The Hunting of Sidney Powell, Part 1

This is the first of a five-part series running this week, exposing the "lawfare" persecution of a conservative.

By Daniel Street Published on May 20, 2024

In the three-plus years since the 2020 presidential election, Democrats and Never Trumpers have been waging lawfare campaigns against conservative lawyers, judges, news personalities, and politicians nationwide. These attacks take many forms, ranging from the failed efforts to disqualify President Donald Trump from the ballot to the illegitimate federal and state indictments of him, from the indictments of Republican alternate electors in several swing states to the efforts to disbar or discipline attorneys to an endless stream of lawsuits seeking damages.

One conservative lawyer has borne the brunt of the leftist lawfare avalanche like few others: former Trump attorney Sidney Powell. The sheer number, scope, and vitriolic nature of the lawfare waged against her in the aftermath of her challenges to the 2020 election is eclipsed only by the attacks on Trump himself.

A closer look at the attacks on Powell reveals she is the victim of bar complaints from people who never consulted with her, did not even know her, and whom she never represented. Several of the bar complaints are from leftist politicians who habitually and brazenly disregard the truth and the law. As is so often the case in today’s weaponized legal environment, some of the attacks emanate from the two-tiered justice system, where conservative lawyers like Powell (and Republicans generally) are sanctioned without the testimony of a single witness. Additionally, still more of the attacks are lawsuits seeking grotesque amounts of damages.

The lawfare being waged against Powell is too vast and complex to be adequately addressed in a single article. Therefore, this five-part series will begin by providing background on Powell and her accomplishments in the legal field, followed by a general description of her involvement in post-election lawsuits in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, followed by an outline of the lawfare itself. We’ll then review the election irregularities in Michigan, the sanctions order against Powell in that state, and the ethics complaints and defamation suits against her.

I was privileged to have the opportunity to communicate directly with Powell for this article and, whenever possible, her thoughts and observations are included.

A Legal Reformer

Most readers will recognize Powell as the attorney who represented former Trump National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and obtained the government’s dismissal of the charges against him. However, her credentials go far beyond the representation of high-profile clients.

From 1978 to 1988, Powell served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western and Northern Districts of Texas and the Eastern District of Virginia. She was appellate section chief for the sprawling Western District of Texas and then the Northern District of Texas. During that time, she represented the United States in more than 300 appeals.

In private practice, Powell handled complex civil and criminal litigation in federal court, served as lead counsel in a couple hundred more appeals (resulting in nearly 200 reported appellate opinions), and served as a past president of the Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. She is also a published author; her book Licensed to Lie exposed the abusive prosecution (lawfare) waged by leftists like Andrew Weissman against innocent Americans even before Trump took office.

For these reasons, when Powell appeared on media broadcasts after the 2020 election, talking about the irregularities she and others witnessed and the need to challenge the results in several states, many people knew her sterling reputation. The Stream’s John Zmirak (who’d worked with Powell) weighed in on her behalf, then was promptly and permanently banned from Twitter.

Since When Was Representing Your Client an Ethics Breach?

Powell made numerous television appearances and speeches discussing the election, discussing the claims in the four lawsuits she filed and the effort to obtain evidence to determine who actually won. Within a few weeks she, along with several other attorneys, filed election challenges in federal courts in Georgia and Michigan, as well as in Wisconsin and Arizona. While the claims made in those four massive lawsuits are beyond the scope of this article, readers will remember they were unsuccessful.

By December 1, 2020 — before a single hearing was held in any of the election challenges — the first of many ethics complaints against Powell was filed with the Texas State Bar. Twenty-four hours later, two more ethics complaints were filed against Powell in Texas. Eventually, 19 bar complaints were filed against Powell in Texas alone, with others filed in Michigan and Arizona, including some from the leftist governor, attorney general and secretary of state of Michigan.

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You read that right: Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, whose office failed to publicly report on or issue any warnings to county clerks about an investigation into fraudulent voter registrations submitted in Muskegon, Michigan, in October 2020, by a company working with the Biden campaign and Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee filed a bar complaint against Powell. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, whose unlawful instruction to Michigan county clerks to radically loosen signature verification on absentee ballots probably delivered the state to Biden, and the Governor Gretchen Whitmer (who in April 2020 signed executive orders banning the sale of garden seeds and supplies in many Michigan stores during the COVID pandemic, only to falsely claim later the order was made in February when “no one was planting anyway”) did so as well. (The hubris of these politicians is boundless.)

Multinational Companies Tried to Sue Her Into Bankruptcy

The defamation suits followed closely behind the bar complaints. In early December 2020, Eric Coomer, then the director of product strategy and security for Dominion Voting Systems, sued multiple defendants, including Powell, in Colorado, alleging defamation. In January 2021, Dominion Voting Systems sued Powell for defamation, seeking $1.3 billion in damages. In February 2021, Smartmatic sued multiple defendants, including Powell, seeking $2.7 billion in damages for defamation.

The effort to sanction Powell and her co-counsel also followed the bar complaints. In December 2020, the City of Detroit, Michigan, filed a motion for sanctions against Powell in federal court. Shortly thereafter, Nessel, on behalf of the governor and secretary of state, filed for sanctions against Powell. In March 2021, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers filed a motion for sanctions against Powell in federal court in Wisconsin.

While the sanctions effort in Wisconsin failed in August 2021, the federal judge presiding over Powell’s Michigan election challenge imposed sanctions on her and her cocounsel, ordering them to pay more than $175,000 in attorney fees to the other parties in the case. In November 2021, Smartmatic filed a duplicate of its New York lawsuit against Powell in Washington, D.C., again seeking $2.7 billion in damages. In December 2021, a Venezuelan businessman, Majed Khalil, sued Powell in New York, seeking damages for alleged defamation (related to allegations Powell made involving Dominion and Smartmatic). Finally, in August 2023, Powell was indicted with Trump and others in the mammoth RICO case in Fulton County, Georgia.

They Won’t Give Up, Ever

This is merely a summary of the legal warfare that has been waged on Sidney Powell since the 2020 presidential election. Still, this short recitation paints a revealing picture of the Left’s willingness to pull out all the stops to attack her.

In the rest of this series, I will address each of these categorical attacks on Powell, starting with the Michigan sanctions order in federal court. However, one must remain mindful of the election irregularities in Michigan in 2020; that will be the subject of the next article in this series.

If you would like to support Sidney Powell in her efforts, visit the website of her organization, Defending the Republic. Parts 2, 3, 4, and 5 of this series will appear in subsequent editions.


Daniel R. Street is an attorney with more than 25 years of litigation experience. He is the author of the Fake News Exposed about Trump book series. Links to his books, blog, social media, and more may be found at

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