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Who is Sidney Powell? The Lawyer Behind Wild Voting Conspiracy Theories

In an interview last week on the top-rated “Rush Limbaugh Show” — in which she spoke for nearly 20 minutes and faced no skepticism from the guest host, Mark Steyn — Ms. Powell claimed that the voting machines in question had been designed to rig elections for the former ruler of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, who died in 2013. They were “so hackable a 15-year-old could do it,” she said. And she cited unnamed “math experts” she had supposedly consulted who told her how an algorithm added votes for President Trump to Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s totals.

In an interview the day before on Fox Business, Ms. Powell also said the conspiracy involved “dead people” who voted “in massive numbers” — again offering no proof — and described how fraudulent paper ballots were also part of the scheme.

Speaking early last week to the right-wing radio host Mark Levin, who has the fourth-largest audience in talk radio, Ms. Powell said she had obtained an affidavit from someone purportedly present when the scheme was hatched by pro-Chávez forces in Venezuela to rig his elections.

Because of her involvement in the Flynn case, the pro-Trump media often presented her as an expert with unimpeachable credentials.

“Sidney Powell is no joke,” declared one Breitbart article published last week, which mentioned her early career as a federal prosecutor and her work for Mr. Flynn. Mr. Limbaugh, too, told his audience last week that he seriously doubts she would be putting her credibility on the line if she hadn’t uncovered serious wrongdoing.

Other Trump allies were less convinced that her claims should be taken seriously. Tucker Carlson of Fox News said last week that when he pressed Ms. Powell, she failed to produce any evidence to support the elaborate conspiracy she purported to have uncovered. His dissent was not appreciated by the president’s defenders, or by Ms. Powell, who said Mr. Carlson had been “very insulting, demanding and rude” to her.

Despite initial praise from the president, who announced less than two weeks ago that she had been added to his team of “wonderful lawyers,” it was never clear during her brief time with the campaign what her job was supposed to be. Her efforts on behalf of the Trump campaign appeared to be largely limited to public relations She has defended the president and attacked the integrity of the vote solely on Twitter, on television and at news conferences, acting more as a publicity agent than a lawyer.

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