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: 87

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.
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:
The Trump campaign knew that the claims were baseless, but still endorsed her.
(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.)
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."

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.

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:
Evidence follows that these claims got retweeted far and wide, and that states are reviewing Dominion contracts.
More section headings:
Note the time on that tweet.
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.
 

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