Just last month Trump disavowed Sidney Powell for spreading QAnon’s crazy claims about how the election was stolen. But with time running out on his desperate attempt to steal the election, Trump held a strategy meeting this past Friday where he suggested that Sidney Powell be appointed special council to investigate voter fraud.
After a 100% failure rate at the time, Powell appeared in an interview with Trump sycophant Lou Dobbs on Fox Business earlier this month where she promised to turn the tide in Trump’s favor and “release the Kraken” — a reference to her alleged mountain of evidence — against Trump’s political enemies.
When it came time to deliver, Powell’s “Kraken” ended up being just another failed QAnon conspiracy theory. And when faced with the inability to defend her failure, Powell joined fellow QAnon disciple Michael Flynn and called on Trump to “temporarily suspend the Constitution,” put the country under martial law, and “set up military tribunals” to investigate the election using the Insurrection Act.
Still, Powell’s work has made an impact. Most recently, the Trump cult called for a military coup and/or secession from the Union following the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision rejecting a Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn the outcome in four battleground states.
Despite this track record of failure, we are nowhere near exhausting Trump’s bottomless supply of crazy in his dictatorial quest to remain in the White House, so his suggestion to appoint Powell as special council in charge of investigating voter fraud is exactly what you’d expect him to do.
According to a report from The New York Times, Sidney Powell and Michael Flynn were present at the meeting, a meeting that got a bit heated when the subject of special council came up.
President Trump on Friday discussed naming Sidney Powell, who as a lawyer for his campaign team unleashed conspiracy theories about a Venezuelan plot to rig voting machines in the United States, to be a special counsel overseeing an investigation of voter fraud, according to two people briefed on the discussion.
It was unclear if Mr. Trump will move ahead with such a plan.
Most of his advisers opposed the idea, two of the people briefed on the discussion said, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer. In recent days Mr. Giuliani has sought to have the Department of Homeland Security join the campaign’s efforts to overturn Mr. Trump’s loss in the election.
Mr. Giuliani joined the discussion by phone initially, while Ms. Powell was at the White House for a meeting that became raucous and involved people shouting at each other at times, according to one of the people briefed on what took place.
Ms. Powell’s client, retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser whom the president recently pardoned, was also there, two of the people briefed on the meeting said. Some senior administration officials drifted in and out of the meeting.
Ms. Powell’s ideas were shot down by every other Trump adviser present, all of whom repeatedly pointed out that she had yet to back up her claims with proof. At one point, one person briefed on the meeting said, she produced several affidavits, but upon inspection they were all signed by a man she has previously used as an expert witness, whose credentials have been called into question.
When other Trump advisors at the meeting objected to her appointment as special council, Powell channeled her inner Trump and lashed out at them, calling them “quitters.”
Trump’s suggestion to put Powell in a position to investigate the election outcome sent shock waves through the president’s circle, but they shouldn’t be surprised. Trump has always been a conspiracy nut (ask Ted Cruz), and the NY Times story is reporting that he’s been in constant contact with Sidney Powell — even while she was “practicing law on her own” over the past several weeks after being purged from the campaign team.
Mr. Trump has been in contact with Ms. Powell at other times in recent days, even though his campaign last month sought to distance itself from her as she aired wild and baseless claims about Dominion Voting Systems machines, which were used in some states, somehow being connected to a Venezuelan plot to control the election.
Dominion officials have demanded that Ms. Powell retract her claims. The Trump campaign on Saturday sent a memo to campaign officials telling them to preserve documents related to Ms. Powell and Dominion in case of legal action by the company against Ms. Powell, according to a report by CNN that a campaign official confirmed.
Another reason this unsurprising? The recent
resignation termination of Attorney General Bill Barr.
A few days before he “resigned,” Barr told the Associate Press that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents had followed up on specific complaints and information they had received, and he concluded that “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
“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)
With Barr out of the way, using executive power to give Powell a position that would normally involve the DOJ and the AG’s office is easy-peasy.
Trump is denying the subject matter of the meeting with Sidney Powell and Michael Flynn, calling it . . . wait for it . . . “Fake News.”
Martial law = Fake News. Just more knowingly bad reporting!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2020
Apparently, this little get-together had nothing to do with martial law, a military coup, or appointing Sidney Powell as special council. And if you don’t believe Trump, you’re an “Orange man bad” hater or someone who suffers from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Just ask Steve Deace or any of the other faux conservatives working at the BlazeTV pro-Trump echo chamber.
If Trump’s denials are true, then why does he retweet people who call for martial law, and why did he hold a strategy meeting at the White House with two leading advocates (Powell and Flynn) of overthrowing the election via a military coup?
Axios is reporting that these unanswered questions and Trump’s suggestion to appoint Powell as his special council to investigate voter fraud have many top-level officials extremely concerned that Trump is strongly considering such a power grab in his effort to overturn the election.
Their fears include Trump’s interest in former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s wild talk of martial law; an idea floated of an executive order to commandeer voting machines; and the specter of Sidney Powell, the conspiracy-spewing election lawyer, obtaining governmental power and a top-level security clearance.
A senior administration official said that when Trump is “retweeting threats of putting politicians in jail, and spends his time talking to conspiracy nuts who openly say declaring martial law is no big deal, it’s impossible not to start getting anxious about how this ends.”
“People who are concerned and nervous aren’t the weak-kneed bureaucrats that we loathe,” the official added. “These are people who have endured arguably more insanity and mayhem than any administration officials in history.”
As Trump’s special council, Sidney Powell would be very committed to her voter fraud conspiracy theory. “We are not going to back down,” she said back in November. “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.”
Trump has embraced Powell’s conspiracy and her commitment to see it through. “No, it’s not over,” Trump told FOX News host Brian Kilmeade in an interview last week. “We keep going, and we’re going to continue to go forward. We have numerous local cases. We’re, you know, in some of the states that got rigged and robbed from us. We won every one of them. We won Pennsylvania. We won Michigan. We won Georgia by a lot.”
Even after last week’s confirmation of Biden’s Electoral College victory by a margin of 306-232, Trump, egged on by supporters like Sidney Powell, has never conceded and, holed up inside the White House, he continues to assert that he actually won. And it’s important to remember that Powell isn’t some rogue agent working independent of Donald Trump; she’s been doing exactly what he wants her to do — spreading QAnon conspiracy theories about voter fraud to steal the election.
That’s why Trump wants Sidney Powell appointed as a special council to investigate so-called voter fraud.
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.