As promised, Sidney Powell released the Kraken — two of them, actually, although the two are essentially twins. Powell made her election-fraud lawsuits against Georgia and Michigan available through her website, although only the document of the Michigan suit has the markings of a court filing. Whatever criticisms may follow, at least these have the virtue of making the case in court rather than in press conferences, which means we can finally peruse the real arguments rather than just wild claims for public-relations purposes.
Let’s take a look at those claims. The Dominion balloting system is front and center in both claims, which we’ll look at in the Michigan suit (documents via Jeff Dunetz):
4. The fraud begins with the election software and hardware from Dominion Voting Systems Corporation (“Dominion”) used by the MichiganBoard of State Canvassers. The Dominion systems derive from the software designed by Smartmatic Corporation, which became Sequoia in the United States.
5. Smartmatic and Dominion were founded by foreign oligarchs and dictators to ensure computerized ballot-stuffing and vote manipulation to whatever level was needed to make certain Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez never lost another election.See Exh. 1, Redacted Declaration of Dominion Venezuela Whistleblower (“Dominion Whistleblower Report”). Notably, Chavez “won” every election thereafter.
Powell’s whistleblower alleges that he was a “direct witness” to the Smartmatic software creation and operation in Venezuela. In the first place, one has to wonder whether Chavez really needed to build such a system at all to steal elections once he was in office. Why not just change all the records by putting your own people in charge of them? And even if this were the origin of Smartmatic in 2006, the Department of Homeland Security — under one Donald J. Trump — never found any such issue in 2020 with Dominion whether or not their system still uses that original Smartmatic software, nor did the state of Georgia or any other state using that system. [See update below.]
Not to mention that the hand recount would have resolved this issue in Georgia. Don’t forget that the Dominion system produces a paper record of the votes cast on screen by the voter, who then visually checks the paper ballot and submits that to the precinct. Those paper records are what got recounted by hand last week in Georgia. In order for this theory to be true, hundreds of thousands of voters in Georgia and Michigan would have had to looked at an incorrect ballot and never raise an objection to the vote switch. Did any such objections emerge on Election Day? No one has produced a single instance, let alone the flood of complaints that should have occurred under this theory.
Next, we get “Expert Witness Testimony Regarding Voting Fraud”:
In addition to the above fact witnesses, this Complaint presents expert witness testimony demonstrating that several hundred thousand illegal, ineligible, duplicate or purely fictitious votes must be thrown out, in particular: (1) a report from Russel Ramsland, Jr. showing the “physical impossibility” of nearly 385,000 votes injected by four precincts/township on November 4, 2020, that resulted in the counting of nearly 290,000 more ballots processed than available capacity (which is based on statistical analysis that is independent of his analysis of Dominion’s flaws); (2) a report from Dr. William Briggs, showing that there were approximately 60,000 absentee ballots listed as “unreturned” by voters that either never requested them, or that requested and returned their ballots; and (3) a report from Dr. Eric Quinell analyzing the anomalous turnout figures in Wayne and Oakland Counties showing that Biden gained nearly 100% and frequently more than 100% of all “new” voters in certain townships/precincts over 2016, and thus indicated that nearly 87,000 anomalous and likely fraudulent votes from these precincts.
These are all data analyses, not evidence, and at least one of these is already suspect. Russel Ramsland is the man behind the infamous Lin Wood affidavit that claimed to have found massive anomalies in nearly two dozen Michigan cities. Unfortunately, it turned out that the Texan didn’t know Michigan from Minnesota, as John Hinderaker discovered when he tried to run down the numbers:
Here’s the problem: the townships and precincts listed in paragraphs 11 and 17 of the affidavit are not in Michigan. They are in Minnesota. Monticello, Albertville, Lake Lillian, Houston, Brownsville, Runeberg, Wolf Lake, Height of Land, Detroit Lakes, Frazee, Kandiyohi–these are all towns in Minnesota. I haven’t checked them all, but I checked a lot of them, and all locations listed in paragraphs 11 and 17 that I looked up are in Minnesota, with no corresponding township in Michigan. This would have been obvious to someone from this state, but Mr. Ramsland is a Texan and the lawyers are probably not natives of either Minnesota or Michigan.
