President Donald Trump’s political team officially disavowed the efforts of attorney Sidney Powell on Sunday evening, just days after Powell headlined a bizarre, rambling press conference where she alleged a massive election fraud conspiracy against the president.
“Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own. She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity,” declared Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis in a statement. The attempt to retroactively erase Powell from the president’s legal team was flatly contradicted by that team’s—and Trump’s—own statements over the past week.
Powell responded to the Trump campaign’s attempt to distance itself Sunday night with a statement that opened with “I understand today’s press release” and ended with “#KrakenOnSteroids”—a reference to a sea monster from the movie Clash of the Titans that has become a right-wing hashtag.
The Trump team’s disavowal came after Powell, Ellis, and Giuliani teamed up on Thursday to allege that a sprawling anti-Trump conspiracy theory involving a voting machine company and the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. After that press conference, Giuliani reaffirmed that Powell was speaking on behalf of the campaign.
“This is representative of our legal team,” Giuliani said at the event. “We’re representing President Trump and we’re representing the Trump campaign. When I finish, Sidney Powell and then Jenna Ellis will follow me.” Powell herself has been working out an office at the Trump campaign’s headquarters.
Ellis referred to Powell as a member of “the President’s national legal team” just last week. Trump himself said last week that Powell had been “added to our other wonderful lawyers and representatives.”
Some on Trump’s campaign have bristled at the wildly unsuccessful legal strategies pursued of late by Giuliani, Ellis, and Powell. Their efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election have largely been laughed out of court, even as they continue to promise that bombshell evidence will soon emerge and tilt the contest back in Trump’s favor.
Powell was finally thrown under the bus on Sunday after a federal judge in Pennsylvania dismissed the campaign’s efforts to throw out millions of legally cast votes. The decision, which took the campaign to task for its largely incoherent and poorly argued positions, dealt a body blow to Team Trump’s efforts to use the courts to overturn the results of the election.
Sunday evening’s statement also came after Powell targeted top Republican officials in Georgia, where the party is fighting two runoff battles that will determine control of the U.S. Senate, accusing the officials of corrupt complicity in a sprawling anti-Trump voter fraud scheme. In an interview on Sunday, Powell alleged that Brian Kemp, the state’s Republican governor, accepted bribes for his participation in the anti-Trump conspiracy.
Powell’s bizarre claims have drawn criticism even from reliable Trump supporters for her utter refusal to provide any substantive evidence. She lashed out at Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Friday over his requests that she produce such evidence. He was “very insulting, demanding, and rude,” she complained.
In the statement she issued to CBS News, Powell said she would continue to represent “#WeThePeople” and promised “we will be filing suit soon”—though she did not say who “we” was or whom the suit would be filed against.
“The chips will fall where they may,” she added.