Two weeks after the 2020 election results declared Donald J. Trump’s defeat, Sidney Powell, a lawyer, publicly supported the idea of keeping him as president. This occurred at a press event at the Republican National Committee’s base.
With Rudolph W. Giuliani, a trusted associate of Mr. Trump, by her side, Ms. Powell proposed an unlikely conspiracy theory. She claimed that Dominion, a company making voting machines, conspired with a leftist financier and Venezuelan intelligence to shift votes from Trump to Joe Biden.
These unverified claims became central to various lawsuits Powell initiated to contest Trump’s loss. Even though the Trump team later distanced itself from her, citing her claims as implausible, she soon re-entered Trump’s inner circle.
In a recent unexpected move, Ms. Powell admitted to meddling in the Georgia election. She also consented to be a witness against several co-defendants, including Trump.
This unexpected turn was a noteworthy triumph for Fani T. Willis, Fulton County’s District Attorney in Georgia, who initiated the election lawsuit. However, it held even more significance for Trump, marking the maiden instance where an intimate associate agreed to collaborate with officials regarding his power retention efforts.
What Ms. Powell would divulge about Trump in court is still unknown. Nonetheless, her testimony in Georgia could provide insights into Trump’s maneuvers to maintain his position, overriding the public’s choice.
When news about her agreement surfaced unexpectedly during a court proceeding in Atlanta, it led to speculation. Questions arose regarding her potential collaboration with federal authorities in Washington who had also sued Trump.
People connected to Trump hinted that relying on Ms. Powell as a witness might not be straightforward due to her penchant for making exaggerated claims.
Chris Christie, once a federal prosecutor now competing against Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, expressed, “A deal without jail time is offered only when someone has valuable testimony that can aid your case against the others.”
Until now, only lesser-known figures in Trump’s criminal cases had agreed to cooperate. For instance, Scott Hall, involved in the Georgia case with Trump, had already admitted his guilt and resolved to testify against a fellow accused.
Additionally, federal authorities had received support from Yuscil Taveras, an IT specialist linked to Trump. Taveras revealed attempts to pressure him into erasing vital surveillance footage related to the investigation.
For Trump, who prefers having control, the prospect of Powell testifying against him is unsettling. Nonetheless, sources indicated his prime concern remained the New York attorney general’s case, though he was disturbed by Powell’s actions.
Dominion had sued Powell for defamation before Biden’s inauguration, accusing her of leading a disinformation campaign that misled millions about the election results. Subsequently, she faced penalties from a Michigan judge for misusing the legal system with her suits against Dominion.