With Trump-allied insiders distancing themselves from massive and unproven election fraud allegations being made by Sidney Powell, the president’s legal team announced on Sunday that the attorney has no direct role in their efforts.
Sources close to the president told the Washington Examiner neither the White House nor the Trump campaign have seen any of the evidence she claims to have related to assertions about voting machines switching millions of votes from President Trump to President-elect Joe Biden. They argued that her claims overshadowed what they see as legitimate concerns about the mail-in ballot process.
Even national security officials within the Trump administration said they have seen no evidence of Powell’s claims either.
“Sidney has made these claims, but she has not shown, to my knowledge, evidence to support them — not to the campaign and not to the White House. … I don’t know anyone who has seen the evidence,” one senior administration official told the Washington Examiner. “Where is that evidence? The more she goes out there, the more it overshadows the legitimate problems. … The problem with this stuff is that you got so over-the-top, and you overshadow the illegitimate improper things that were done.”
Powell, who has represented retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn since last summer in his case after he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, appeared alongside Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Trump campaign counsel Jenna Ellis during a 90-minute press conference on Thursday. There, she claimed Dominion Voting Systems software was created “at the direction” of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to steal elections in his country, and that the machines “can set and run an algorithm that probably ran all over the country to take a certain percentage of votes from President Trump and flip them to President Biden.” She has made similar comments during numerous TV appearances but did not and has not provided evidence to the public, instead saying she will present her findings in court.
On Sunday, after the Washington Examiner reached out about Trump insiders complaining about Powell’s legal effort with the election, the Trump campaign released a statement saying she is not a member of their team.
“Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own,” Giuliani and Ellis said. “She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity.”
Among the evidence Powell claims to have put out, that is far from proving a case of widespread fraud, is an affidavit that said, “The circumstances and events” in 2020 “are eerily reminiscent” to what he allegedly witnessed in Venezuela but provided no firsthand knowledge of any votes being switched in the U.S.
“If she really had the evidence — and she’s saying, ‘Where’s the FBI? Where’s the Justice Department?’ — she should be the first one standing at their door or making it public to the whole world,” the senior administration official told the Washington Examiner.
Powell made several allegations on Newsmax on Saturday night, including that top Georgia state officials may have been paid to be part of a conspiracy with Dominion Voting Systems, which has denied being involved in a vote-switching scheme. Powell said she believes the alleged vote-buying scheme stretches back years, and members of both parties are involved. Powell has provided no evidence of this but said she plans to file something by Friday, if not earlier.
Dominion spokesman Michael Steel, who worked for Republicans in the past, rebutted claims on Sunday from Powell that Dominion voting machines were used to flip votes from Trump to Biden. According to Steel, Trump won the counties where their machines were used in Pennsylvania.
“They keep bringing in jurisdictions where we don’t even work. They keep talking about — they’re asking for recounts in Milwaukee, in Dane County, Wisconsin, or in Pennsylvania,” Steel said on Fox News. “In fact, in 14 counties where Dominion machines were used, the president won 52% of the vote.”
Steel decried claims from Powell that Dominion voting software enabled votes to be counted in fractions for Biden, saying, “If someone tried to alter the electronic record, the printed paper ballots wouldn’t match. It’s not possible. Again, we’ve gone back in Georgia, we’ve gone back in other places, matched the ballots to the electronic tally. They match. There is no widespread fraud in the way they’re alleging.”
Steel said that “this is a nonpartisan American company” and “it is not physically possible for our machines to switch votes from one candidate to the other.”
A statewide hand-recount for the presidential election was triggered in Georgia and wrapped up last week, affirming Biden as the winner by more than 12,000 votes, and showing no evidence of the alleged vote switching.
Trump has repeatedly tweeted about Dominion and Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, also claimed on Fox Business earlier in November that Dominion’s parent company was founded to “fix elections.” The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and other groups said that “there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” Trump fired the head of that agency, Chris Krebs, earlier this month, saying he disagreed with that statement.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on Thursday that Powell “got angry” and refused to provide him with evidence that voting software illegitimately flipped votes in the 2020 election. He added that his top-rated show texted her for evidence to her claims that Dominion and Smartmatic flipped the election for Biden, but she declined to provide any.
“We took Sidney Powell seriously. We had no intention of fighting with her. We’ve always respected her work. We simply wanted to see the details. How could you not want to see them? So, we invited Sidney Powell on the show. We would’ve given her the whole hour. We would’ve given her the entire week, actually, and listened quietly the whole time at rapt attention. That’s a big story. But she never sent us any evidence, despite a lot of requests — polite requests. Not a page,” Carlson said.
