Politics Sidney Powell's lawyers argue her Fox News appearances were 'not infomercials,' compare her to Buddhist monk as they move to dismiss defamation lawsuit

00:25  11 june  2021
00:25  11 june  2021 Source:   businessinsider.com

Sidney Powell's Lawyer Argues 'Reasonable People' Understand Political Speech Often 'Inexact'

  Sidney Powell's Lawyer Argues 'Reasonable People' Understand Political Speech Often 'Inexact' "Powell's position as a lawyer advocating for her client makes it far more likely that the audience would filter her comments as partisan opinion, not less," the attorney wrote.Powell filed a series of groundless election lawsuits in an effort to overturn President Joe Biden's victory over former President Donald Trump. The controversial lawyer baselessly claimed that Smartmatic worked with foreign nations and the Democrats to "rig" or "steal" the election from Trump. All of her lawsuits—as well as dozens of others filed by Trump and his supporters—were rejected in state and federal courts.

Sidney Powell posing for the camera: Attorney Sidney Powell, speaks during in Alpharetta, Ga. AP Photo/Ben Margot © Provided by Business Insider Attorney Sidney Powell, speaks during in Alpharetta, Ga. AP Photo/Ben Margot
  • Sidney Powell has asked a judge to dismiss Smartmatic's $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit.
  • Her lawyers argue her appearances on Fox News weren't just infomercials to raise money.
  • Rudy Giuliani, another defendant in the lawsuit, also asked a judge for dismissal.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

An attorney for Sidney Powell filed a court motion Thursday asking a judge to dismiss a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against her, arguing her television appearances advancing conspiracy theories about the 2020 election were "not infomercials" and comparing her to a Buddhist monk.

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  Sidney Powell facing sanctions hearing in Detroit over election fraud claims A federal judge has summoned Sidney Powell and other lawyers accused of peddling false fraud claims in the aftermath of the 2020 election to Detroit for a sanctions hearing. © Provided by Washington Examiner Judge Linda Parker ordered Powell and Michigan attorneys Greg Rohl, Scott Hagerstrom, and Stefanie Junttila to appear before a judge at 2 p.m. on July 6, according to the Detroit Free Press. The decision follows a request from Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, who argued Powell's effort to overturn Michigan's election victory for President Joe Biden was based on debunked lies.

The filing, in New York state court, argued that Powell was sincerely concerned about the integrity of the election. Powell didn't just want to raise money through her organization Defending the Republic, as voting technology company Smartmatic alleged in its lawsuit, her attorney argued.

"Powell's Fox News interviews were about election integrity, evidence of election fraud, and her intention to take legal action to bring the malfeasance to light," the filing says. "Her appearances were not informercials promoting her law firm or DTR's websites. [sic]"

Powell, a former attorney on Donald Trump's 2020 election team, falsely accused Smartmatic of being in cahoots with Dominion Voting Systems, a rival election technology company, to "flip" votes from then-President Trump to now-President Joe Biden. When Trump fired Powell from his legal team, she subsequently filed four failed and conspiracy-theory-filled lawsuits seeking to overturn the election results.

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  Fact-checking Sidney Powell's claim Trump could be reinstated Months into President Joe Biden's first term, supporters of former President Donald Trump are still touting the "big lie" that Trump actually won the 2020 election. One of the prominent supporters of these theories is Trump's former lawyer Sidney Powell, who is facing a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit for promoting the big lie. In defending herself against the lawsuit, Powell has argued that no reasonable people would have believed her assertions of fraud.

Smartmatic filed its lawsuit in February. It accused Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and Fox News of defamation over election conspiracy theory claims.

In the new filing, Powell's attorney, Howard Kleinhendler, said she can't be held responsible in a New York state court over her claims, comparing her to a Buddhist monk in the Himalayas.

"Plaintiffs ask this Court to assert personal jurisdiction over Powell because her words were broadcast world-wide by Fox news from New York and maybe, as a result, some New Yorkers sent money to a Texas not-for-profit corporation called Defending the Republic," Kleinhendler wrote. "According to this theory, a Buddhist monk shrouded in red robes high atop the Himalayas demanding Tibetan independence from China can be haled into this Court for defamatory statements against the Communist government."

Rudy Giuliani also asked to dismiss the defamation suit

An attorney for Giuliani also filed a motion for dismissal on Thursday. Like Powell, Giuliani's attorney argued that Smartmatic didn't have jurisdiction to sue him in New York over comments claiming the company had secret Venezuelan connections it used to develop technology to manipulate election results.

Florida Democrat: Kraken lawyer's group illegally operating

  Florida Democrat: Kraken lawyer's group illegally operating FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's Democratic agriculture commissioner, whose office polices charities, alleged Friday that a group run by one of former President Donald Trump's most prominent election conspiracy adherents is illegally seeking donations in the state. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said her office has filed an administrative complaint against attorney Sidney Powell's Defending the Republic group demanding that it obey state law or cease Florida operations.

Giuliani's attorney also said that an "ordinary listener/reader" would interpret Giuliani's remarks to be a reference to a Venezuelan company. Smartmatic is a British or Dutch company, and so the lawsuit should be dismissed, the attorney argued.

Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell are posing for a picture: Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Sidney Powell have drifted from Trump's orbit since the election. Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo © Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Sidney Powell have drifted from Trump's orbit since the election. Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

Fox News, too, has filed motions asking the court to dismiss the Smartmatic lawsuit.

Court filings in February and in April argued that since the media company was offering newsworthy information from the president's lawyers to viewers, it didn't need to deeply scrutinize Powell's and Giuliani's claims. Smartmatic has argued that Fox News shouldn't benefit from legal protections normally given to media companies in defamation lawsuits in New York.

Dominion has also sued Fox News, Powell, and Giuliani in separate lawsuits over election falsehoods. They have all asked for the lawsuits to be dismissed.

In March, Powell's attorneys argued that Dominion's lawsuit should be dismissed because her claims about the election were too outlandish to be taken seriously, even though she's continued to push political conspiracy theories. Powell also faces potential legal sanctions over her lawsuits.

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