Speed Reads

Elite Strike Force Team

Lawyer Sidney Powell was evidently 'too conspiratorial' and 'too crazy even for the president'

Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's top election lawyer, said at a wild press conference Thursday that he, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis were "an elite strike force team" that's "representing President Trump and we're representing the Trump campaign." On Saturday night, a conservative federal judge in Pennsylvania eviscerated and dismissed Giuliani's lawsuit to flip the state, then Trump ally Chris Christie called Trump's legal team "a national embarrassment" on Sunday, and by Sunday evening, Giuliani and Ellis said Powell was not a member of Trump's legal team.

Most Trump campaign and administration staff have steered clear of Giuliani's legal effort, suggesting he was feeding Trump hope so he could earn a reported fee of $20,000 a day, and few seemed sad to see Powell — and hopefully her untethered conspiracy theory about a global "communist" plot to steal the election from Trump — disavowed.

Powell "was too crazy even for the president," a campaign official told The Washington Post. A Trump adviser echoed that to The New York Times, telling reporter Maggie Haberman "she was too conspiratorial even for him," even though Giuliani has been making similar claims. "One down, two to go," a Trump aide told Haberman, who added that Trump was displeased with the loss in Pennsylvania and "Powell was easiest to vote off the island."

Trump "disliked the coverage Powell was receiving from Tucker Carlson and others," the Post reports, citing two Trump advisers, and "several allies had reached out to say she had gone too far" with her conspiracy theories. On Saturday night, Powell went on Newsmax and accused Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) of taking payoffs to deprive not only Trump of victory in Georgia, but also Rep. Doug Collins (R), who was defeated in his bid for a Senate runoff slot by GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

Powell, who amplified QAnon conspiracies while representing former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, told CBS News she understood Giuliani's statement and would file her own voter fraud lawsuits separately. Flynn tweeted a similar statement, adding that Powell had been suspended from Twitter for 12 hours.