The Hunting of Sidney Powell, Part 3

This is the third of a five-part series exposing the "lawfare" persecution of a conservative.

By Daniel Street Published on May 22, 2024

For Parts 1 and 2 of this series, see here and here.

In August 2021, a federal judge in Michigan sanctioned Sidney Powell, along with multiple other attorneys on the legal team challenging the 2020 presidential election results in the state. (The original sanctions order may be found here.) Ultimately, the court ordered Powell and the other attorneys to pay $175,000 in attorney fees.

Despite affidavits from more than half a dozen experts and dozens of lay witnesses supporting Powell’s allegations in the Michigan election lawsuit, amounting to more than 500 pages of exhibits, she and her co-counsel were sanctioned without the court hearing from a single live witness. No direct or cross-examination of the witnesses whose testimony formed the basis of the lawsuit took place at the sanctions hearing. The court heard arguments only and, as Powell told The Stream, “simply railed on counsel according to the judge’s predetermined narrative that seemed crafted by counsel for the City of Detroit.”

That city was not a named defendant in the suit; rather, it intervened in the suit. Detroit literally had to file a motion with the court asking if it could become a party to the case. It then moved for sanctions. More than $153,000 of the sanctions awarded by the court were given to the City of Detroit, supposedly to reimburse it for the legal fees it incurred in the litigation.

Further, counsel for the City of Detroit was one of the original attorney advisors with The 65 Project, a group seeking to destroy all the attorneys who challenged the 2020 election. One might reasonably conclude the City of Detroit joined the suit for the sole purpose of seeking sanctions.

The Merits of the Case Were Ruled Irrelevant

In her ruling on the sanctions, the federal judge made the following shocking statement:



What a stunning assertion, particularly in light of what took place in Michigan before, during, and after the 2020 election. Importantly, the federal court did not decide “whether there was fraud in the 2020 presidential election in the State of Michigan,” stating the resolution of that question was “never appropriately before” the court at all. How comforting.

While the effort Powell and her co-counsel undertook proved to be unsuccessful, to many people, she and her team tried to restore the faith of the people in our Republic and the judicial process through it.

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Powell and her co-counsel marshalled an incredible amount of evidence in a very short time for the purpose, as she later informed me, of “first seeking a preliminary injunction to secure voting machines for forensic inspection to put to rest for the entire country once and for all whether the election was stolen or fair.” As noted previously, Powell and company filed election suits in four states in the weeks following the 2020 election. Their federal complaint in Michigan was filed just 22 days later; it included affidavits and analysis from seven expert witnesses, as well as three dozen poll watchers, elections observers, and other lay witnesses. Each of the four election challenges Powell and company filed contained similar supporting evidence.

“The primary and initial goal of the litigation, usually ignored, was to secure the voting machines for a professional, nonpartisan inspection,” Powell told The Stream. “Yet, no court allowed a witness to testify.”

“Potentially Criminal” Intimidation and Harassment

Furthermore, the affidavits presented with the Michigan complaint paint a very hostile (and unconstitutional) environment in Wayne County for Republican election observers. These affidavits document intimidation, threats, harassment, bullying, and other misconduct by Detroit election workers against Republican poll watchers.

As the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals noted in its review of the sanctions order, the “the intimidation and harassment alleged in these affidavits was potentially criminal,” citing Michigan Compiled Laws §168.734, and should not have been disregarded by the trial court (emphasis added). Yet, not only did the federal judge disregard these startling affidavits, she sanctioned Powell just for presenting them, even at the pleading stage when everything alleged in the suit should have been viewed as true.

Imagine if Democrats went to federal court with three dozen affidavits verifying intimidation, threats, and harassment of Democrat poll watchers by Republican election workers. The U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, and all manner of other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies would be brought to bear immediately. You better believe a federal judge would not disregard any such claims or sanction the lawyers bringing them if they were brought by Democrats on behalf of Democrats.

Additionally, Powell’s Michigan election suit challenged the use of Dominion Voting Systems equipment there and, as the complaint alleges, the probability these systems allowed for the state’s vote to be compromised. Powell and her co-counsel were sanctioned for making these claims. The court chastised them for supposedly failing to understand the particular Dominion systems used in certain Michigan counties, finding the systems they complained about were largely not used in Michigan. Yet, Verified Voting confirms Wayne County used both Dominion ImageCast Precinct optical scanners and ImageCast X ballot marking devices — the very systems at issue in the Georgia litigation referenced in Part 2 of this series and expounded on below.

“Unencrypted, Humanly Unverifiable Code … Subject to External Manipulation”

Readers may recall that Dominion Voting Systems are used statewide in Georgia. A legal challenge in Georgia over its use of Dominion’s ballot marking devices and scanning and tabulating hardware and software has been in litigation for several years.

In October 2020, after early voting for the 2020 presidential election had already begun, the federal judge presiding over the case issued a critical preliminary decision denying the request to stop using the Dominion equipment, in large part because doing so that close to Election Day would throw the tabulations into disarray. In her order, again issued in October 2020, nearly one month before Election Day, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Totenberg observed:

And at the very least, the Court cannot fathom why, post-election, the State and Dominion would not at least be moving toward consideration of the software upgrade option Dominion originally promised, allowing voters to cast ballots that are solely counted based on their voting designations and not on an unencrypted, humanly unverifiable QR code that can be subject to external manipulation and does not allow proper voter verification and ballot vote auditing. (Emphasis added.)

The Court noted testing conducted by Professor Alex Halderman, one of the cybersecurity experts who evaluated the Dominion ICX systems in September 2020, “indicated the practical feasibility through a cyberattack of causing the swapping or deletion of specific vote cast and the compromise of the system through different cyberattack strategies.”

Further, as Halderman observed in a declaration filed in the case in September 2021:

My July 1, 2021, expert report describes numerous security vulnerabilities in Georgia’s Dominion ICX BMDs. These include flaws that would allow attackers to install malicious software on the ICX, either with temporary physical access (such as that of voters in the polling place) or remotely from election management systems.

He went on to note the Dominion ICX issues affect other states, including Michigan:









Clearly, Halderman opines the very same unreliable systems used in Georgia are also used in Michigan. Powell and her co-counsel should not be subjected to sanctions for similar observations.

Unprecedented Anomalies and Mathematical Impossibilities

The issues with the reliability of Dominion’s software were not limited to Georgia. Texas repeatedly rejected the use of Dominion Voting Systems software for its elections due to the vulnerabilities its elections officials identified. Powell’s Michigan election challenge specifically reference this fact and included the Texas secretary of state’s decision as an exhibit.

Nevertheless, the facts and circumstances surrounding this election, which was plagued with unprecedented anomalies and mathematical impossibilities, coupled with the mass of evidence submitted along with the Michigan complaint itself (keeping in mind that lawyers are not required to attach any evidence to a complaint or petition at all) would ordinarily be sufficient to defeat any sanctions. Furthermore, the notion an attorney (or several attorneys) could be sanctioned more than $175,000 without the court hearing from a single witness is hard to fathom. Yet that is precisely what happened here. However, the errors in the trial court were only partially corrected by the Sixth Circuit.

The effort to sanction Powell in Michigan was one of many attacks on her. The next article in this series will cover the bar or ethics complaints she also has been forced to endure.

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


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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