‘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.’
So said attorneys for Republican lawyer Sidney Powell as they sought dismissal of a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Powell by the election equipment company Dominion Voting Systems.
Dominion Voting Systems says Powell was a central part of the misinformation campaign surrounding the 2020 presidential election as she repeatedly called the election’s results into question in statements and TV appearances. Among other things, Powell claimed that the company’s voting machines rigged the election for Joe Biden, which gained no traction in court.
Powell’s court motion also says “all the allegedly defamatory statements attributed to Defendants were made as part of the normal process of litigating issues of momentous significance and immense public interest.”
Powell was described as a member of Donald Trump’s legal team on multiple occasions around the election, even appearing at several news conferences with Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. But the Trump campaign ultimately sought to distance itself from her, saying, “Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own” and “is not a member of the Trump legal team. She is also not a lawyer for the president in his personal capacity.”
Dominion Voting Systems’s $1.3 billion lawsuit was filed shortly after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The company said Powell’s claims helped lay the groundwork for the deadly attack. The company has also sued Giuliani and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, an outspoken Trump defender, over their claims regarding the company’s practices.