Dominion Voting Systems—the election company smeared by Republicans and right-wing activists with baseless voter fraud conspiracy theories surrounding the 2020 presidential election—has filed a defamation lawsuit against the pro-Trump attorney who played a central role in spreading false allegations against the company.
Sidney Powell, a conspiracy-minded lawyer known for her fantastical “Kraken” election fraud lawsuits, repeatedly claimed that Dominion, which made voting machines and software for several states, was involved in a scheme to steal the election from President Donald Trump.
Dominion’s 124-page complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia claims that Powell’s “demonstrably false” claims caused “unprecedented harm” to the company. Dominion is seeking $1.3 billion in damages.
“Although Powell assured the public during television and radio appearances that her claims were backed by ‘evidence,’ Powell’s ‘evidence’ included declarations from a motley crew of conspiracy theorists, con artists, armchair ‘experts,’ and anonymous sources who were judicially determined to be ‘wholly unreliable,’” read the court filing obtained by Right Wing Watch.
For months, Powell has claimed that Dominion was created in Venezuela for the sole purpose of manipulating election results in favor of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Powell claimed that Dominion had rigged the election in favor of President-elect Joe Biden and even went so far as to cite Ron Watkins, the former administrator of the 8kun message board and an influential figure in the far-right QAnon conspiracy movement, in her affidavit.
Powell’s conspiracy theories even forced a top Dominion employee to go into hiding after he began receiving death threats from people who believed the attorney’s claims. The employee is now suing Powell for defamation.
Powell is a popular figure within conspiratorial underbelly of the internet. Much of that comes from her longstanding allegiance to QAnon, as well as influential figures in the far-right movement like former Gen. Michael Flynn and attorney Lin Wood, both of whom have called for Trump to declare martial law. She has been featured on popular QAnon YouTube shows as far back as November 2019 and has been known to use QAnon slogans and hashtags in her social media posts. Even her electoral fraud lawsuits are rooted in conspiracy theories that were propagated, in part, on QAnon forums and spaces.
Read Right Wing Watch’s in-depth reporting on Powell here.