Trump 2020 Fraud Backer Sidney Powell’s Texas Ethics Case Tossed

(Bloomberg) — A Texas judge has tossed out a disciplinary case against attorney Sidney Powell, finding state bar regulators failed to present enough valid evidence to keep alive claims that she violated ethics rules by filing frivolous post-election lawsuits.

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Powell, a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump following the 2020 presidential election, leads a series of unsuccessful legal efforts to contest President Joe Biden’s wins in battleground states. She also promoted false conspiracy theories of widespread election fraud, including that voting machine software had flipped votes for Trump to Biden and had its origins in election-rigging efforts in Venezuela.

The Texas Commission for Lawyer Discipline filed a case against Powell last March in the state district court in Dallas County, accusing her of professional misconduct. Bar regulators won an earlier round, with Judge Andrea Bouressa denying Powell’s motion to dismiss the case last summer.

But in a four-page order entered on Wednesday, Bouressa, a Republican appointee of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, found that the commission failed to meet its burden on several claims it had lodged against Powell because of apparent issues with how it presented evidence and simply failed to respond to Powell’s challenges to others.

The judge identified “numerous defects” with the commission’s court filings, noting that exhibits were mislabeled or not cited in its briefs. She wrote that she “alerted the parties to the difficulty locating materials cited in the Commission’s brief, but the Commission responded that no corrective action was necessary.”

Bouressa wrote that because of these problems, she considered just two exhibits the commission had presented — copies of court documents from a post-election case that Powell filed in Georgia.

Bouressa agreed with Powell that the remaining evidence wasn’t enough for the commission to meet its burden in the case, and fully granted Powell’s motion for summary judgment. The commission could now appeal the ruling.

“The judge allowed the Bar full discovery, all the deposits it wanted; we produced over 55,000 pages of documents, emails, and a huge privilege log,” Powell wrote in a statement. “The judge applied well-settled law and held the Bar had no evidence as a matter of law that I committed any ethical violation.”

Claire Reynolds, a spokesperson for the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel, declined to comment.

The Texas bar commission has a separate disciplinary case related to the 2020 pending election against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Other Trump allies involved in post-election legal challenges are facing disciplinary action in other jurisdictions — Rudy Giuliani in Washington and New York; former senior Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark also in Washington, and conservative attorney John Eastman in California.

The case is Commission for Lawyer Discipline v. Sidney Powell, Dallas County District Court, DC-22-02562.

(Updated with Powell comment, details about court’s reasoning.)

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