Sidney Powell’s nonprofit raised $16 million spreading voter fraud

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A nonprofit group led by pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell raised $16.4 million in the year after the 2020 election and spent less than half of that money, according to group tax returns.

The Defense of the Republic, whose job it is to use the courts to “protect electoral integrity” and individual liberties, said it spent about $8 million in the 12 months ended November 30, 2021. That total included over $3.8 million for legal services and an additional $2 million for “other” services, including litigation support. He said these services were provided by “non-employees”, whom he did not name.

Sidney Powell's nonprofit raised $16 million spreading voter fraud
Sidney Powell’s nonprofit raised $16 million spreading voter fraud

Tax records identify Powell as president and treasurer of Defending the Republic and say she and the only other named individuals — two other directors and the chief financial officer — worked without pay. However, the organization was only required to report individual compensation from December 1, 2020 – the date of its incorporation – to December 31, 2020. The documents were obtained from The Washington Post.

The new documents show that spreading voter fraud is “incredibly lucrative,” said Brendan Fischer, deputy executive director of the watchdog organization Documented, which monitors the activities of nonprofits and businesses and also collects information. tax returns. But the filings, the organization’s Form 990 and related attachments filed with the Internal Revenue Service, reveal “almost nothing about the destination of the millions in legal fees reported by the nonprofit,” did he declare.

In an email in response to detailed questions from The Post, Powell wrote, “Defending The Republic Inc. has independent auditors, legal advisors and auditors. If there are any errors or omissions in 990, the as soon as possible. ”

Part of the money will go to a company Powell named as his manager and organizer when it was founded last year.

Defending the Republic Pays 524 Old Towne $80,000

The company, 524 Old Towne, paid $1.2 million in April last year for a property in the historic Old Town district of Alexandria, Va., to set up a law firm there. . Tax records show Defending the Republic paid $80,000 in rent at 524 Old Towne.

Defending The Republic previously reported to Florida regulators that it raised $14.9 million in the first eight months of its founding, though that disclosure was much less detailed. The organization focused much of its spending on “difficult issues and cases of governmental transgression and abuse of individual rights” and litigation in “cases of constitutional violation,” according to the new filing.

Powell became famous among Trump fans for defending former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn against allegations that he lied to the FBI. Later, in December 2020, Flynn and his brother Joseph were listed as directors of Defending the Republic, Texas Business Filings Show.

Patrick Byrne, the former CEO of Overstock and a prominent voting opponent, joined Defending the Republic in 2021 as CEO. Questions about how much money the organization had raised and where the money went helped to sow divisions within the organization. In early April, Byrne, the Flynn brothers, and several other people quit, The Post previously reported.

In a text message on Thursday, Byrne said he had only been with the association for 12 working days and pointed to concerns over the organization’s financial management as a reason for his and others’ departure. Joseph Flynn declined to comment and Michael Flynn did not respond.

Powell was one of the most visible lawyers in a line of lawyers who went to court to challenge Joe Biden’s victory. After legal challenges failed, Powell himself faced legal action on multiple fronts.

Last year, the Justice Department subpoenaed documents related to Republic Defense and a related Political Action Committee, The Post previously reported.

A Michigan federal judge has sanctioned Powell, calling one of his election-related lawsuits “a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process.” The Texas prosecutor’s office filed a lawsuit against her alleging professional misconduct. She was subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in Atlanta to investigate efforts by Trump and his allies to nullify the election. And she and Defending the Republic are named defendants in a libel lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems, the company that targeted them with conspiracy theories.

Dominion accused Powell of using Republic dollars to “finance his own personal legal defense,” citing an interview released on December 29, 2020, in which he described the organization as “a non-profit organization to help me defend everything”. these cases and to defend myself as I am under massive attack. “In an August 2021 filing for a separate libel suit filed by a former Dominion executive, a representative of Defending the Republic was asked if the organization had paid to defend Powell against in both cases, his attorney ordered him not to answer.

Powell did not respond Thursday to a question from The Post about whether the nonprofit had paid for his personal legal defense.

In the statement, the representative of the nonprofit said his work was not limited to election-related issues, but instead included potential challenges to vaccine and mask mandates. The group has filed several lawsuits to challenge its coronavirus vaccine mandates, including against members of the U.S. military and federal contractors, court documents show. He also paid for the defense of some people accused of the Capitol uprising on January 6, 2021, according to media reports.

According to reports, some of the money was allegedly embezzled in what was reported as a “significant diversion”. An independent contractor working for the nonprofit organization “converted money from contributions” and the nonprofit organization “authorized lawsuits to sue” to recover the money, more than $ 520,000. , is in the archives. No other information was disclosed.

Filings show Defending the Republic awarded a $700,128 equipment grant to Cyber ​​Ninjas, a Florida-based company hired by Republican senators in Arizona to investigate voting machines and ballots voting in Maricopa County. Cyber ​​ninjas said last year that Defending the Republic had donated $550,000 for voting tests. Although Holocaust deniers have claimed for months that the review would finally reveal evidence of voter fraud, it instead confirmed Biden’s victory in the state.

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