The conspiracy theory-obsessed lawyer who claimed that Donald Trump was cheated out of the election by a Communist plot is cashing in with a fundraising vehicle that’s supposed to be for organizations like volunteer fire companies.
Sidney Powell, whose outlandish theory earned a rebuke from the President, has founded a ‘legal defense fund’ under the Internal Revenue Service category 501(c)(4).
The IRS says that 501(c)(4) should normally apply to ‘social welfare organizations’ and community groups like homeowners associations.
It can be used for lobbying activities but the deductions are not tax deductible like those for nonprofits.
The website for The Legal Defense fund says that ‘millions of dollars must be raised to defend the Republic as these lawsuits continue to be filed to ensure victory’ for Trump, even though he has now essentially admitted defeat to Joe Biden by allowing the transition to go ahead.
Powell surfaced Tuesday night on Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs show to claim she would file a ‘massive document’ in Georgia Wednesday.
She was described as a ‘member of President Trump’s legal team’ which she is explicitly not. During the day she tweeted a demand that Trump fire his current advisers and hold a rally in every disputed state.
Sidney Powell has founded a ‘legal defense fund’ to cash in on her new-found fame, DailyMail.com can reveal. She’s seen speaking next to former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, as members of President Donald Trump’s legal team, during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters, Thursday November 19, 2020
The website for the Legal Defense Fund appears to have been set up on November 11, a day after she appeared on the Lou Dobbs show on Fox. The IRS says that 501(c)(4) should normally apply to ‘social welfare organizations’ and community groups like homeowners associations
But DailyMail.com can also reveal that despite Powell’s staunch support for the President she was feted by the Hollywood elite after being the executive producer of a film about a geneticist who discovered the breast cancer gene.
In 2013 she walked the red carpet at the Seattle International Film festival for the movie Decoding Annie Parker, which starred Helen Hunt, Samantha Morton and Aaron Paul – and won a clutch of awards.
Powell was the executive producer of the 2013 film Decoding Annie Parking about a geneticist who discovered the breast cancer gene, starring Helen Hunt
Powell came to national attention last week with a press conference where she claimed that Venezuela, China, Cuba, George Soros, and the Dominion Voting systems were all involved in a plot to throw the election to Biden.
The claim was a step too far even for the Trump legal team which issued a statement saying that ‘Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own’ and not part of their efforts.
Powell’s claims come after she spent years cultivating Trump’s attention with regular appearances on Fox.
Her social media accounts are flooded with QAnon conspiracy theories and she had been on the President’s radar since representing his disgraced former national security adviser Mike Flynn.
Now Powell, a 65-year-old mother of one who practices law in Dallas but is from Raleigh, North Carolina, appears to be trying to monetize her infamy.
The website for the Legal Defense Fund appears to have been set up on November 11, a day after she appeared on the Lou Dobbs show on Fox.
Originally it stated that ‘$500,000 must be raised in the next 24 hours’ but it has since been updated to ask for ‘millions’ in donations to stop the certification of ballots in Arizona, Georgia and other states that Biden won. It is already too late – Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Georgia have all certified already and all litigation will be redundant by the ‘safe harbor’ deadline of December 8.
The mission of the organization is listed as: ‘To protect and defend the lawful votes of American citizens, ensure election integrity, educate the world on what it means to be a constitutional Republic, and pursue legal action to preserve the vision of our Founders and to maintain this great Republic’.
The website adds: ‘The future of our Republic is at stake. The left, the media, and a complicit Republican Establishment are attempting to steal this election through a staggering voter fraud operation. The time to fight is now’
Powell was the executive producer of the 2013 film Decoding Annie Parking about a geneticist who discovered the breast cancer gene, starring Helen Hunt. She’s seen at the Seattle International Film Festival Premiere of “Decoding Annie Parker” at Egyptian Theater on June 6, 2013 in Seattle, Washington, pictured with Steven Bernstein, Carolyn Rodney and Annie Parker
In a jarring contrast to her later embrace of conspiracy theories, Powell promoted the film and its liberal-friendly theme on her social media accounts
The website has a form for credit card payments and suggests that rather than writing checks to The Legal Defense Fund people should make them payable to ‘Sidney Powell’.
The address that is given is a UPS store in West Palm Beach, Florida, which appears to be a PO Box.
According to IRS guidelines a 501(c)(4) normally applies to ‘civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare’.
Examples include a ‘community association that works to improve public service’ by publishing a free community newspaper.
Neighborhood watch patrols could be another option as would an organization that arranges an ‘annual festival of regional customs and traditions’.
The IRS test for a 501(c)(4) organization is that it must be ‘primarily engaged’ in social welfare issues but the language is loose enough to allow organizations like The Legal Defense Fund to operate.
DailyMail.com previously revealed that Powell began her legal career by attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, served as a U.S. attorney in Texas, and represented executives at fallen energy giant Enron.
It was her representation of Flynn, who pleaded guilty in a plea deal with the Mueller inquiry to lying to the FBI, which propelled her on to the MAGA stage.
It also appears to be the origin of her use of the nickname or slogan The Kraken. She has alternately been The Kraken, or been said to have unleashed The Kraken in the Flynn case – although her attempts to maneuver him out of the guilty plea are currently in limbo.
Powell, an attorney for Michael Flynn (right), is a known QAnon conspiracy theorist. It was her representation of Flynn, who pleaded guilty in a plea deal with the Mueller inquiry to lying to the FBI, which propelled her on to the MAGA stage
The Trump campaign issued a statement saying that Sidney Powell is not associated with them on November 22, 2020
Among Powell’s other achievements was being executive producer on Decoding Annie Parker.
After seeing the film Powell reportedly held fundraisers for the film across the US and abroad and helped to raise $1m for breast cancer charities.
Among the other members of the cast – some of whom have spoken out against Trump – were Rashida Jones and Maggie Grace.
In a jarring contrast to her later embrace of conspiracy theories, Powell promoted the film and its liberal-friendly theme on her social media accounts.
In a June 2013 Tweet Powell wrote: ‘DECODING ANNIE PARKER STARS #HELLEN (sic) #HUNT, #SAMANTHA #MORTON, #AARON #MAGGIE #GRACE. FABULOUS CAST!’
The movie went on to win acclaim and director Steven Bernstein was awarded The Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the 2013 Hamptons International Film Festival.
At the 2014 Milan International Film Festival Bernstein was nominated as best director and Morton was nominated as best actress for her portrayal of Annie Parker.
Meanwhile Hunt won best supporting actress for her portrayal of Dr. Mary-Claire King and Paul won best supporting actor.
DailyMail.com left messages for Powell at her law offices but she did not respond.