Sidney Powell Handed Win After Judges Dismiss Disciplinary Effort by Texas State Bar

An appeals court issued a ruling on the matter Wednesday.

Sidney Powell, a lawyer who filed lawsuits after the 2020 election, got a win in Texas after an appeals court ruled that the Texas bar did not prove that she engaged in misconduct or fraud.

A panel of judges on the Fifth District of Texas Court of Appeals in Dallas ruled Wednesday that the state bar’s arguments lacked merit and evidence. They found that state bar prosecutors “employed a ’scattershot’ approach to the case” that had alleged Ms. Powell did not have a reasonable basis to file lawsuits that challenged the 2020 election’s outcome in battleground states.

“The Bar employed a ‘scattershot’ approach to the case, which left this court and the trial court ‘with the task of sorting through the argument to determine what issue ha[d] actually been raised,’” Justice Dennise Garcia wrote in the court’s ruling. “Having done so, the absence of competent summary judgment compels our conclusion that the Bar failed to meet its summary judgment burden.”

A separate court had sided with Ms. Powell in the case last year, finding “numerous defects” in the evidence presented by the State Bar of Texas Commission for Lawyer Discipline. The court also found that the bar couldn’t provide evidence that she filed frivolous lawsuits.

“Under these circumstances and on this record, we conclude the trial court did not err in granting Powell’s no-evidence motion for summary judgment,” the appeals court wrote.

The State Bar of Texas Commission for Lawyer Discipline has not yet issued a statement on the matter. A representative for the Texas State Bar told Reuters that the commission would meet to determine its next steps but declined to comment further.

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“The Dallas Court of Appeals has affirmed the Texas state court’s dismissal of the Texas Bar’s case against Powell. After three years of litigation, the Court of Appeals held the Bar had no evidence Powell violated any disciplinary rule in filing four federal lawsuits in the aftermath of the 2020 election,” she said in a statement this week after the court’s decision.

In court papers filed with the appeals court, Ms. Powell disputed the bar’s allegations that she provided altered evidence in her legal filings. She said the documents were provided by other attorneys involved in the case.

The court appeared to agree with her arguments. “Regardless of whether the challenged conduct must be knowing, intentional, or otherwise, a question we need not resolve here, it is axiomatic that dishonesty involves some conscious perversion of truth,” the judge wrote Wednesday.

Following the 2020 contest, Ms. Powell was among the most prominent attorneys to file lawsuits, alleging there was enough fraud in battleground states that swung it in favor of President Joe Biden. A federal judge in Detroit sanctioned Ms. Powell and other lawyers in 2021 over the lawsuits.

The 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals largely upheld those sanctions, and the U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to hear Ms. Powell’s appeal.

Ms. Powell in October 2023 pleaded guilty in Georgia and took a plea deal with Fulton County prosecutors after she was charged with illegally attempting to overturn the 2020 election results. President Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive 2024 presidential nominee, has also been charged in the case.

He and more than a dozen other co-defendants in the case have pleaded not guilty. President Trump has said the Fulton County case is an attempt to interfere with the 2024 election, describing the charges as baseless.

Under the terms of her plea deal, Ms. Powell had to write an apology. “I apologize for my actions in connection with the events in Coffee County,” she wrote in the letter, made public in December.

Fani Willis, the embattled Democrat district attorney of Fulton County who presented the charges to a grand jury, said that the apology letters needed to include “real contrition” but that they did not need to be long.

Jenna Ellis, another lawyer who was charged and took a plea deal in Fulton County, also wrote an apology letter. However, she read hers aloud in court while pleading guilty.

In response to Ms. Powell’s apology letter, President Trump wrote on social media last year that Ms. Powell never worked for him in an official capacity.

“Sidney Powell was one of millions and millions of people who thought, and in ever increasing numbers still think, correctly, that the 2020 Presidential Election was rigged & stolen,” he wrote on Truth Social. He added that Ms. Powell “was not my attorney and never was.” If she was, “she would have been conflicted,” the former president wrote at the time.

“Ms. Powell did a valiant job of representing a very unfairly treated and governmentally abused General Mike Flynn, but to no avail. His prosecution, despite the facts, was ruthless. He was an innocent man, much like many other innocent people who are being persecuted by this now Fascist government of ours, and I was honored to give him a Full Pardon,” he added.

Reuters and Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

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