Powell’s lawyers wrote that “no reasonable person” would believe her widespread and baseless claims about election fraud.
WASHINGTON (CN) — Conservative lawyer Sidney Powell asked a federal court in Washington Monday to throw out the $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit that Dominion Voting Systems filed against her for spreading a baseless conspiracy that the voting machine company helped to “steal” the election from former President Donald Trump.
Powell doesn’t argue that her statements were true. Rather, her lawyers say that the 65-year-old Trump ally made statements of political opinion, protected under the First Amendment.
“No reasonable person” would believe that her comments were “statements of fact,” Powell’s lawyers wrote in their motion to throw out the case.
“Reasonable people understand that the ‘language of the political arena, like the language used in labor disputes … is often vituperative, abusive and inexact,’” the motion argues. “It is likewise a ‘well recognized principle that political statements are inherently prone to exaggeration and hyperbole.’”
Following the November presidential election, Powell tweeted that she had “mountains of evidence of fraud” and that she was “retracting nothing.”
Powell claimed that Dominion was created in Venezuela to rig elections for former President Hugo Chávez, and had rigged the 2020 U.S. presidential election by using algorithms in its machines to change the ballots and to “flip” and “shave” votes.
Once, in a Nov. 17 interview with Newsmax, Powell claimed to have video of Dominion’s founder saying he could “change a million votes, no problem at all.”
Powell’s Twitter account was later suspended.
The 54-page motion to dismiss says Powell was just informing the public of her opinions and legal theories, and those who were interested were free to “review that evidence and reach their own conclusions” or wait for courts to resolve the matter “before making up their minds.”
Her lawyers also argued that the District Court in D.C. lacks jurisdiction, and if the court won’t dismiss the lawsuit, it should transfer the case to Texas, where Powell lives.
Lawyers for Powell and Dominion Voting Systems did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday.