Powell, a longtime QAnon believer, has filed a series of failed, typo-ridden lawsuits challenging the results of the presidential election. Powell has claimed in court documents that a witness — a former “intelligence contractor” — knows about a foreign conspiracy to attack the election. Powell said her informant’s identity could not be revealed in order to protect her life.
But podcaster Terpsichore Maras-Lindeman of North Dakota, who confirmed to the Post that she is the informant Powell has referred to, served less than a year in the Navy in the 1990s and there is no indication that she ever worked in intelligence or as an intelligence contractor.
A 2018 civil fraud case against Maras-Lindeman by the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office accused her of falsely claiming to be a physician, a Purple Heart recipient and a Navy intelligence veteran; using several aliases and social security numbers; and exaggerating her resume in a “persistent” effort to “deceive others,” according to the Post. A judge earlier this year ordered Maras-Lindeman to pay $25,000 in fines and attorney fees after she spent donations solicited for veterans’ wreaths and homeless shelters on herself. She denied the accusations and is appealing the ruling to the state Supreme Court.
The news comes after reports that Trump is considering naming Powell as a special counsel to investigate election fraud. (There have been no credible reports of fraud in the 2020 election.) Trump floated the idea early this month in a heated meeting with top aides, who blasted the idea, according to media reports confirmed by Powell.
Powell complained Thursday that officials close to the president are now prohibiting her from communicating with him.
“I’ve been blocked from speaking to or communicating with the president since I left the Oval Office on Friday night, by apparently everyone around him,” Powell said in an interview. She hasn’t spoken with the president since then.
She claimed Trump offered her a special counsel post but she hasn’t been able to present the paperwork to make it official. The job has so far “not come to pass because it seems it was blocked after Friday night, or undone, or I’m not sure what you’d call it,” Powell said.
She said she wouldn’t be a “Robert-Mueller-style special counsel,” but “there was a discussion about me being a special White House counsel.”
Trump apparently hasn’t dismissed the idea, according to a tweet Wednesday, saying he disagrees with “anyone that thinks a strong, fast, and fair Special Counsel is not needed IMMEDIATELY” to investigate election results.
Trump’s campaign last month distanced itself from Powell after she passionately promoted a bizarre conspiracy theory that Americans working with Venezuela, China, Serbia, Canada, Venezuela, Cuba, the CIA, billionaire philanthropist George Soros and the Clinton Foundation (among others) plotted to rig the presidential election against Trump by tampering with voting machines.
But Trump has kept in touch with her, and invited her to the meeting when he discussed naming her as special counsel.
Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was recently pardoned by the president after pleading guilty of lying to the FBI, accompanied Powell to the meeting and urged the president to declare martial law and remain as president to “rerun” the election, The Associated Press reported. Flynn has denied he called for martial law in the meeting, but he did publicly urge the action in a recent interview.
Powell has promoted another secret witness, identified in court filings as “Spyder,” as a military intelligence expert. The Post reported earlier this month that the witness is a tech consultant who worked mostly as an Army mechanic and never in military intelligence.
Trump has refused to concede the presidential race and continues to insist, with no evidence, that the vote was rigged.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.