Before Trump threw her under the bus, attorney Sidney Powell — a hardcore QAnon disciple — was working to help him steal the election by spreading a conspiracy theory about how Democrats used an elaborate computer system financed by communist countries to hide the fact that Trump beat Biden “by a landslide.” And in an interview with Trump sycophant Lou Dobbs on Fox Business a couple of weeks ago, she declared that she would “release the Kraken” — a reference to her alleged mountain of evidence — against Trump’s political enemies.
Powell’s connection to QAnon is well-established, and her conspiracy theory about Trump’s enemies stealing the election is based on propaganda created by the alt-right group. Specifically, Powell claims that the Venezuelan government and George Soros were behind the plot to defeat Trump.
Using the playbook she relied on when she defended Michael Flynn — Trump’s first national security advisor who was investigated during Robert Mueller’s Russia inquiry — Powell used the QAnon conspiracy to stir suspicion of the election as a first step to invalidating election results in key states where Republicans control the legislature, and then having those states appoint pro-Trump delegates to the Electoral College.
So, what about that “Kraken” Powell mentioned to Lou Dobbs?
It wasn’t clear what the Kraken was, but in an article for TheBulwark.com by Mike Dunford we get the answer to that question, and it’s dumber than you might realize.
Powell had been threatening to release the Kraken for the last week, which she spent “practicing law on her own” after being unpersoned by the Trump legal team following a press conference in which she spouted conspiracy theories so insane that even Giuliani’s hair dye was trying to get out of the room. It wasn’t clear what the Kraken was until it was released and we learned that it had taken the form of matching his-and-hers lawsuits in Georgia and Michigan. Lawsuits that have redefined rock bottom.
You don’t need to read far to see how truly awful these lawsuits are. Start with the simplest and most eye-catchingly obvious: Complaints in federal lawsuits have set formatting—at the top of the first page are the words “IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE ____ DISTRICT OF ____.” It’s a ritual formula, it’s hard to mess up, and every lawyer I know who practices in federal courts uses a fill-in-the-blanks template. Every lawyer except Sidney Powell, I guess—because between the two filings she managed to spell the word “district” four different ways, batting .250 on accuracy.
And things only got worse from there. Much worse.
The two lawsuits, which are very similar to each other, reiterate more or less the same meritless claims that just got Rudy et al. unceremoniously tossed out of the Third Circuit. They seem to have been drafted by a spacebar-phobic first-year coming out the back end of a meth binge.
The Kraken is the stupidest election fraud lawsuit in history today. But who knows what next week will bring.
Powell’s “Kraken” is just as mythical as the creature spoken of in Nordic folklore. It’s fictitious. It’s make-believe. It’s what some might call “fake news.” At least that’s the conclusion of Trump Attorney General Bill Barr as reported by the Associated Press.
Barr told the AP that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they’ve received, but “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
Attorney Sidney Powell has spun fictional tales of election systems flipping votes, German servers storing U.S. voting information and election software created in Venezuela “at the direction of Hugo Chavez,” – the late Venezuelan president who died in 2013. Powell has since been removed from the legal team after an interview she gave where she threatened to “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” court filing.
Barr didn’t name Powell specifically but said: “There’s been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that.” (emphasis mine)
How committed is Sidney Powell to her QAnon conspiracy theory? “We are not going to back down,” she said. “We are going to clean this mess up now. President Trump won by a landslide. We are going to prove it, and we are going to reclaim the United States of America for the people who vote for freedom.”
While Powell’s allegations are pretty weak, it remains to be seen what the court will make of her claims. But even if her meritless lawsuits are dismissed — as they should be — it’s unlikely to weaken the faith of Trump cultists who still believe he actually won.
According to The Economist's latest poll from YouGov, 88% of those who voted for Donald Trump think that the election result is illegitimate https://t.co/OchMXlU4Ba
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) November 21, 2020
It’s important to remember that Powell isn’t some rogue agent working independent of Donald Trump; she’s doing exactly what he wants her to do — spreading QAnon conspiracy theories to steal the election. And her “release the Kraken” propaganda is just the latest in what I’m sure will be a long list of such theories she’ll use before this is over.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.