Trump considered appointing conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell as DOJ ‘special counsel’ on voter fraud

Gino Spocchia
Sunday 20 December 2020 11:44 GMT
Michael Flynn says Trump should use military to 'rerun' election in swing states

Sidney Powell, the attorney who was cast aside by the president’s legal team, was considered by Donald Trump as a special counsel to investigate baseless allegations the election was rigged against him.

The president was reported to have made the suggestion about Ms Powell as special counsel as he spoke with advisers at the White House on Friday.

Two sources, who have remained anonymous, told the New York Times about the president’s proposals, although it was not clear whether he would move ahead with plans to appoint a special counsel.

According to law, the US attorney general, and not the president, must appoint special counsels.

However, attorney general William Barr has not supported Mr Trump’s assertions about the election.

Mr Barr and Republican senate leader Mitch McConell, and some other Republicans, have accepted that the president lost last month's contest, and have said so repeatedly.

The attorney general, who will step down in days, had angered Mr Trump when he said this month the election was not “stolen”, according to the US justice department.

But the Trump administration has continued to allege claims and conspiracy theories about the election, which have ranged between manipulated voter machines and counterfeit ballots, and continues to launch legal challenges in battleground states.

The president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was reported to have told Mr Trump to seize voter machines, although the Homeland Security nor Justice Departments would be able to do so, according to the New York Times.

Ms Powell, who Mr Trump suggested should be the special counsel to any related investigation, was also there at the meeting.

She wrote on Twitter on the same day that voter machines should be inspected, in similar remarks, and said: “Impound the machines for immediate forensic inspections. If there was no fraud, the #Left should welcome it! People who have nothing to hid, hide nothing”.

Another Trump aide at the meeting, pardoned ex-national security advisor Michael Flynn, was said to have also suggested martial law and using the military to re-run the election.

But the president’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and White House counsel Pat Cipollone were said to have voiced their opposition. It was not clear who else attended.

Mr Powell was cast aside by the president’s legal team last month, because she shared conspiracies related to a Venezuelan-backed plot to manipulate software and machines used in the US election, which were without basis.

Senior administration officials told Axios on Saturday they were concerned Mr Trump was spending too much time with those who supported conspiracy theories, and that he could abuse his powers. 

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