Attorney Sidney Powell, who failed in a boisterous and multi-jurisdiction attempt to litigate the 2020 U.S. presidential election, filed a series of documents late Friday to attest that she had complied with a judicial decree to take additional continuing legal education (CLE) classes. The classes, per a judge’s order, were a form of remediation and rehabilitation for Powell and others who decided to attach themselves to the high-profile and politically contentious legal efforts to rubbish Joe Biden’s victory.
Among the materials Powell says she reviewed to help comply with the order were what she described as a “Detailed Vote Rigging Demonstration” on YouTube and a “documentary” called “Hacking Democracy.”
One of the links Powell provided to the court, she noted, was for a video that was “inexplicably removed” from the website where she apparently found it, but she also provided a backup link to attest that the material was, indeed, still available elsewhere online.
Powell began the compliance filing by extolling her virtues as an attorney through these several biographical paragraphs:
I have practiced law for 43 years in the highest tradition of the bar. For more than twenty years, I have taught federal practice and advocacy — trial and appellate — for the United States Department of Justice Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, the Federal Bar Association, the Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit, the Texas Bar, the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, and at many other professional programs across the country. I have taught alongside federal judges from across the country.
I have been lead counsel in more than 500 federal appeals resulting in more than 180 published decisions — 350 of those cases on behalf of the United States. My overall success rate/win rate on appeal exceeds approximately 90%. I have served as President of the Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit and of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. I am a member in good standing of multiple bars including the United States Supreme Court, multiple federal circuit courts of appeals, and the Texas bar. My CLE requirements were current before I took the courses to ensure compliance with this Court’s order.
But she then said “[i]t was difficult to find courses that might comply with this Court’s order on election law.”
Indeed, the judge who ordered Powell and others to take the CLE courses required a certain minimum six-hour threshold of educational “election law” material. Powell said the material the judge required was not easy to spot among the vast landscape of the usual CLE offerings available to lawyers.
“Ironically, it seems that all the available election law courses occurred before the 2020 presidential election,” Powell wrote.
“To augment the dearth of CLE courses that deal with election issues,” Powell wrote, “I also reviewed the following materials.”
In the Friday filing, Powell explained what she says she learned from some of those materials:
In particular ‘Kill Chain’ includes interviews with former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, United States Senators Amy Klobucher, Ron Wyden, and James Lankford. “Killchain” was released in spring 2019. Dr. [J. Alex] Halderman is a recognized expert in voting machines and describes how easy it is to hack an election, including changing the results of a presidential election. “Hacking Democracy” features machine and cyber expert Harri Hursti, who has long been concerned about the ease of hacking our election machines.
Naturally, Powell didn’t just listen to videos about election “hacking” and “vote rigging.”
“I completed the following courses, the details of which are attached as an exhibit to this affidavit, in my good faith effort to meet the requirements of this Court’s order,” Powell continued.
What followed in the compliance affidavit are hearty assurances that Powell partook of 2022 CLE courses titled “Bill of Rights 2021: Litigating the Constitution” (6.75 credit hours), “Vote by Mail, Early Voting and Digitized Election Administration” (2 credit hours), “The New Wave of Cyber Attack Techniques are Here” (1 credit hour), “Federal Court Practice 2021” (6.25 credit hours), and “The High Cost of Poor Legal Writing” (1 credit hour), Powell’s filing indicated.
“For the reasons stated in our brief and in our motion for stay to the Sixth Circuit, the court’s order should be reversed in its entirety,” Powell wrote while referencing her appellate attempts to rubbish the district court’s rubbishing of her efforts viz. the election. “I have complied with this Court’s order out of my lifelong respect for the Courts of the United States of America.”
The CLE credits taken by the attorneys were part of a sprawling sanctions order by U.S. District Court Judge Linda V. Parker.
Judge Parker, among other things, “ordered” the aforementioned attorneys (and several others) “to complete at least twelve (12) hours of continuing legal education in the subjects of pleading standards (at least six hours total) and election law (at least six hours total) within six months of the decision,” according to an earlier filing in the case.
“[G]iven the deficiencies in the pleadings, which claim violations of Michigan election law without a thorough understanding of what the law requires, and the number of failed election-challenge lawsuits that Plaintiffs’ attorneys have filed, the Court concludes that the sanctions imposed should include mandatory continuing legal education in the subjects of pleading standards and election law,” Judge Parker wrote on Aug. 25, 2021.
A flurry of filings late this week were provided as evidence that the plaintiffs’ attorneys complied with that order from Judge Parker.
The overall litigation strategy launched by Powell and several other attorneys surrounding the 2020 election was called the “Kraken.” The attorneys lifted the name from a huge, strong, mythical, and multi-tentacled creature referenced in Norwegian folklore; the monster has over the years been popularized in some books and movies.
Read Powell’s compliance affidavit below in its entirety — along with several concomitant attachments and exhibits.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]