Judge Denies Request for Hearing Extension to Allow Experts to Testify

By Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.
December 7, 2020Updated: December 7, 2020

A federal judge in Arizona has denied a request by attorney Sidney Powell’s team for an extension in an upcoming hearing so that expert witnesses can testify before the court.

Powell’s team made the request in its recently filed Arizona case, which alleges that manipulation to election software and other fraud in the state resulted in violations in the U.S. Constitution and state election laws. The lawsuit also claims that at least 400,000 illegal ballots were counted in the state’s 2020 general election.

The suit was filed on behalf of several Republicans in the state, including 11 electors. Powell’s team also filed a temporary restraining order seeking to immediately block Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey from delivering the certified election results to the electoral college while the court hears the case. Arizona certified its presidential election results on Nov. 30.

Judge Diane Joyce Humetewa subsequently filed a hearing to consider the temporary restraining order for Dec. 8 but later converted the hearing so that she could consider the defendant’s request to dismiss the case. Powell’s team then asked Humetewa whether she would extend the length of that hearing from one hour to three hours to allow three expert witnesses to testify over the vulnerability and risks of the state’s election software Dominion Voting Systems.

Among the witnesses named is Russell Ramsland, a former Republican Party candidate who currently works with the Allied Special Operations Group. He claims an affidavit that his company found vulnerabilities linked to Dominion, including weaknesses for “hacking and tampering.”

In their request, the plaintiffs’ lawyers urged the court to allow the witnesses to present evidence, saying that such evidence would be “beneficial to the Court.”

“They will also quantify the amount of fraud into a tally of illegal votes that easily overturns the 2020 election results,” the motion reads.

On Sunday, the judge rejected the request, saying that the hearing “will solely be on the arguments presented in the Motions to Dismiss.” Humetewa did not give any reasons for her decision.

Powell, who has been seen working alongside President Donald Trump’s legal team, filed the suit seeking to de-certify the state’s election results and block state officials from transmitting the results to the electoral college. The suit also asks the court for an order to preserve election information and equipment so that plaintiffs can appoint independent experts to conduct a forensic audit and inspection.

“The multifaceted schemes and artifices implemented by Defendants and their collaborators to defraud resulted in the unlawful counting, or fabrication, of hundreds of thousands of illegal, ineligible, duplicate or purely fictitious ballots in the State of Arizona,” the complaint alleges.

Ducey, one of the defendants, has defended the state’s election system, saying that the state has “some of the strongest election laws in the country.”

A lawyer for the plaintiff did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this week, attorneys for Trump’s re-election campaign and members of the Arizona Legislature held a public hearing on election integrity.

During the hearing, Maricopa GOP Chairwoman Linda Brickman told the state legislators that she personally observed votes for Trump being tallied as votes for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden when input into Dominion machines.

“I observed, with my Democratic partner, the preparation of a new ballot, since the original one was soiled, or wouldn’t go through the tabulators. I read her a Trump Republican ballot, and as soon as she entered it into the system, the ballot defaulted on the screen to a Biden Democratic ballot,” Brickman told lawmakers on Nov. 30.

“We were never told what, if any, corrective action was taken,” Brickman asserted. “All I know is the next day, I was called outside the room that I was working in for signature verification by a supervisor who said, ‘I understand you caused some problems this week and you thought our machines were not working correctly.’”

The case is cited Bowyer v. Ducey (2:20-cv-02321-DJH).

Isabel van Brugen contributed to this report.