Politics What line did Sidney Powell cross that Rudy Giuliani didn’t?

18:05  23 november  2020
18:05  23 november  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Rudy Giuliani's conspiracy theories could be dangerous to democracy, experts say

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Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell , members of President Trump’s legal team, both claimed they Giuliani told “Sunday Morning Futures” host Mario Bartiromo that he accumulated enough evidence showing multiple “I can prove that they did it in Michigan. I can prove it with witnesses,” Giuliani said.

Sidney Powell said a few days ago that she would ‘Release the Kraken’. Today she and Rudy Giuliani did just that on Sunday Morning Futures with Marie Bartiromo. A couple days ago attorney Sidney Powell was on Lou Dobbs where she stated that there was massive fraud in the 2020 US election.

There’s no question that, at least at one point, Sidney Powell was part of President Trump’s legal team as he pushed to overturn the will of the voters and earn a second consecutive term as president. Trump himself had touted her involvement in his “truly great team.” She was one of three attorneys who spoke during last week’s wild, overheated campaign news conference in which the “elite strike force” (as one member described them) delineated a wide-ranging and obviously hollow case for how Trump had somehow been wronged. Afterward, both Trump and the Republican Party shared snippets of her arguments.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, left, listens to Sidney Powell, both lawyers for President Trump, on Thursday. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) © Jacquelyn Martin/AP Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, left, listens to Sidney Powell, both lawyers for President Trump, on Thursday. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Between then and Sunday afternoon, though, the relationship between Powell and the president soured. Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has served as Trump’s personal attorney since last year, released a statement effectively slicing Powell out of the strike force. Something that Powell had done crossed some sort of line, and out she went, with the statement’s language leaving open the possibility that the remaining team might try to claim that Powell had never been formally representing Trump’s interests.

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" Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own," senior Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis said on Sunday in a joint statement. Giuliani and Ellis gave no explanation for the statement. Trump last week named Powell , a former federal prosecutor, among five well-known lawyers who would lead his

" Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own," Trump campaign lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis said in a statement. The announcement came a day after a federal judge dismissed the campaign's lawsuit seeking to halt Pennsylvania officials from certifying Biden's victory in the state, dealing a

So what happened?

Well, we know what it wasn't.

It wasn’t that Powell said things that were obviously untrue. Giuliani himself delineated a whole battery of nonsense at last week’s news briefing, claims that were not only presented without evidence but that depended on purported evidence that the team said it was intentionally withholding. What Giuliani claimed was less obviously nonsense, avoiding claims that the election was thrown via systems implemented by a dead Venezuelan leader (as Powell said). But it was still nonsense on a grand scale. Giuliani falsely claimed that President-elect Joe Biden was somehow involved in a broad scheme aimed at planting illegal votes around the country, an effort that looped in scores of people in a number of states, including ones with Republican leadership — all without detection.

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Powell flanked Giuliani , Ellis at Thursday press conference. Sidney Powell Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg. The statement was released by the campaign on behalf of Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, and was the latest twist for an evolving cast of advisers who’ve been waging

" Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own," read a statement attributed to Jenna Ellis, a legal advisor to President Trump, and Rudy Giuliani , the president's personal attorney who cosigned Powell 's allegations at last Thursday 's fact-challenged press conference .

It also wasn't that Powell's claims themselves met with Trump's disfavor. Her false allegations about voting machines altering the results of various contests had been hyped repeatedly by the president himself both before and after her appearance.

Nor was it that Powell’s performance was uniquely embarrassing. Ask an average American what happened at the news conference and you are far more likely to hear about Giuliani’s performance — and tonsorial failures — than about anything that Powell did.

Stepping so deliberately into the national spotlight didn’t serve Powell particularly well, but this, too, was predictable. She has served as attorney for former national security adviser Michal Flynn since June 2019, prompting legal experts to marvel at her bizarre arguments and the bad advice she offered her client. Like Flynn, Powell has flirted with the QAnon conspiracy theory and embraced its adherents as allies. All of this was known before Trump elevated her to his team.

Fact check: Trump lawyer Sidney Powell falsely stated he won election 'by a landslide'

  Fact check: Trump lawyer Sidney Powell falsely stated he won election 'by a landslide' A meme correctly quotes onetime Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell. But her assertion that he won the election "by a landslide" is false.“We are not going to be intimidated. We are not going to back down. We are going to clean this mess up. President Trump won by a landslide and we are going to prove it. We are going to reclaim the United States of America,” reads a Facebook meme.

