a legal architect of the plan to deploy fake electors for Trump, begins on Monday. Powell gained attention after the election when she vowed during a Fox Business Network appearance to “release the kraken” – a trove of phantom evidence proving that Trump had won. However, the evidence never materialized. Dominion Voting Systems sued Powell and others for defamation, leading to a spoof of her on Saturday Night Live.

Not everyone is convinced that Powell’s conduct was criminal. Harvey Silverglate, a lawyer and civil liberties advocate, believes there is a distinction between “crazy theories” and criminal conspiracies. He doesn’t think prosecutors will win any convictions in the Georgia case or the other criminal cases against Trump, given the politicized nature of the trials.

Powell, a former federal prosecutor, gained Trump’s attention when she represented his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador. Powell argued that the case should never have been brought and accused the FBI and prosecutors of breaking the rules. Trump later pardoned Flynn.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation file reveals that Powell, Flynn, and other Trump supporters met at a South Carolina plantation to discuss capturing forensic images from voting machines across the nation. Powell funded the efforts of an Atlanta-based technology firm, SullivanStrickler. The Trump team distanced themselves from Powell’s claims in late November, but the schism was short-lived. Powell continued to make trips to the White House.

On January 7, Trump allies and SullivanStrickler employees traveled to Coffee County, where they copied election data. Misty Hampton, the Coffee County elections administrator, allowed the team into the building without official approval. The data copied that day included ballot images, voting equipment software, and personal voter information. SullivanStrickler invoiced Powell over $26,000 for their work.

Powell’s trial will shed light on her involvement in the Georgia election interference conspiracy. As the legal proceedings unfold, it remains to be seen whether prosecutors will secure convictions in this highly politicized case.

Original Story at www.nytimes.com – 2023-10-19 09:02:53

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