No reasonable person

Ah so that’s how they’re going to play it – the “nobody could be stupid enough to believe the lies we told” defense. Bold move.

A key member of the legal team that sought to steal the 2020 election for Donald Trump is defending herself against a billion-dollar defamation lawsuit by arguing that “no reasonable person” could have mistaken her wild claims about election fraud last November as statements of fact.

What were they statements of then? Not fact but…? Fill in the blank [______].

In a motion to dismiss a complaint by the large US-based voting machine company Dominion, lawyers for Sidney Powell argued that elaborate conspiracies she laid out on television and radio last November while simultaneously suing to overturn election results in four states constituted legally protected first amendment speech.

“No reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact,” argued lawyers for Powell, a former federal prosecutor from Texas who caught Trump’s attention through her involvement in the defense of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Ok, so they were not truly statements of fact, so they were lies. She’s telling us she tried to help Trump steal the election by telling lies about the voting machines.

But wait, the audience murmurs, they could be mistakes rather than lies. Mere honest mistakes; anyone can make a mistake; mistakes aren’t lies.

True enough, but, there are times and situations and contexts where people are expected to take very good care not to make mistakes of that kind, and indeed there are situations where people have no right to make mistakes of that kind. The situation in which Sidney Powell said these things that no reasonable person would consider true was very much that kind of situation – it’s hard to think of a situation that would be more so. She said the things in order to overturn an election. The stakes don’t get a whole lot higher than that.

Also, if no reasonable person would believe the claims, then Sidney Powell must have not believed them herself. She’s not claiming to be a not-reasonable person, I assume? Could be wrong, but that’s my guess, what with being a lawyer and all. If they’re beyond belief to reasonable people, then they were beyond belief to her, so they weren’t mistakes, they were lies. Lies in pursuit of stealing an election.

Powell falsely stated on television and in legal briefs that Dominion machines ran on technology that could switch votes away from Trump, technology she said had been invented in Venezuela to help steal elections for the late Hugo Chávez.

Knowing, we’re now told, that she was lying. How interesting.

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