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Sidney Powell’s ‘No Reasonable Person’ Election Lawsuit Admission Divides QAnon Believers

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Sidney Powell, one of former President Donald Trump’s chief operatives in his failed bid to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, is dividing her formerly devoted followers by disavowing one of their most popular conspiracy theories.

Former federal prosecutor Powell submitted a new court filing Monday suggesting “no reasonable person” would have believed her assertion that the election infrastructure company Dominion Voting Systems was involved in supposed electoral fraud in the November race, with the support of the socialist regime in Venezuela and Georgia officials.

Powell is facing a defamation lawsuit from Dominion, which says Powell knew her fraud accusations could damage the company.

In her new court filing, Powell’s attorneys said her Dominion claims were only her “opinion” on which the public could reach “their own conclusions.”

“Given the highly charged and political context of the statements, it is clear that Powell was describing the facts on which she based the lawsuits she filed in support of President Trump,” Powell’s defense lawyers wrote.

“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.”

Powell has become a hero among die-hard Trump supporters and QAnon conspiracy theorists for her continued agitation against the so-called “deep state” and supposedly stolen election. However, she has been banned by Twitter for sharing QAnon material.

Reports detailing the chaos of the post-election White House put Powell at the center of the group of extremists urging Trump to declare martial law and invalidate the election results.

But Powell’s supporters on Telegram and Gab—uncensored social media sites where the far-right has been coalescing—responded to the new filing with confusion and concern, some disavowing Powell and others defending her against assumed “deep state” pressure.

On “We The Media”—a far-right Telegram group with more than 202,000 subscribers which hosts a range of broadly anti-government, conspiracy theory content—users debated what Powell’s latest filing meant.

“This goes against everything she’s been saying,” wrote one user. “I have a real problem with this!” declared another. “This makes zero sense no matter how somebody tries to justify it,” one user said. “Why she would want to dismiss the only opportunity to show the world how they stole the election is beyond me!”

Another was more dismissive. “It’s almost like maybe she made it all up and lied to everyone,” they wrote.

Some commenters suggested Powell was under pressure from unidentified forces. “I bet she’s being severely threatened,” one said. On the Gab “Sidney Powell Support” group, one of the 2,500 members wrote: “The Deep state got to the Great Sidney Powell,” suggesting she may have even been kidnapped.

Pro-Trump conspiracy theorists have shown remarkable resilience in their beliefs despite the president’s defeated legal campaign and the failure of many outlandish predictions to come to pass.

Some users framed Powell’s filing as yet another play in her dance with the “deep state,” and urged fellow believers to stay the course. “Relax, she’s got this under control,” said one, with another writing: “She’s attempting to dismiss the bs lawsuit, it’s fine.”

Several dismissed the report simply as “fake” or a “nothing burger,” while others urged each other to “hold the line” and “keep praying.” Another confidently declared: “My guess is she’s baiting them into diving into this head first because they think she has nothing.”

A car with a flag endorsing the QAnon is pictured outside the Governor’s Mansion on November 14, 2020 in St Paul, Minnesota.
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

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