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Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Texas judge refuses to dismiss disciplinary case against former Trump attorney Sidney Powell

The state bar association claims Sidney Powell filed frivolous lawsuits over the 2020 election and unreasonably delayed resolution of those cases.

DALLAS (CN) — A Texas judge refused Wednesday to dismiss a disciplinary action by the State Bar of Texas against former Trump attorney Sidney Powell, who told the judge she is the victim of a “political hitjob” by Democrats.

Collin County District Judge Andrea Bouressa, a Republican, denied Powell’s motion to dismiss in a bench ruling after an hour-long hearing.

“I cannot conclude the plaintiff’s allegations, if taken as true, do not entitle it to the relief sought,” she said.

The state bar’s Commission for Lawyer Discipline sued Powell in neighboring Dallas County in March, after receiving 10 separate complaints against her since 2020. The complainants allege Powell committed professional misconduct in contesting the election of President Joe Biden over former President Donald Trump.

The bar association claims Powell filed federal lawsuits in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin that were frivolous and violated Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 and five subsections of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. It alleges Powell took positions in the litigation that “unreasonably increased the costs” of the cases and “unreasonably delayed” their resolution, including an alleged failure to drop a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Michigan when “requested relief was moot.”

The state bar further claims Powell submitted a certificate in the case before the Northern District of Georgia that she purported was undated.

Powell’s attorney Bob Holmes told the judge the 10 people who complained about his client “are merely people walking down the street, [they] have nothing to do with the case.”

He further pushed back against the claims Powell unnecessarily increased the cost of litigation in the election fraud cases, arguing she had the right to appeal cases when she was ruled against.

“This case must be dismissed,” Holmes said. “There are no allegations, period. [They] can’t show Mrs. Powell knew or intended to deceive by anything she filed or attached.”

Holmes used the majority of his time in Wednesday's hearing to ramble about the evidence in the case outside the scope of the motion for dismissal, contrasting with the judge and opposing counsel keeping their statements brief and on topic.

“Her lawsuits were not about politics, people should feel comfortable about the vote they cast,” Holmes said. “It would be very unfair if a machine counts for your candidate 75% [of the time] and their candidate for 100%.”

Holmes bizarrely said he was “offended” that one of the bar’s attorneys is from Michigan.

“We believe this is a political hitjob, the attorney is from Michigan,” he said. “Guess who the people in the case were from? Michigan.”

Holmes also cited several documentaries critical of electronic voting machines and the Texas Republican Party's approval of a resolution over the weekend rejecting Biden’s win over Trump.

Rachel Craig, the bar’s assistant disciplinary counsel, told the judge the association “absolutely takes issue” with Powell’s claims of a political vendetta.

“All of this argument about the Dominion machine and the resolution by Texas Republicans are outside evidence and inappropriate for the court to consider,” she said. “We brought forth the facts for the relief we think we are entitled to.”

The state bar argues Powell’s free speech rights do not protect her from the lawsuit and that those rights “are not absolute” within the confines of her lawsuits.

“The First Amendment does not immunize an attorney from disciplinary consequences for violations of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct,” a five-page response to the motion to dismiss states.

Holmes said all Powell wanted to accomplish with her federal lawsuits was to “hold” the Dominion Voting Systems machines until they could be reviewed by third parties. He claimed the Texas secretary of state refused to certify the machines in the past because they allegedly “had too many third party access” to the outside.

The case is scheduled to go to trial in October. Powell has until July 30 to request a jury trial.

The lawsuit was filed two weeks after the Sixth Circuit blocked Powell and other attorneys from avoiding sanctions imposed in the Eastern District of Michigan lawsuit. The trial judge in that case, U.S. District Judge Linda Parker, ordered the attorneys in August to pay the legal fees for the city of Detroit and other defendants in the case. In a blistering opinion, the Barack Obama-appointed judge also ordered them to take 12 hours of training – including six hours focusing on election law.

“This case was never about fraud – it was about undermining the people’s faith in our democracy and debasing the judicial process to do so,” Parker wrote at the time.

Powell was fired from the Trump campaign’s legal team in November 2020 after publicly discussing unsupported conspiracy theories about the election. She had been criticized for incorrectly suggesting a computer server containing proof of voting irregularities was located in Germany and that voting software used in several states was created under the direction of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Those claims resulted in Dominion filing a defamation suit against Powell in January 2021 for $1.3 billion.

The state bar’s lawsuit was filed one month after Powell sued Verizon to block the release of her cellphone and subscriber information to the House Jan. 6 committee.

Follow @davejourno
Categories / Law, Politics, Regional

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