September 24, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) led a letter with Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) and Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (D-TX) urging the State Bar of Texas to find a swift resolution to its inquiry into President Trump's lawyer Sidney Powell in light of recent reports that she was potentially aware that she was making false statements about 2020 election fraud. 

In the letter, the Members write:

Dear Chief Disciplinary Counsel,

This letter serves as a grievance of attorney misconduct against Sidney Powell, no. 16209700, and a request that you act swiftly in conducting investigations into her repeated and potentially deliberate violations of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. Ms. Powell allegedly made numerous false statements to various courts related to her frivolous attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

We are appalled by the actions of Ms. Powell in which she made multiple false or misleading statements to the judiciary and pursued lawsuits that sought to use the courts as a means to subvert the Constitution. In our collective experience and opinion, her actions surrounding the 2020 election render her wholly unfit to practice law and she is no longer deserving of a Texas Bar license.

Recent reports indicate that the outlandish claims made by Ms. Powell detailing a vast conspiracy between Dominion Voting Systems, Smartmatic, Venezuela, and George Soros were false, and the falsity of these claims were known to the campaign of then-candidate Donald Trump. In court documents filed by former Dominion employees, Trump’s campaign had prepared an internal memo immediately after the election that summarily debunked these conspiracies and demonstrated their baseless nature. Nonetheless, Ms. Powell proceeded to parade these debunked claims to the public and media in numerous press conferences for months to come. Even worse, Ms. Powellfiled multiple lawsuits in courts across the country misrepresenting to the judiciary the veracity of her claims.

Notably, Ms. Powell was acting as an “active supervisor” of the Trump campaign when the memo was prepared, according to the former president’s attorney Rudy Giuliani. We find it unlikely that Ms. Powell enjoyed this high-ranking position in the campaign without being presented with the evidence and analysis of claims she would later use a basis for multiple frivolous lawsuits. For this reason, we are heartened by reports that disciplinary investigations against Ms. Powell have been opened. We urge you to consider this new evidence of her misrepresentations and, because Ms. Powell currently retains the ability to practice law, move swiftly in your review.

As you know, Texas attorneys are bound by the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct upon being admitted to the state to practice law. The conduct detailed above raises the question of whether Ms. Powell violated several Rules of Professional Conduct, including (but not limited to):

  • Rule 3.01, specifying “[a] lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless the lawyer reasonably believes that there is a basis for doing so that is not frivolous;”
  • Rule 3.03(a)(1), specifying “[a] lawyer shall not knowingly…make a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal;”
  • Rule 3.03(a)(5), specifying “[a] lawyer shall not knowingly…offer or use evidence that the lawyer knows to be false;”
  • Rule 4.01(a), specifying “[in] the course of representing a client a lawyer shall not knowingly…make a false statement of material fact or law to a third person;”
  • Rule 8.04(a)(2), specifying “[a] lawyer shall not…engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation[.]”

Sadly, this letter is not the first instance in which Ms. Powell’s professional improprieties have been raised. In August, U.S. District Judge Linda V. Parker of the Eastern District of Michigan imposed Rule 11 sanctions on Ms. Powell, ordered her to pay fees and costs to defendants, and required her to complete 12 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) in a case seeking to overturn the presidential election. In a scathing opinion, Judge Parker noted the egregious nature of Ms. Powell’s misrepresentations, stating:

the conduct of [Ms. Powell], which also constituted violations of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct…calls into question [her] fitness to practice law. This warrants a referral for investigation and possible suspension or disbarment to the appropriate disciplinary authority for every state bar and federal court in which each attorney is admitted[.]

The facts and reporting above demonstrate Ms. Powell’s failure to abide by the Rules of Professional Conduct. We urge a swift resolution to the disciplinary investigations into Ms. Powell’s conduct and her fitness to practice law in the state of Texas. Each day that passes without an investigation undermines the public’s confidence in the legal profession as a force for good and further disgraces the bar.