Attorney Sidney Powell, acting independently of President Donald Trump’s legal team, has challenged the reported results of the 2020 election and argued that the president’s supposed defeat was due to technical fraud and irregularities involving Dominion Voting Systems machines in several states, particularly Georgia.
In response to a request from Powell for experts to inspect and review Dominion voting machines in three Georgia counties, a federal judge on Sunday ordered that Georgia officials be restrained from clearing or tampering with those machines until they were checked or the litigation was dismissed, The Daily Wire reported.
Powell’s lawsuit that was filed last week requested an independent forensic audit of the Dominion machines in Cherokee, Cobb and Gwinnett Counties. It named Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, four members of the state Board of Elections, and, later, election officials from the three counties in question, as defendants in the suit.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten, an appointee of President George W. Bush, issued a ruling Sunday night that barred the defendants from making any changes to the machines, and ordered the state to provide the court with a copy of the contract between the state of Georgia and Dominion.
He gave the defendants until Wednesday to file briefs arguing why there shouldn’t be an independent audit of the voting machines. Separately, Batten also issued an order allowing the defendants to immediately appeal his restraining order to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Restraining order issued
In his initial ruling, Batten referenced a secret hearing via a Zoom conference call with the plaintiffs and defendants. He noted that, in response to Powell’s request for an independent audit, the defendants had countered that the state had no jurisdiction over the county-owned machines. This prompted Batten to allow Powell to add the county officials as defendants, as well as claim that the requested audit could potentially cause “substantial security and proprietary/trade secret risks.”
However, Powell countered that argument by agreeing to let the defendants’ own experts be present during the recorded review and for any information discovered to be presented solely to the court in a private hearing.
In consideration of this, Judge Batten ruled, “Defendants are hereby ENJOINED and RESTRAINED from altering, destroying, or erasing, or allowing the alteration, destruction, or erasure of, any software or data on any Dominion voting machine in Cobb, Gwinnett, and Cherokee Counties,” in addition to an order for the defendants to “promptly” hand over a copy of the state’s contract with Dominion.
Election fraud conspiracy
Powell’s lawsuit alleged that Dominion’s “foreign ties allowed hostile governments to meddle in the U.S. election via a conspiracy that involved both Democratic and Republican U.S. officials,” Politico reported.
She has further alleged that election officials tampered with and altered votes on Dominion machines after polls had closed to fraudulently change the recorded vote totals negatively for Trump and in favor of Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Politico noted that Batten’s late-night order had followed some confusion earlier on Sunday when it had first appeared that the judge had issued the restraining order statewide only to then pull it back due to the question of whether the state or counties had jurisdiction over the machines.
Time will tell whether this order from Batten is appealed and reversed or upheld by the circuit court and whether Powell ultimately gets her requested review. Only after this will we find out whether anything is discovered and revealed by the independent audit of the Dominion voting machines.