Sidney Powell speaking during a press conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters

Sidney Powell Is Arguing That No “Reasonable Person” Would Have Believed Her Constant Claims of Election Fraud

The Kraken releases the Tucker Carlson defense.

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In a new court filing, Sidney Powell—the rightwing lawyer who dubbed herself “The Kraken” before being kicked off Donald Trump’s legal team—has introduced a new defense for her repeated claims of election fraud. She is now arguing that the whole time she was screaming about the 2020 presidential election being rigged and stolen by Democrats, “no reasonable person” was meant to believe that her claims “were truly statements of fact.”

I mean, that defense did work for Tucker Carlson.

Whereas Carlson claimed in court that his audience watches turns to him for entertainment, not as a reliable news source, Powell is insisting that her election fraud claims were so ridiculously outlandish that no one should have believed they were true.

Powell is currently being sued for $1.3 billion by Dominion Voting Systems, the company that Powell accused of being part of a massive election fraud conspiracy that involved George Soros, antifa, and deceased former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Powell is now arguing that those claims were so unbelievable that they could literally not have been believed. And she’s actually using Dominion’s denials of her claims as evidence that they were never true.

“Indeed, Plaintiffs themselves characterize the statements at issue as ‘wild accusations’ and ‘outlandish claims.’ They are repeatedly labelled ‘inherently improbable’ and even ‘impossible.’ Such characterizations of the allegedly defamatory statements further support Defendants’ position that reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact but view them only as claims that await testing by the courts through the adversary process,” reads the court filing.

Yes, Powell accused a company of crimes, the company said those accusations were ludicrous, and Powell is now using their denial as proof that her accusations were too over-the-top to believe.

Even as Powell argues that her claims were too wild to be taken at face value, she’s also having to argue that they were based in actual fact. Dominion is suing for defamation, which requires them to prove that Powell acted with malice, making statements she believed to be false.

“In fact, she believed the allegations then and she believes them now,” her lawyers write in the document.

Basically, Powell seems to be trying to walk a very precarious tightrope, claiming her accusations against Dominion were rooted in fact, she just said them in a way that no one was supposed to believe.

Reasonable or not, a whole lot of people did take Powell’s accusations of a “stolen” election at face value, as evidenced by the hundreds of pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol building on January 6 in an attempt to stop the certification of electoral votes. We can’t know just how big of a role Powell played in convincing that mob that they were in the right, but it’s not insignificant.

(via CNN, BuzzFeed, image: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.