Let’s take a trip down memory lane all the way back to January of this year, when Dominion Voting Systems announced that it was suing Sidney Powell for $1.3 billion dollars. Powell was one of the attorneys (along with Rudy Giuliani) that Donald Trump recruited to litigate his “Big Lie” that the presidential election had been “stolen” from him.
Powell had made countless appearances in the press to peddle her allegations of corruption and rampant election fraud. She was among those who claimed that Dominion planted malicious software in their devices in order to switch hundreds of thousands of votes from Trump to Biden. This theory also stipulates provably false nonsense about the company’s software being developed in Venezuela with the help of the late Hugo Chavez, and votes being tabulated in Germany and Spain. None of that was true.
Now Powell has responded to the Dominion lawsuit with a motion to dismiss. However, the case she makes on her own behalf is hardly persuasive. In fact, She’s painting herself as a lying kook who can’t be trusted.
Sidney Powell has moved to dismiss Dominion's defamation lawsuit. She argues that when she accused Dominion of being part of an election-rigging scheme with ties to Venezuela, "no reasonable person would conclude" those "were truly statements of fact" https://t.co/RDPD1eGvY3 pic.twitter.com/p5zssgV5JJ
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) March 22, 2021
Powell’s motion to dismiss makes the remarkable claim about her own public statements that “No reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact.” She argued that “the language of the political arena … is often vituperative, abusive, and inexact.” Powell further argued that because the plaintiffs said her statements were “wild accusations” and “outlandish claims” that they were therefore not actionable.
Huh? That is precisely what makes them actionable. If they weren’t wild and outlandish what would be the cause to sue? Powell concludes her motion saying that…
“Such characterizations of the allegedly defamatory statements further support Defendant’s position that reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact, but view them only as claims that await testing by courts through the adversary process.”
In short, Powell’s entire defense rests on her assertion that only fools would believe her bullpucky and therefore she can’t be held liable for spreading it. She may be right in the former, but woefully wrong in the latter. The problem with arguing that “no reasonable person” would believe you is that it doesn’t exempt the likelihood that those devoid of reason will totally buy in. And there is an abundance of such people, particularly associated with Trump and his QAnon Cult.
Additionally, Powell is contradicting herself by saying that her statements are “claims that await testing by courts.” If so, then she is asserting that they are true and can’t be exempted as political rhetoric. But if it isn’t true, she is confessing that she is using the courts to pursue an action in bad faith, which could get her disbarred.
It’s notable that this is the same argument that Fox News used to escape liability for defamatory comments by Tucker Carlson. Fox’s lawyer’s successfully argued that, given his reputation, no reasonable person would take him seriously. It’s hard to argue with that. But you have to be pretty desperate and disreputable to adopt the Tucker Carlson Defense.
The damage done by purposefully misleading those millions of dimwits is extensive and quantifiable. Powell is practically making Dominion’s case by admitting that her statements were false. Her motion fails to absolve her of responsibility. Instead, she places the responsibility on those who heard her admittedly factless remarks. That’s like blaming the consumers of Snake Oil for not realizing that the Snake Oil salesman was a con artist. In the end, the Snake Oil salesman is going to jail.
NOTE: Twitter recently suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly. Also, Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse on Instagram. Thanks for your support.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.