Donald Trump's lawyer defends election fraud claims by arguing 'no reasonable person' would've believed them

A former lawyer for Donald Trump is trying to dismiss a billion-dollar lawsuit against her for promoting misinformation during the 2020 election by arguing no one with common sense would have believed her.

Attorney Sidney Powell was part of former US President Trump's legal team, which pushed baseless claims that the 2020 US election was stolen.

In numerous TV and public appearances, Powell spread conspiracy theories that election infrastructure companies, including Dominion Voting Systems, bribed officials, rigged voting systems and fixed elections for former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 19: Sidney Powell, attorney for President Donald Trump, conducts a news conference at the Republican National Committee on lawsuits regarding the outcome of the 2020 presidential election on Thursday, November 19, 2020. Trump attorney Rudolph Giuliani, left, also attended. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty

Powell is now facing a US$1.3 billion (NZ$1.8 billion) defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems, CNN reported.

But in a court filing released on Monday, Powell's lawyers defended the allegations, saying that "no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact".

Trump's lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Guiliani.
Trump's lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Guiliani. Photo credit: Getty

"Given the highly charged and political context of the statements, it is clear that Powell was describing the facts on which she based the lawsuits she filed in support of President Trump," they wrote.

"Indeed, Plaintiffs themselves characterize the statements at issue as 'wild accusations' and 'outlandish claims'. They are repeatedly labelled 'inherently improbable' and even 'impossible'.

"Such characterizations of the allegedly defamatory statements further support Defendants' position that reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact but view them only as claims that await testing by the courts through the adversary process."

The key focus of the lawsuit is a new conference conducted at the Republican National Committee headquarters in November, NBC reported.

Her lawyers are arguing that Powell's public statements were opinion-based, not fact-based.

"She believed the allegations then and she believes them now," the filing said.

After the election, Trump's legal team distanced themselves from Powell, saying that she "is practising law on her own" and "is not a member of the Trump Legal Team".

But the New York Times reported Trump then met with Powell at the White House in December and discussed naming her a special counsel to investigate the election.