18 – Rudy Giuliani , Sidney Powell , Jenna Ellis… fireworks! Rudy Giuliani : Good afternoon. Thank you very much for coming. This is representative of our legal team. We’re representing President Trump and we’re representing the Trump campaign.

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Powell did do two things that Giuliani avoided, however.

The first was that she implied the involvement of Republican elected officials in her delineated conspiracy.

“We have no idea how many Republican or Democratic candidates in any state across the country paid to have the system rigged to work for them,” she said during the news conference. (The available evidence suggests that the answer is zero, particularly since her theory of how voting machines work is itself nonsensical.)

This comment spurred an unusual rebuke from Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).

“To insinuate that Republican and Democratic candidates paid to throw off this election, I think, is absolutely outrageous, and I do take offense to that,” Ernst said.

The senator later added: “To have that accusation just offhandedly thrown out there, just to confuse our voters across the United States, I think that is absolutely wrong.” It’s a criticism that could certainly be applied to Giuliani’s unfounded claims of rampant fraud as well.

Powell was a bit more specific during an appearance on Newsmax. She claimed she had evidence that would “blow up” the results in Georgia, where Biden defeated Trump by a narrow margin. She also suggested that Gov. Brian Kemp (R) — a longtime Trump ally — would be implicated by her imaginary findings.

The Kraken released: Sidney Powell releases pair of lawsuits

  The Kraken released: Sidney Powell releases pair of lawsuits Sidney Powell, who was fired from Donald Trump's team of election fraud lawyers on Sunday, published details of two lawsuits on Wednesday night - one in Georgia, one in Michigan.Sidney Powell published a 104-page document detailing allegations about Georgia and a 75-page document looking at Michigan on Wednesday night

The other obvious failure on Powell’s part was that she was unable to give Fox News adequate cover to present her claims uncritically. She had been slated to appear on Tucker Carlson’s show last week but backed out after Carlson asked her for evidence to support her claims. Carlson’s bar for presenting allegations isn’t high; he recently had to apologize on-air after claiming that a dead man voted in Georgia, only to learn from a local television station that he hadn’t. But Powell’s hostile response to the request prompted Carlson to note the lack of evidence on air — even as he self-consciously insisted to his audience that he really, really wanted to be able to present her case.

This may simply have been a lack of experience on her part. It’s hard to imagine that Giuliani would similarly have been unable to either convince a Fox News host that his claims were legitimate or otherwise avoid being put in a position of tension with a sympathetic host.

It seems likely that this inexperience and inability to play the game properly was what doomed Powell. Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who has long advised Trump, disparaged her specifically during an appearance on “This Week” on Sunday.

“Sidney Powell accusing Governor Brian Kemp of a crime on television yet being unwilling to go on TV and defend and lay out the evidence that she supposedly has, this is outrageous conduct,” Christie said. He described the legal team broadly as a “national embarrassment.”

It’s hard to see how that assessment stops at Powell. Giuliani’s behavior and claims haven’t been much different. But he has decades of ties to Republican officials including the president and years of experience navigating conservative media. You can think of Giuliani as being the Fox News of Trump’s legal team while Powell was the One America News: the former being an institution used to toeing the expected lines of believability, versus an upstart unburdened by rationality. Even Powell’s attacks on Republican leaders hew to that dichotomy.

As soon as the news conference ended last week, it was obvious that Powell’s claims differed from Giuliani’s only in style. They weren’t even compatible with what Giuliani alleged, claiming a vote-rigging that seems as though it would obviate the need to commit the fraud Giuliani was discussing. But all of her commentary was acceptable to Trump and to the Republican Party until, suddenly, it wasn’t.

Giuliani remains employed.

Is Rudy Giuliani Just Trying to Save Himself? .
The former mayor’s fevered efforts to overturn the election results may be about self-preservation more than anything else.Giuliani has shown unswerving loyalty, gleefully obfuscated facts, launched wild attacks on the media, hosted circus-style press conferences, and gone to court, all in a fruitless, evidence-free quest to persuade several states to block Joe Biden’s electoral victories.

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This is interesting!