I'm sure most of you have listened to at least parts of Sidney Powell's interview from last night. I won't attempt to evaluate the details of the factual claims that she makes. I think we're beginning to see confirmation--from multiple independent researchers--of the types of computer driven fraud that she's been talking about. Time will bring out more.
Commenter aNanyMouse notes that no less a lawyer than Alan Dershowitz believes--provided the evidence is available--the Trump team will have a good chance of prevailing. There is a bit of a two edged sword involved here. A lot of people tend to pooh-pooh statistical evidence--but it is real and can be conclusive. The flip side is that in the real world of a courtroom that type of evidence is going to have to be more compelling than, say, witness testimony. It will need to be pretty black and white, not merely suggestive--even though the standard of proof in civil proceedings such as these is 'preponderance of the evidence,' not 'beyond a reasonable doubt.' And it also takes time to pull it all together, as Powell stresses in the interview. That said, what we're starting to see appears encouraging.
Now, I want to provide a partial transcript of the Powell interview. I've edited it some, but if it's in quotes ("") it's literal. For those who haven't listened, it's here: Sidney Powell: It will be BIBLICAL. These are points that I think are important for people to keep in mind as we go forward, because everyone is frustrated that we don't know everything NOW. I continue to be convinced that Powell would not be making allegations that are so very specific unless she had a very firm basis on which to make them.
The first section is an extended Q & A that starts with Powell alleging that Dominion added 35K votes to Democrat candidates. However, that leads into two important legal issues: the standard of proof required (to which I alluded above) and another that's on many people's minds--what's going on, or not, with the Department of Justice?
"The Democrats literally added 35,000 votes to every Democrat candidate to begin with." --> "We got it definitely all over one state and I would be willing to bet it happened everywhere."
Q: "When you lay all this out and present it in court, do you have what you think is irrefutable evidence that will make up the minds of millions of American people?"
A: "Well, the burden of proof in court [in a civil case] is only a preponderance of the evidence [i.e., theoretically, 51%]. It's not 'beyond a reasonable doubt.' That's the criminal standard. So, frankly, with everything we've got, these should be criminal prosecutions at a significant level. For fraud and conspiracy to defraud provable beyond a reasonable doubt."
In fairness to the interviewers--who are clearly not legally educated--it's fair to raise the issue of what amount of evidence will be sufficient to convince the American people: After all, while this election challenge is a lawsuit, it's also framed within a political context, and the lawsuit can't ultimately be successful unless the political battle for the minds of the American people is also won. That said, I believe the American people will be ready to accept 'preponderance of the evidence' in this case.
Reacting to RINO Senator Toomey's claim that Trump had exhausted all legal avenues in Pennsylvania, Powell first laughed at the absurdity of the statement [see SWC on the PA case], then she noted that Pennsylvania was one of the hotbeds of fraud that "frankly the Department of Justice should be in there prosecuting. And we're gonna dump" a whole lot of evidence "in the fraud case we're gonna file in Pennsylvania."
The interviewers quickly jumped on Powell's swipe at DoJ--which she has made frequently:
Q: "Why do you think the Justice Department ISN'T being more aggressive in following up on what you see?"
A: "I think the Justice Department has known about this issue for a long time and turned a blind eye to it."
I think we saw part of that problem of turning a blind eye when AG Bill Barr had to step in and summarily reassign the election fraud Branch Chief at DoJ.
A: "I wonder how much the CIA had a role in starting this sort of program to begin with. To use on other countries."
While this response may appear at first to be a non sequitur, I suspect the point that Powell is making is that DoJ turned a blind eye because they were afraid an investigation would expose the US's manipulation of foreign elections--a foreign policy issue. This would have begun in the Bush years but continued under Obama.
The interviewers return to the attack, expressing precisely the misconception that so many people labor under--that the President, or even Department heads, actually control the federal bureaucracy on a granular level:
Q: "Why would Donald Trump's Justice Department not be interested in this?"
A: "Well, you know, I wish Donald Trump had as much control over the Justice Department as people think he does. Uh, it's [DoJ] taken on a life of its own. I don't think even Bill Barr has as the control over the Justice Department that he would like to have. Because there are so many lawyers in so many different places doing whatever it is that they want to do, and ignoring the standards and practices that historically created the Justice Department to seek justice and not convictions. ... We've been on this increasingly bad path for decades now and it's done nothing but get worse because nobody's told the truth and stood up for the truth."
So, Powell sees where the question is leading and heads it off. She wants the listeners to understand that the problem is NOT one that arose overnight. It didn't even arise simply under Obama--although the Leftist orientation and relentless weeding out of conservative 'rule of law' types of lawyers was elevated to an aggressive policy level. After all, James Comey and Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissmann and Chris Wray, were all top DoJ lawyers in the Bush administrations (Mueller at FBI). Then, she specifically notes that Bill Barr is not to blame. Barr simply cannot micromanage every investigation. Moreover, local US Attorneys who control these investigations are themselves presidential appointeess confirmed by the US Senate--just as much as Bill Barr is. Nothing is simple in all this. Scapegoating Barr, as so many do, is simply ignorant and it accomplishes nothing. It's a mess. If Trump as President has found his efforts frequently thwarted, imagine how Barr has had to struggle--with much less power at his disposal. Powell gets this.
The closing topic is what to expect in the coming week. Important in this section, Powell addresses the misconception that an initial filing in a civil case will need to lay out all the evidence. At the same time she acknowledges that, since election cases are on an expedited schedule, she will also have to produce her evidence on an expedited schedule. That's why she states--although without emphasis--that her initial filing will contain far more evidence than a typical civil complaint would. She lectures the interviewers a bit on the nature of a complaint versus a motion for summary judgment, but slips in the phrase: "with the evidence that I want to put in." So, we may be getting a much better view of her evidence by the end of the week:
Q: "What's gonna happen this coming week? What do you expect to happen by Friday?"
A: "Personally, I don't expect to file anything by Monday. I'm hoping we can get it ready by Wednesday--if not, it should be ready by Friday. But it's a massive project to pull this fraud claim together with the evidence that I want to put in. Remember--this isn't a summary judgment motion where we actually have to produce any evidence now. Your typical lawsuit you just file a statement of what the charges are, without any affidavits or anything. The way the media is going about this is absolutely ridiculous and unreasonable to expect us to put evidence in right now, although we know election issues are on an expedited schedule. But I could wait a month to file a fraud case and everybody would have to undo their certifications because it's so bad."
Q: "Are you saying you're going to file the same case in multiple jurisdictions or in one jurisdiction?"
A: "Each one's a little bit different, depending on what happened in the state--the different manner and means and the different aspects that support each one. We've got different affidavits from different witnesses in each of the states. So there's gonna be some differences between them. But some of the legal claims are gonna be identical. For example, in some of the states there were modifications to the machines after the statutory cutoff date that should invalidate every vote made on the machine. There's no way Georgia can proceed to have an election using those machines for the runoff candidates. That's absolutely absurd."
She closes with a bit of a kicker:
"And there's no telling how many Congressional candidates should have won that lost by the addition of 35,000 votes per Democrat or the algorithm that they were running against anyone they wanted to target. I mean, you can do it candidate by candidate."
If she is able to make her case on behalf of client Trump, I can't imagine that the entire 2020 election wouldn't be turned inside out.
UPDATE: Whoa! It appears the REALLY major takeaway is that Giuliani has--in a very brief statement today--disavowed Powell. According to Giuliani, Powell is not on the team and is "practicing law on her own." This amount of disarray on Trump's legal team is not a good look.
What can I say? I have more confidence in Powell than in Rudy at this point.