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UPDATE 3-Trump campaign parts ways with lawyer who made voter fraud claims

23 Nov 2020 / 07:34 H.

    (Adds Republican criticism of Powell)

    By Jan Wolfe

    Nov 22 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's election campaign issued a statement on Sunday distancing itself from Sidney Powell, a lawyer who made baseless allegations of voter fraud at a news conference on Thursday.

    "Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own," Trump campaign lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis said in the statement. "She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team."

    The announcement was made a day after a judge dismissed the campaign's lawsuit seeking to halt President-elect Joe Biden's victory in Pennsylvania, dealing a major blow to Trump's flailing efforts to overturn his Nov. 3 election loss.

    Powell, a conservative activist and former federal prosecutor, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Trump had referred to Powell as one of his lawyers in a Nov. 14 tweet.

    "Rudy Giuliani, Joseph diGenova, Victoria Toensing, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis, a truly great team, added to our other wonderful lawyers and representatives," Trump said in the tweet.

    Powell, without providing evidence, said last week that electronic voting systems had switched millions of ballots to favor Biden.

    Tucker Carlson, an influential Fox News host, on Thursday criticized Powell for a lack of evidence to support her claims.

    "She never demonstrated that a single actual vote was moved illegitimately by software from one candidate to another. Not one," Carlson said.

    U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Iowa who won reelection in this month's vote, told a Fox News radio program on Thursday that Powell's allegations were "offensive."

    Powell is currently representing Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn in his effort to end a long-running criminal case against him.

    Democrats and some Republicans have accused Trump of trying to undermine faith in the American electoral system and delegitimize Biden's victory by promoting false claims of widespread voter fraud. (Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Additional reporting by Timothy Gardner: Editing by Daniel Wallis and Paul Simao)

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