Conspiracy theorist Trump lawyer Sidney Powell sues in Georgia and Michigan with error-filled ‘Kraken’ suits

Andrew Naughtie
·3 min read
Sidney Powell at a Trump campaign press conference (REUTERS)
Sidney Powell at a Trump campaign press conference (REUTERS)

Attorney Sidney Powell, now distanced from the president’s legal team after sharing bizarre claims about election fraud, filed lawsuits on Wednesday in Michigan and Georgia.

Her complaints, which allege election fraud, are conspicuously riddled with misspelled words, garbled sentences, and formatting issues.

The Georgia filing comes several days after the state certified its election results following a hand recount of all 5 million ballots cast. Another recount requested by the Trump campaign is now underway in Georgia and will be concluded by 2 December. It is considered highly unlikely to change the result.

The lawsuits are apparently what Ms Powell meant when she said that she would challenge the presidential result by “releasing the kraken” – a phrase she used at a press conference with fellow Trump attorneys, Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis.

After the two lead lawyers issued a statement saying that Ms Powell was no longer part of the campaign’s legal team, she responded with her own remarks, using the hashtag “#KrakenOnSteroids".

Ms Powell has posted links to the Georgia and Michigan suits on her website with the words, “The Kraken is released on Georgia!" and “The Kraken is released on Michigan!”

Ms Powell’s complaint in Georgia names several plaintiffs, including the Republican governor, Brian Kemp, and secretary of state Brad Raffensperger.

It makes extravagant claims about the integrity of the result, and focuses heavily on theories of rigged or tampered voting machines provided by Dominion – a company that has been the target of pro-Trump conspiracy theorists since it became clear that the election results were beginning to favour Mr Biden.

The lawsuit claims to demonstrate problems with the state’s electoral machinery so serious that “at a minimum, 96,600 votes must be disregarded”.

The filing also demands that authorities “set aside the 2020 General Election results which fraudulently concluded that Mr Biden defeated President Trump by 12,670 votes”.

The complaint shows signs of having been hastily assembled without proofreading. The word “district” is misspelled twice on the first-page header alone (as “districct” and then “distrcoict”).

Some sentences appear to have been spliced together, erroneously divided with misplaced full stops or end with closing quotation marks that were never opened.

The Michigan lawsuit appears to have had formatting issues, Bloomberg reported, removing the spaces between words.

Some material in the attached affidavits restates debunked claims made by the Trump campaign in other post-election lawsuits, including that Dominion has suspected links to Venezuelan government interests. (The primary source for the complaint’s claims about the supposed Venezuelan connection appears to be a Wall Street Journal article from 2006.)

The pro-Trump legal efforts to overturn the Georgia result have been met with resistance and irritation from the state’s officials, as the basis of the lawsuits and recount requests morph from one claim to another.

The secretary of state’s office told Fox 5 Atlanta: “It's like playing whack-a-mole. Every time we hear one thing, we knock it down.

“They first said Dominion's flipping votes. We did a hand audit. Dominion wasn't flipping votes. Well, now it's these were illegal votes that were cast. What evidence do you have of that? ‘Well, we feel like it was.’”

Besides her work on behalf of Mr Trump, Ms Powell serves as an attorney for Michael Flynn, who has now been pardoned by Mr Trump after twice pleading guilty to lying to the FBI.

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