Trump Campaign Sidelines Sidney Powell From Legal Team

US-POLITICS-REPUBLICAN

President Donald Trump's campaign appeared to distance itself from Sidney Powell, a controversial attorney who's been serving prominently on the legal team while Trump tries to steal the 2020 election through baseless allegations of voter fraud.

The unexpected pivot came on Sunday in a short statement from the campaign disavowing its association with Powell, who also represents former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. The campaign's statement did not directly say whether Powell was fired, nor did it provide context for the sidelining.

"Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own," Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and campaign legal advisor Jenna Ellis said in the statement. "She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity."

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to HuffPost's request for clarification on if it has officially fired Powell, though the president, Giuliani and Ellis had previously identified her as being on the legal team.

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Donald Trump in the days since his election loss
President Donald Trump is tossed a golf ball as he golfs at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
President Donald Trump, second from the left, plays golf at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Surrounded by Army cadets, President Donald Trump watches the first half of the 121st Army-Navy Football Game in Michie Stadium at the United States Military Academy, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
El presidente Donald Trump camina por el jardín sur de la Casa Blanca, el 12 de diciembre de 2020. (AP Foto/Patrick Semansky, File)
President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at in Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, to travel to Michie Stadium at the United States Military Academy to attend the 121st Army-Navy Football Game at West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump speaks during an "Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit" on the White House complex, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
El presidente Donald Trump escucha la pregunta de un reportero durante la ceremonia de entrega de la Medalla Presidencial de la Libertad, el máximo honor civil, al exentrenador de lucha y campeón olímpico Dan Gable, en la Oficina Oval de la Casa Blanca, el lunes 7 de diciembre de 2020, en Washington. (AP Foto/Patrick Semansky)
President Donald Trump prepares to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, to Olympic gold medalist and former University of Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally for Senate Republican candidates, Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., at Valdosta Regional Airport, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in Valdosta, Ga. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a news conference in the briefing room at the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump leaves after speaking at the White House, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a news conference in the briefing room at the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 20: President Donald J. Trump departs after delivering remarks on delivering lower prescription drug prices for all Americans in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on Friday, Nov 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 20: President Donald Trump stands by after speaking to reporters about prescription drug prices in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on Friday, Nov 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 20: U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to speak to the press in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on November 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald Trump held his first press conference in over a week to make an announcement on prescription drug prices as he continues to challenge the results of the 2020 Presidential election. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump watches from the motorcade as he returns to the White House in Washington, DC, after playing golf on November 7, 2020. - Joyous celebrations erupted in Washington on Saturday after Joe Biden was declared winner of the US presidency, as several people poured into the streets of the US capital -- some of them chanting, cheering and singing in front of the White House. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
President Donald Trump plays a round of Golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling Va., Sunday Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
President Donald Trump plays a round of Golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling Va., Sunday Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
President Donald Trump gives two thumbs up to supporters as he departs after playing golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling Va., Sunday Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
President Donald Trump gives two thumbs up to supporters as he departs after playing golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling Va., Sunday Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
President Donald Trump returns to the White House after playing a round of golf, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump returns to the White House after playing a round of golf, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump arrives at the White House after golfing Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump talks on the phone as he arrives at the White House after golfing Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump arrives at the White House after golfing Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump participates in a round of golf at the Trump National Golf Course on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Sterling, Va. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
US President Donald Trump watches from the motorcade as he returns to the White House in Washington, DC, after playing golf on November 7, 2020. - Joyous celebrations erupted in Washington on Saturday after Joe Biden was declared winner of the US presidency, as several people poured into the streets of the US capital -- some of them chanting, cheering and singing in front of the White House. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
President Donald Trump returns to the White House from playing golf in Washington, DC on November 7, 2020, after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election. - Joyous celebrations erupted in Washington on Saturday after Joe Biden was declared winner of the US presidency, as several people poured into the streets of the US capital -- some of them chanting, cheering and singing in front of the White House. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump arrives to speak in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC on November 5, 2020. - Democrat Joe Biden is leading President Donald Trump in the race for the 270 electoral votes that will put one of them over the top, with the Democrat's campaign asserting they believe he has enough votes to win in key battleground states that remain undecided, like Pennsylvania. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Washington, as White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany listens. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 05: U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to speak in the briefing room at the White House on November 5, 2020 in Washington, DC. Votes are still being counted two days after the presidential election as incumbent Trump is in a close race against challenger Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, which remains too close to call. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
El presidente Donald Trump habla en la Casa Blanca, Washington, 5 de noviembre de 2020. (AP Foto/Evan Vucci)
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The attorney quickly made headlines after the presidential election when Trump and his legal team began filing frivolous lawsuits across the country, making outrageous claims about voter fraud and ballot-counting irregularities without providing any evidence to support them. Powell herself has participated in the increasingly brazen claims, constantly vowing to "release the kraken" of evidence but never following through.

Powell herself did not respond to HuffPost, but released a statement to CBS in response to the campaign's attempt at distancing itself.

"I understand today's press release," she told the network. "I will continue to represent #WeThePeople who had their votes for Trump and other Republicans stolen by massive voter fraud through Dominion and Smartmatic, and we will be filing suit soon. The chips will fall where they may, and we will defend the foundations of this great Republic. #KrakenOnSteroids."

In a bizarre press conference on Thursday by the Trump campaign, Powell claimed without evidence that Venezuela, Cuba, Antifa, George Soros, the Clinton Foundation and the deceased Hugo Chávez, among others, were responsible for rigging the election.

The allegations appeared too far-fetched even for Fox News host Tucker Carlson, a notorious Trump ally and conspiracy theorist. During his show on Thursday, Carlson called out Powell for not providing him evidence to support her election claims "despite a lot of requests, polite requests, not a page." Carlson said on his show that when his crew continued to press her for evidence, Powell "got angry and told us to stop contacting her."

Powell has also accused election officials in several states of committing crimes, and recently attacked Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, a Trump ally. Kemp helped certify President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the state on Friday after a recount affirmed the original result showing the Democrat winning Georgia.

But in a Saturday interview with conservative outlet Newsmax, Powell baselessly claimed that Kemp was bribed by a voting machine company in a conspiracy to defeat Trump. She also threatened a "biblical" lawsuit against Kemp, startling Trump allies like former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who said Sunday that the conduct of Trump's legal team is "a national embarrassment."

"Sidney Powell accusing Gov. Brian Kemp of a crime on television yet being unwilling to go on TV and defend and lay out the evidence that she supposedly has, this is outrageous conduct by any lawyer," Christie, a Republican and longtime Trump adviser, said on ABC's "This Week."

"And notice ... they won't do it inside the courtroom," he continued. "They allege fraud outside the courtroom but when they go inside the courtroom, they don't plead fraud and they don't argue fraud."

Trump's legal team, which until Sunday included Powell, has so far failed to bring any meaningful wins from the courtroom. Federal judges in several states have shut down the team's lawsuits, criticizing Trump's attorneys for demanding measures that so obviously undermine democracy, and without providing evidence to support their demands.

Powell has long been a figure in conservative media, particularly after she gained notoriety for representing Flynn in his lengthy attempt to reverse a guilty plea for lying to the FBI about his 2016 communications with Russia. Flynn fired his legal team last year and replaced them with Powell, who helped lead his efforts to unravel his guilty plea.

- This article first appeared on HuffPost

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