“When we kept pressing, she got angry and told us to stop contacting her. When we checked with others around the Trump campaign, people in positions of authority, they told us Powell has never given them any evidence either. Nor did she provide any today at the press conference,” Carlson continued, though he agreed electronic voting was problematic. “But she never demonstrated that a single actual vote was moved illegitimately by software from one candidate to another. Not one.”
Powell told the Washington Examiner that night, “Apparently Mr. Carlson missed the news conference today. I would continue to encourage him and all journalists to review all the materials we have provided so far and conduct their own investigations.” Powell said the next day that Carlson was “insulting, demanding, and rude.” Carlson himself followed up on Friday.
“In the last 24 hours … we’ve heard from a lot of people about that segment, including people in the White House and people close to the president,” Carlson said that night, adding that “like us, they have not seen a single piece of evidence showing that software changed votes… And by ‘they,’ we are including other members of Donald Trump’s own legal team. They have not seen Powell’s evidence either.”
A source close to the Trump family told the Washington Examiner that “Tucker isn’t the only one that has asked Sidney for evidence only to get stiff-armed by her — lawyers in the White House and on the campaign, White House advisers, and advisers to the first family have been asking and all got the same response as Tucker.” The source added, “Lots of folks were nodding and cheering when Tucker described his experience with her.”
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also pushed back against Powell’s claims during an appearance on ABC’s This Week. “Sidney Powell accusing Gov. Brian Kemp of a crime on television, yet being unwilling to go on TV and defend and lay out the evidence that she supposedly has. This is outrageous by any lawyer,” he said.
“Based on everything I’ve seen — which is a lot more than Sidney Powell, to say the least — there is no basis for what she is saying,” a senior national security official told the Washington Examiner. “At this point, it would be more believable that she’s a Democratic plant designed to overshadow legitimate voter fraud issues with insanity.”
Powell told radio host Glenn Beck on Friday that she has heard that “our forces” confiscated a server in Germany from an electronic voting system company she alleged was tied to voter fraud.
“The servers at Scytl in Germany were confiscated the other day,” Powell told Beck. “I’m hearing it was our forces that got those servers, so I think the government is now working on an investigation of what really happened.”
An Army spokesperson responded that “those allegations are false.” Scytl issued a statement saying, “We do not tabulate, tally or count votes in the U.S.; We do not have servers or offices in Frankfurt; The U.S. Army has not seized anything from Scytl in Barcelona, Frankfurt, or anywhere else.”
A Defense Department official told the Washington Examiner that “we have no evidence of that and we haven’t seen any intelligence showing that” and “we have nothing to support that and we were not involved in that.”
Flynn, who briefly served as Trump’s first national security adviser, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to FBI investigators about his December 2016 conversations with a Russian envoy. But after Powell, a former federal prosecutor, took over his representation in 2019, Flynn claimed he was innocent, withdrew his guilty plea, and pushed for the case to be dismissed.
Since then, the Trump administration has unearthed or declassified a host of Flynn related documents, including a draft communication closing the Flynn case dated Jan. 4, 2017, showing the bureau had turned up “no derogatory information” on Flynn but with texts from fired FBI special agent Peter Strzok revealing he intervened to keep it open at the insistence of the FBI’s “7th-floor” leadership after the bureau obtained intercepts of conversations between Flynn and Russia’s ambassador in December 2016. Notes about the FBI’s interview of Flynn written by former FBI counterintelligence official Bill Priestap show him wondering, “What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”
A source close to the White House told the Washington Examiner that credit for “clearing Mike’s name” belonged to Rep. Devin Nunes, new defense secretary chief of staff Kash Patel, former acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grennell, and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, who have played roles in declassifying information related to the Trump-Russia investigation.
The Justice Department moved to dismiss the case against Flynn in May, but the presiding judge has resisted quickly doing so.
On Saturday, the Trump campaign’s lawsuit seeking to block the certification of Pennsylvania’s election was dismissed with prejudice by a federal court judge, and the Trump campaign appealed it Sunday. The Trump team’s election lawsuits and those by Republican allies across the country related to the massive number of mail-in ballots in the 2020 election have been largely unsuccessful in court. One case related to late-arrival mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania is still pending before the Supreme Court.