Texas appeals court sides with Sidney Powell, rejecting attorney discipline over her Trump election lawsuits

An appeals court in Texas ruled in favor of Sidney Powell last week, upholding a state court judge’s ruling that tossed out an attorney discipline petition against the lawyer for her involvement in former President Donald Trump’s election reversal efforts.

Powell stands out as a Trump-aligned attorney who has so far been able to defeat the professional misconduct allegations that have been brought against several others who assisted Trump in his schemes to overturn his 2020 electoral loss.

However, Powell did plead guilty in the criminal prosecution brought by the Fulton County district attorney for the election subversion plots in Georgia.

In the attorney ethics matter, a Texas appeals court said in its ruling this month that the Texas Bar’s Commission for Lawyer Discipline, which brought the petition against Powell, failed to show how she engaged in “dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation” in lawsuits she filed challenging Trump’s loss.

Powell is licensed in Texas, and the commission had asked the courts to find her in violation of the professional code for attorneys in the state.

“We are troubled by the Bar’s implicit suggestion that application of the ordinary meaning of the term dishonesty means the [disciplinary rule] encompasses imprecise pleadings and carelessly filed exhibits,” the appeals court said. “Regardless of whether the challenged conduct must be knowing, intentional, or otherwise, a question we need not resolve here, it is axiomatic that dishonesty involves some conscious perversion of truth.”

A spokesperson for the disciplinary commission declined to comment on the ruling and said the commission had yet to determine its next steps. The commission has the option of appealing the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

Bob Holmes, Powell’s attorney in the disciplinary matter, said in an email to CNN that “Simply put – The Trial Court followed the law, and the appellate court affirmed the Trial Court’s judgment!”

Powell has not been successful in her effort to contest sanctions that a federal court leveled against her and another pro-Trump attorney for filing frivolous lawsuits challenging the outcome of the 2020 election in Michigan. The US Supreme Court has repeatedly refused to review those sanctions.

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