Trump Considering Naming Sidney Powell As Special Counsel

Sidney Powell is a name you probably had never heard until a month or two ago, but for the last 10 weeks she’s been unavoidable. The MAGA lawyer has worked tirelessly to overturn the 2020 election results, a goal at which she has been wildly unsuccessful. In furtherance of said failure she has played the game conspiracy and spun all manner of yarn, filing lawsuits in various states accusing various officials and voting equipment companies of being Venezuelan agents. All of this has obviously been bullshit and Powell has earned infamy in her brief time on the national stage for outdoing even the most bizarre and deranged members of the Trump team. 

So much so in fact that the team distanced itself from her a while back. She was downgraded from standing by Rudy’s side at press conferences to, as the Trump legal team put it, “practicing law on her own.” 

Today, Maggie Haberman and Zolan Kanno-Youngs report in the Times that though she may have burned bridges with many members of Trump World, her connection to the man himself remains strong:

President Trump on Friday discussed making Sidney Powell, who as a lawyer for his campaign team unleashed a series of conspiracy theories about a Venezuelan plot to rig voting machines in the United States, a special counsel investigating voter fraud, according to two people briefed on the discussion.

[…]

Most of his advisers opposed the idea, two of the people briefed on the discussion said…

[…]

Ms. Powell accused other Trump advisers of being quitters, according to the people briefed.

But the idea that Mr. Trump would try to install Ms. Powell in a position to investigate the outcome sent shock waves through the president’s circle. She has repeatedly claimed there was widespread fraud, but several lawsuits she filed related to election fraud have been tossed out of court.

The move to name Powell as special counsel was opposed by most of Trump’s advisers as apparently being too out there. One person suggested the president issue “an executive order to take control of voting machines to examine them, according to one of the people briefed.” But that was apparently shot down by White Counsel Pat Cipollone.

Rudy Guiliani also opposed Powell, but has been pushing his own version of the seize the voting machines plan.

“Mr. Giuliani has separately pressed the Department of Homeland Security to seize possession of voting machines as part of a push to overturn the results of the election, three people familiar with the discussion said. Mr. Giuliani was told the department does not have the authority to do such a thing.”

Last but not least was Michael Flynn…

Well, it’s good it was shot down I guess? Pretty crazy that it was even brought up, to be honest!

Will Trump move forward with his Sidney Powell plan? Who knows. Apparently soon to be former Attorney General Bill Barr opposed naming a special counsel to investigate election fraud or Hunter Biden, but he’s on his way out. 

It goes without saying that this is all terrible and everyone involved should be ashamed. 

Joe Biden will be inaugurated in 32 days.

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If you're new to Mother Jones or aren't yet sold on supporting our nonprofit reporting, please take a moment to read Monika Bauerlein's post about our priorities after these chaotic several years, and why this relatively quiet moment is also an urgent one for our democracy and Mother Jones’ bottom line—and if you find it compelling, please join us.

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