Dominion Sues Sidney Powell for $1.3 Billion

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Article:
The elections company Dominion Voting Systems, which has been at the center of many of President Trump's conspiracy narratives about the 2020 election, filed suit Friday against one of the loudest amplifiers of those false stories.

The company sued Sidney Powell, a lawyer who previously worked for the Trump campaign and who has spent much of the past two months claiming Dominion rigged the election and was somehow tied to the Venezuelan regime of the late Hugo Chavez.

None of those claims are true. Dominion was founded in Toronto and is now headquartered in Denver; its machines have been used in American elections for more than a decade. Chavez died in 2013.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and in it Dominion asks for more than $1.3 billion in damages. Powell's "viral disinformation campaign" has destroyed the value of the business, the lawsuit says.


The lawsuit (attached) makes a great case. Powell's disinformation is so blatant and continual, that I can only imagine her sole defense would be insanity.

It also makes a great reference for a wide variety of lawyerly rebuttals of various theories, as well as a wide variety of Powell deceptions I'd not seen before.
 

Attachments

  • Dominion Sues Powell 001-20200108-complaint.pdf
    4.8 MB · Views: 526

Inti

Senior Member.
It says something about the strange, feverish and somehow lawless times that this obvious action hadn’t even occurred to me.
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
Is insanity available as a defense in a civil action?
Mental Illness as an Excuse for Civil Wrongs (scu.edu)

So, it technically is, but is generally rejected. The paper does lay out a bit of gray area, though, places where intent and understanding are relevant to the degree of liability. One example given is a person pulling a chair out from under somebody causing them to fall. It's possible the person doing it could not understand that they were likely going to cause a fall and injury by doing it.

To compare to Sidney Powel: She was informed on multiple occasions and by multiple sources that her claims were false, that the actual design of the Dominion voting machines made her claims impossible (these were not vote-on-a-screen systems like Deibold and a few others make, but paper ballot counting machines with several layers of prevention), including being provided with detailed information by Dominion itself, and she still persisted (even as news outlets started buckling under and retracting statements).

I think this would be seen as the court that the man in the paper's example, having seen a person fall and hurt themselves, continued to pull chairs out from under people. Want of understanding doesn't generally hold up over multiple acts.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
option a) claim insanity, possibly get locked up in a mental institution
option b) plead guilty, declare bankruptcy (or raise more donations)
I know what I'd prefer if I wasn't insane.

Article:
When defendants plead not guilty by reason of insanity, they are asserting an affirmative defense—that is, they admit that they committed a criminal act, but seek to excuse their behavior by reason of mental illness that satisfies the definition of legal insanity.
[..]
Defendants found not guilty by reason of insanity are rarely set free. Instead, they are almost always confined in mental health institutions. They may remain confined for a longer period of time than had they been found guilty and sentenced to a term in prison.


This is a civil case for now, but if she admits to commiting the act (which the insanity plea would do), a criminal trial (for criminal defamation?) may follow, and the insanity plea would also affect any other criminal cases brought against her.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
a wide variety of Powell deceptions I'd not seen before.

3. ... Because of these safeguards, there are mountains of direct evidence that conclusively disprove Powell’s vote manipulation claims against Dominion—namely, the millions of paper ballots that were audited and recounted by bipartisan officials and volunteers in Georgia and other swing states, which confirmed that Dominion accurately counted votes on paper ballots. ...
4. ... The only “evidence” Powell ever put forward to support that false accusation was a doctored certificate from the Georgia Secretary of State. ...
[The doctored certificate as reproduced in paragraph 91:
]doctored certificate.jpg
5. ... One of Powell’s wholly unreliable sources was a purported “military intelligence expert” who has now admitted that he never actually worked in military intelligence, that the declaration Powell’s clerks wrote for him to sign is “misleading,” and that he “was trying to backtrack” on it. ...
6. ... But the explanation in the “anonymous witness’s” declaration for why he purportedly came forward was a near-verbatim recitation from another declaration put forward by Powell, proving that those witnesses did not write their declarations independently and raising serious questions about what role Powell and her team played in drafting the declaration. ...
7. Powell deliberately lied about having a video of Dominion’s founder saying he could “change a million votes, no problem at all.” Powell has never produced that recording because it does not exist.
Content from External Source
Starting at paragraph 41, they're citing statements from Georgia, Antrim County (MI), Maricopa Conty (AZ), and CISA to show that the machines worked accurately.

