As reported by Westlaw today, Dominion Voting Systems and the city of Detroit both have their sights on attorney Sidney Powell over her conspiracy theory-laden legal campaign to overturn the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Powell, a former federal prosecutor who has likened her effort to upend Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump to a mythological “Kraken,” has filed a string of lawsuits claiming that voting machine vendor Dominion used software designed by deceased Venezuela leader Hugo Chavez that was accessed by the Chinese and Iranian governments during the election.
Dominion demanded Powell retract her “wild, knowingly baseless, and false accusations” in a letter dated Wednesday from its lawyers at Clare Locke, an Alexandria, Va.-based boutique law firm that specializes in defamation and libel litigation.
“Your false accusations about Dominion are defamatory per se and have exposed you, the entities you control, and the Trump campaign to substantial legal risk,” Clare Locke partners Thomas Clare and Megan Meier wrote in the letter.
Clare and Meier didn’t respond to requests for comment. Their firm, founded by a pair of former Kirkland & Ellis partners, won a $3 million defamation verdict against Rolling Stone magazine in 2016 related to its retracted story about an alleged rape on the University of Virginia campus.
Powell was a lawyer for the Trump campaign in November, before it said she was no longer a part of the Trump legal team. The campaign is not a client in the “Kraken” suits alleging fraud involving Dominion machines.
Dominion’s letter comes on top of a potential federal sanctions request by the city of Detroit against Powell, her co-counsel and her clients in response to her Nov. 25 lawsuit challenging the election results in Michigan.
David Fink of Fink Bressack, who is representing the city of Detroit in Powell’s now-dismissed lawsuit, has not yet lodged his request in court. But he released a draft of the motion to the press on Tuesday and said it had been sent to Powell and her counsel. Federal rules require the motion to be sent to the plaintiffs first, he said.
“We believe that every attorney that has signed on to that complaint bears responsibility and should answer for their abuse of the court’s process,” Fink said.
Powell’s co-counsel, L. Lin Wood and Howard Kleinhendler, struck defiant tones when asked about the city’s motion.
Kleinhendler said they believe the motion for sanctions is frivolous and they will oppose it. Wood told Reuters he couldn’t comment on the motion because he wasn’t aware of it, despite having earlier slammed it on Twitter, where he maintains an active account that features a slogan for the QAnon conspiracy theory.
“When you get falsely accused by the likes of David Fink & Marc Elias of Perkins Coie (The Hillary Clinton Firm) in a propaganda rag like Law & Crime, you smile because you know you are over the target & the enemy is running scared!” Wood wrote Tuesday night, sharing a Law & Crime article about Detroit’s request.
If granted, the sanctions request would impose monetary sanctions against Powell, her clients and her co-counsel, bar them from practicing law in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and refer the attorneys to the Michigan state bar for grievance proceedings.
Half a dozen lawyers signed onto Powell’s Michigan lawsuit, including Wood, a prominent conservative lawyer based in Atlanta; Kleinhendler, a New York solo practitioner; ex-Trump administration officials Emily Newman and Julia Zsuzsa Haller; Scott Hagerstrom, the Michigan state director for the Trump campaign in 2016; and solo practitioner Gregory Rohl.
Powell, Hagerstrom and Rohl did not respond to requests for comment. Newman and Haller could not be reached for comment.
“Every one of them has lent their name to a tremendously inappropriate and dangerous piece of litigation,” Fink said.