Long after the last tentacle of her “Kraken” election suits got chewed up and spit out in court, MAGA attorney Sidney Powell is back in the news — although perhaps not in the way she intended.
As reported by Courthouse News, her motion to dismiss the disciplinary action filed by the State Bar of Texas was denied yesterday by Collin County District Judge Andrea Bouressa. In response to ten complaints about Powell’s conduct, the Texas Bar filed a disciplinary petition alleging that Powell had “no reason” to believe that her Kraken lawsuits were “not frivolous,” that she “took positions which unreasonably increased the costs or burdens of the cases and unreasonably delayed the resolution of the matters,” and that she submitted doctored evidence in Georgia by cropping a certificate from the Secretary of State to make it appear as if it was undated.
Powell’s attorney Bob Holmes argued that the complaints were “merely people walking down the street, [who] have nothing to do with the case. ”Perhaps the lawyer was unaware that the“ Whitmer ”in King v. WhitmerWhitmer, along with her co-defendant Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and her lawyer in that case, Michigan AG Dana Nessel, are three of the ten. complainants, and they did not meet Sidney Powell “walking down the street.”
Although Holmes appears to have worked that connection out later, making the truly bizarre argument that the disciplinary petition was “a political hitjob” because one of the Texas Bar’s attorneys is a Michigan native.
“Guess who the people in the case were from?” He hinted darkly. “Michigan!”
In the event, Judge Bouressa, a Republican, failed to be persuaded that the disciplinary action was a “hitjob” by the Blue mafia, setting the case for trial in October.
And the fun was just beginning for Powell, as the government is now probing the funding arrangement for several members of the Oath Keepers militia, whose legal fees in the January 6 prosecutions are being subsidized by her charity Defending the Republic.
In March, during the spectacular implosion and eventual disbarment of Proud Boy lawyer Jonathon Moseley, BuzzFeed and Mother Jones reported that Powell’s embattled charity was paying his fees. Moseley made some truly strange arguments, such as claiming that two requests by jail personnel that his clients And indeed Defending the Republic aggressively hypes vaccine conspiracies and represented service members in a suit against the Defense Department over the military’s vaccine mandate.
So perhaps it is unsurprising that prosecutors have questions about the independence of counsel paid for by Powell’s charity, particularly in light of the fact that these defendants are facing seditious conspiracy charges for their role in the Capitol Riot.
“The United States respectfully moves the Court to conduct an inquiry, in camera and / or ex parte if necessary, to assure itself that certain defense counsel are in compliance with DC Rule of Professional Conduct 1.8 (e) and that certain defendants themselves have provided informed consent, ”they wrote to US District Judge Amit Mehta yesterday. The issue is whether defendants Stewart Rhodes, Kelly Meggs, Connie Meggs, and Kenneth Harrelson, as well as anyone else with a lawyer being paid by DTR, has meaningfully consented to the strings which may be attached to Powell’s large sse.
The rule in question requires that the client give informed consent when there is third-party litigation funding and mandates that the attorney maintain confidentiality and “independence of professional judgment.” The government argues that it has an affirmative duty to ensure that defendants understand what they ‘re getting in a third-party funding arrangement, not least because it may prevent later claims of ineffective counsel.
Anyway, we’re sure this all a big misunderstanding. Sidney Powell is highly respected practitioner who would never shoot first and ask questions later.
Texas judge refuses to dismiss disciplinary case against former Trump attorney [Courthouse News]
Elizabeth Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.