There'a a Russian angle:
53. In her efforts to make the evidence conform to that false preconceived narrative, Powell found an ally in Patrick Byrne. Byrne was previously the CEO of Overstock.com, but abruptly resigned his board seat and position as CEO after it was revealed that he had had a romantic affair with the now-notorious Russian agent, Maria Butina, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison after being indicted by federal prosecutors for trying to infiltrate powerful political circles in the United States at the direction of the Russian government. The day after the 2020 election, Byrne got in touch with Powell and Rudy Giuliani and told them that he knew months before the election that “goons” were going to steal the election, that he had started funding a plan in August, “had this plotted out what they were going to do,” and had “reverse engineered” how the election was stolen. According to Byrne, his claims were “a little farfetched for other people in Washington,” and Giuliani “came at this a bit differently,” but Powell “was totally super receptive to what we had to say.”
Content from External Source
The Trump campaign knew that the claims were baseless, but still endorsed her.
55. When Trump Campaign attorneys Justin Clark and Matt Morgan sought evidence from Powell, she produced none. They then told others that they should not present the Dominion theory because there was no evidence for it.

59. On November 14, 2020, Donald Trump tweeted: “I look forward to Mayor Giuliani spearheading the legal effort to defend OUR RIGHT to FREE and FAIR ELECTIONS! Rudy Giuliani, Joseph diGenova, Victoria Toensing, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis, a truly great team, added to our other wonderful lawyers and representatives!”
Content from External Source
(If this was tried in criminal court, they might be accused as accessories to fraud --- if this is technically fraud; the complaint has the angle that these claims yielded Powell substantive donations. Kinda seems familiar from what we know of some of the 9/11 crowd, except that their claims don't damage anyone else.)
80. Powell and Wood filed their election lawsuits—which never had a chance of reversing the results of the election—with the obvious and cynical purpose of creating court documents they could post on their fundraising websites and tout as “evidence” during their media campaign, to raise funds and their public profiles, ...
Content from External Source
That may create a fraud angle. Count 2 of this litigation asserts "deceptive trade practices".

November 22: "Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own."

87. ... Although Dominion is not currently suing Powell based on the false statements in Powell’s sham litigations...
Content from External Source
Not sure why they don't, possibly because they want to keep the scope of the trial smaller, and maybe they expect the DA to try them for that.

89. Powell also cherry-picked Princeton professor Andrew W. Appel’s statements about a decades-old machine not designed by Dominion, which was not used in the 2020 election in any of the swing states being challenged by Powell. ...

90. Powell also touted a shocking declaration from an anonymous purported Venezuelan military officer alleging a decades-old international election-rigging conspiracy beginning with Hugo Chávez. 59 But the “anonymous witness’s” explanation for why he purportedly came forward was a near-verbatim recitation from another declaration put forward by Powell, ...
Declaration of an anonymous source claiming to have been selected for the “national security guard detail of the President of Venezuela,” Pearson v. Kemp, No. 1:20-cv-04809 (N.D. Ga. Nov. 25, 2020) [Dkt. 1-2 at ¶ 4].Statement by Ana Mercedes Díaz Cardozo, Pearson v. Kemp, No. 1:20-cv-04809 (N.D. Ga. Nov. 25, 2020) [Dkt. 1-3 at ¶ 3].
“I want to alert the public and let the world know the truth about the corruption, manipulation, and lies being committed by a conspiracy of people and companies intent upon betraying the honest people of the United States and their legally constituted institutions and fundamental rights as citizens. This conspiracy began more than a decade ago in Venezuela and has spread to countries all over the world. It is a conspiracy to wrongfully gain and keep power and wealth. It involves political leaders, powerful companies, and other persons whose purpose is to gain and keep power by changing the free will of the people and subverting the proper course of governing.”“I want to alert the public and let the world know the truth about corruption, manipulation, and lies being committed through a conspiracy of individuals and businesses with the intention of betraying the honest people of the United States and its legally constituted institutions and fundamental rights as citizens. This conspiracy began more than a decade ago in Venezuela and has spread to countries all over the world. It is a conspiracy to unjustly gain and maintain power and wealth. It involves political leaders, powerful companies, and other persons whose purpose is to gain and maintain power by changing people’s free will and subverting the proper course of governing.”

96. Ironically, of the three companies identified on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website as having submitted a bid for the Georgia contract, Dominion is the only one that has never serviced an election in Venezuela. ...

97. During her defamatory media campaign, Powell has asserted that her accusations of Venezuelan election-rigging against Dominion are supported by the declaration of an anonymous purported Venezuelan military officer. ... (3) even if he is who he purports to be, there are serious reasons to doubt the outlandish claims of someone who worked for a dictatorship with an interest in undermining confidence in American democracy, ...

103. Powell’s own court filings prove she knows those claims are false. ...

104. ... Powell’s so-called experts included Terpsichore Maras-Lindeman, Russell Ramsland, William Briggs, Matt Braynard, and Navid Keshavarz-Nia.