Evidently a researcher, either Mr. Ramsland or someone working for him, was working with a database and confused “MI” for Minnesota with “MI” for Michigan. (The postal code for Minnesota is MN, while Michigan is MI, so one can see how this might happen.) So the affidavit, which addresses “anomalies and red flags” in Michigan, is based largely, and mistakenly, on data from Minnesota.
This is a catastrophic error, the kind of thing that causes a legal position to crash and burn.
Powell cites Ramsland’s analysis twenty-one times in her Michigan suit. In case you’re wondering, Ramsland also makes four appearances in the Georgia lawsuit published by Powell last night. None of these claims is evidence either; Powell uses data analytics to make a claim that something is wrong, but her experts don’t identify any specific ballot or process as invalid or corrupt. The heavy reliance on the easily debunked Ramsland affidavit even two weeks after its errors were exposed speaks to the lack of a real argument for Powell.
There are also less substantive but nonetheless unprofessional errors, too. Powell neglected to run her Georgia complaint through a spell checker, which was immediately obvious at the very top of her filing:
Both of the cases filed by Powell were riddled with typographical issues.
The case in Michigan had a number of formatting problems that removed spacing between words, Bloomberg reports. In the Georgia suit, the word district was misspelled twice on the first page of the document. There was an extra c for “DISTRICCT,” and then it was spelled “DISTRCOICT.”
And some of those errors are more substantive than others:
Just in: Cobb County GOP chair Jason Shepherd, one of seven plaintiffs on Sidney Powell’s lawsuit targeting Georgia’s election, tells me he never agreed to be a part of her complaint. “Guess this is what happens when you wait until the last minute.” #gapol pic.twitter.com/2TmhVJ5ylK
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) November 26, 2020
That very well could be a fatal error if Shepherd and his team demand to be withdrawn from the complaint. And the lawsuits seem to be missing one important component if Powell intends to actually get the relief she claims to seek — a reversal of the certification of electors:
Seriously, did they file an actual motion for an emergency temporary restraining order yet? Otherwise, this lawsuit would take weeks to begin under the existing rules. https://t.co/l0KSj8cZC2
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) November 26, 2020
These are serious problems with filings that Powell has been promising for a week. At least at first blush, this appears to have been rushed out at the last minute yesterday without much review. That makes it look like a PR stunt more than a serious attempt to litigate real issues in the election.
However, give Powell credit for finally choosing a proper venue to argue these claims. By putting these claims in a lawsuit and submitting them to federal court, we will all get a chance to see whether Powell and her plaintiffs have any actual evidence of the massive fraud they and Donald Trump keep claiming took place in this election. That’s worth taking seriously, at least until we see that evidence and what it actually supports.
Addendum: In reading through these complaints, one question should be asked. If Powell actually has evidence that can be submitted in court to support these allegations, why did Giuliani and Ellis distance the Trump campaign from Powell? The clear implication is that she doesn’t, but we’ll see in the days ahead.
Update: FactCheck.org points out that the Dominion theory has already been rebutted by both Dominion and Smartmatic, and that Smartmatic didn’t start in Venezuela in the first place:
On Nov. 19 Powell claimed on Dobbs’ Fox Business show, “The fact is, the Dominion machines run the Softmatic software.” That’s false. Regardless of the facts, Dobbs’ show shared a clip of that interview on its social media channels, which have garnered tens of thousands of views.
Both companies have issued statements denying that kind of agreement. Dominion said, “Dominion does not use Smartmatic software.” Smartmatic said, “Smartmatic has never provided Dominion Voting Systems with any software, hardware or other technology. The two companies are competitors in the marketplace.”
Separately, and more importantly, regardless of the type of software that might be used in any voting system, the agencies and organizations that oversee U.S. elections said in a joint statement, “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”
In 2010, Dominion acquired Sequoia, which had been a subsidiary of Smartmatic until 2007, when Smartmatic sold it off. Smartmatic also licensed Dominion’s technology in Canada in 2009, not the other way around. Both of these transactions took place a decade or more ago, which means whatever technology was exchanged has likely been made obsolete since.