Sidney Powell, an election lawyer assisting the Trump campaign, has claimed that the president is the victim of a vast conspiracy to steal the 2020 Election that involved foreign powers, a corrupt software company, and other players.
On Saturday, Powell made even stronger claims during an interview on Newsmax. She accused Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican and key Trump ally, of accepting bribes from Dominion, the voting software company baselessly accused of switching millions of votes from Trump to Biden. She declined to provide evidence for this sensational claim, merely stating that the campaign's attorneys "have certainly been told there is evidence of that."
She then asserted that Hillary Clinton had used the same election-rigging software to defeat Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries. Sanders is well aware of this fraud, according to Powell, but "sold out" and kept his mouth shut.
"They informed Bernie of all their findings but he didn't do anything except get enough money to buy another fabulous house," said Powell.
One wonders, among other things, why the Clinton campaign was willing to commit this heinous crime in the primary—risking the end of the candidate's political aspirations and jail for all involved if apprehended—against an opponent she was going to defeat with relative ease, but not in the general election. Powell has no answer to that, of course. In fact, she has provided no evidence for any of her claims. Last week, she declined a request from Fox News host Tucker Carlson to review her evidence. Fox News contacted people within the Trump campaign, and none of them had seen a shred of evidence either.
Keep in mind that Powell is not some random gadfly: She has appeared alongside Rudy Giuliani at press conferences and has been a key spokeswoman for the legal effort to keep Donald Trump in the White House. What she is alleging is a vast conspiracy, involving millions of machine-altered votes, deceased dictator Hugo Chavez (who "couldn't even make the red lights work in Venezuela," notes Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera), and top Democrats and Republicans. If all of these people were in on this illegal scheme—which would be the most serious and unprecedented assault on American democracy in living memory—then there would need to be dozens or perhaps hundreds of staffers and support persons in the know as well.
It's important to comprehend the sheer size of this alleged corruption, because generally speaking, the more people involved in a sinister plot, the more likely it is to become exposed and fail. Already this is a conspiracy of significantly grander proportions than what was claimed by the most Russia-obsessed "collusion hoaxers," to borrow the phrasing of Trump supporters. That many in the media initially made much stronger claims about Russia's involvement in the 2016 election—significant, consequential collusion between President Vladimir Putin and the Trump campaign—than what was ultimately proven has been cited over and over again by Trump backers as reason to distrust the press. Doesn't that say something about the level of faith one should assign to these more even more incendiary claims—claims that are not supported by a single piece of evidence?
Those in the right-wing orbit who are defending Powell say that we must wait until she presents her evidence in court. Thus far, when campaign attorneys have appeared in court, they have made far milder claims, and even those have produced scant backing. That the allegations of significant and widespread fraud are reserved for press conferences and TV appearances in which ideologically loyal hosts provide little pushback should tell us something, too.
Extraordinary claims require significant proof, and the idea that Powell is actually sitting on some massive reveal—one that would shake this country to its core—seems increasingly far-fetched, in part because the tale she's telling grows ever more elaborate every time she opens her mouth. To say that she's straining credulity would be the understatement of the year.
On Sunday evening, Giuliani released a statement distancing the campaign's legal efforts from Powell: "Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own. She is not a member of the Trump legal team. She is also not a lawyer for the president in his personal capacity."