105. According to a publicly available court order, Terpsichore Maras-Lindeman is a serial liar and con artist. ...

106. Russell Ramsland is a failed Republican congressional candidate and conspiracy theorist who has publicly claimed, among other things, that George Soros helped form the “Deep State” in Nazi Germany in the 1930s ... (Mr. Soros was born in 1930.) ...

108. ... Keshavarz-Nia declared, under penalty of perjury, that there was a pattern of improbable vote reporting in “Edison County, Michigan”—a county that does not exist in that state.

109. On information and belief, Powell knew that her purported experts were unreliable from information she possessed or purposefully avoided, from her training as an attorney, and from her experience as a former federal prosecutor.
Content from External Source
At this point, I'm not even halfway through the document. Paragraph 110 is where the CT fun starts: confronted with evidence, Powell simply lies or makes stuff up to reconcile the facts with her narrative:
112.-115. .... Dominion was owned by Smartmatic, ... “Georgia did not do a full hand recount of the ballots.” ... Georgia’s Republican secretary of state and governor [are] in on the conspiracy ... government had not done more to address concerns about election integrity ...

116. For certain other hurdles rendering Powell’s defamatory falsehoods inherently improbable, Powell simply ignored them. ...
Content from External Source
Evidence follows that these claims got retweeted far and wide, and that states are reviewing Dominion contracts.
More section headings:
[before 145] After Dominion Seeks a Retraction, Powell Repeatedly Doubles Down
[before 159] Incited by Powell’s Disinformation Campaign, a Violent Mob Storms the United States Capitol and Disrupts the Certification of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election
powell tweet.jpg
Content from External Source
Note the time on that tweet.
[before 164] Sidney Powell’s Law Firm and Fundraising Website are Her Alter Egos
[before 180] COUNT ONE – DEFAMATION PER SE
[before 190] COUNT TWO – DECEPTIVE TRADE PRACTICES
Content from External Source
Count 1 is quite extensive because it reproduces the evidence that was just summarized before.
The very last page is the "prayer for relief" where they ask for $1.3 billion, and for Powell to be forbidden to repeat her claims.
 
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econ41

Senior Member
Is insanity available as a defense in a civil action?
Mental Illness as an Excuse for Civil Wrongs (scu.edu)

So, it technically is, but is generally rejected. The paper does lay out a bit of gray area, though, places where intent and understanding are relevant to the degree of liability. One example given is a person pulling a chair out from under somebody causing them to fall. It's possible the person doing it could not understand that they were likely going to cause a fall and injury by doing it.

To compare to Sidney Powel: She was informed on multiple occasions and by multiple sources that her claims were false, that the actual design of the Dominion voting machines made her claims impossible (these were not vote-on-a-screen systems like Deibold and a few others make, but paper ballot counting machines with several layers of prevention), including being provided with detailed information by Dominion itself, and she still persisted (even as news outlets started buckling under and retracting statements).

I think this would be seen as the court that the man in the paper's example, having seen a person fall and hurt themselves, continued to pull chairs out from under people. Want of understanding doesn't generally hold up over multiple acts.
Thank you. I tried to refresh my memory about "insanity" defense - I'm trained in Australian law not US. Couldn't immediately find anything on the threshold issue of whether it was available as a defense in a civil action. Lots of information about the applicability to criminal action which showed no significant difference between US Federal law and typical British tradition common law jurisdictions. Given the two "aggravating" factors viz multiple episodes AND persistence after being asked to desist I expected that the defense would not succeed even if it was available.

Also intersting to speculate as to whether a person of such strong ego would take the defence. Burden of Proof would be on her to prove she was "insane" however that mental state is specifically defined in the jurisdiction. Thanks again for the link.
 
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econ41

Senior Member
This is a civil case for now, but if she admits to commiting the act (which the insanity plea would do), a criminal trial (for criminal defamation?) may follow, and the insanity plea would also affect any other criminal cases brought against her.
Yes. The implicit admission of guilt would be a big factor when planning legal tactics. A similar situation would arise with Presidential pardons.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
Powell's disinformation is so blatant and continual, that I can only imagine her sole defense would be insanity.
A different case, but overlapping in the rogues involved, and the amount of insanity:

US judge reprimands Trump election fraud lawyers​

A US judge has issued a blistering ruling against prominent lawyers who represented Donald Trump after his 2020 presidential election defeat.
US District Judge Linda Parker described a lawsuit filed in Michigan by Mr Trump's counsel as a "profound abuse of the judicial process".
Her 110-page ruling, issued Wednesday, sanctioned Sidney Powell, Lin Wood and seven others who alleged voter fraud.
[...]
Judge Parker ordered the lawyers to pay the court costs of their opponents - the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan - and undergo 12 hours of legal education.
Content from External Source
-- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-58344982
 
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