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Mar 30, 2023
Texas Bar Seeks to Revive Trump Ally Sidney Powell’s Ethics Case
(Bloomberg) -- Texas state bar regulators are pushing to revive their disciplinary case against conservative attorney Sidney Powell after a judge tossed it out due to “numerous defects” in court documents.
The Texas Commission for Lawyer Discipline urged Judge Andrea Bouressa in a filing to reconsider her February decision to dismiss the case against Powell. The commission argued that errors in how its attorneys had attached evidence as exhibits weren’t grounds to end the fight.
Powell spearheaded a series of failed lawsuits across the country to try to reverse President Joe Biden’s wins in battleground states following the 2020 election. An ally of former President Donald Trump at the time, she promoted false conspiracy theories about widespread election fraud. The Texas commission filed a complaint last year accusing her of professional misconduct.
Bouressa entered a judgment in Powell’s favor last month, concluding that problems with how the commission had presented its evidence meant that she couldn’t consider those materials. Absent that evidence, Bouressa agreed with Powell that the commission couldn’t meet its burden of proof to keep the case alive.
In a March 24 filing, commission lawyers acknowledged “inadvertent” mistakes in labeling exhibits that could have caused “confusion,” but disagreed that the judge had given them enough notice about the extent of the problem. Regardless of the mislabeling, the commission argued the judge had access to all of the exhibits referenced in its briefs, making the evidence “proper” for her to consider.
“There exists ample evidence from which to conclude that respondent may have engaged in conduct that, at minimum, involved dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation,” the commission wrote.
The commission also argued that Powell wrongly claimed the judge couldn’t rely on exhibits that attached court documents from the post-election litigation at the heart of the misconduct allegations. Since Powell was accused of violating attorney ethics rules by making misrepresentations in court, that was relevant evidence, the attorneys wrote.
If Bouressa agrees to reconsider her February order, the commission asked her to push back the timeline for the next phase of the litigation, accusing Powell of failing to meet deadlines for turning over documents.
Powell didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The case is Commission for Lawyer Discipline v. Sidney Powell, Dallas County District Court, DC-22-02562.
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