The lineup of speakers includes retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the ex-national security adviser to former President Donald Trump, and Sidney Powell, formerly a lawyer for both Flynn and Trump.
With admission ranging between $500-$1,000, some of the proceeds are set to go to Powell’s nonprofit, Defending the Republic. Organizers say the high price, in part, will weed out potential infiltrators. Powell has called her nonprofit a legal defense fund to protect the integrity of U.S. elections.
She and several others were sued by Dominion Voting Systems, a Denver-based voting technology vendor, for spreading lies the company aided in stealing the election from former President Donald Trump. (There is no evidence the election was rigged.)
In a recent court filing by Dominion lawyers, it is now alleged that Powell has been taking money from her nonprofit to pay for personal legal expenses.
“Now, Powell seeks to abuse the corporate forms she created for her law firm and fundraising website to hide funds that she raised through her defamatory campaign, shielding those funds from the very company that was harmed by the defamatory campaign,” the lawyers wrote in a May 5 court filing.
While Defending the Republic describes itself as a nonprofit, it isn’t listed in an IRS database of tax-exempt organizations. The organization is registered with Florida's Division of Corporations as a nonprofit formed for “social welfare purposes.” The IRS restricts so-called 501(c)4 organizations from spending money on private individuals. Doing so can affect the organization’s tax-exempt status.
Dominion claimed Powell treated the money from the nonprofit as “her personal funds, redirecting them to the law firm she controls and dominates … and raiding them to pay for her personal legal defense.”
The voting technology vendor cited remarks Powell made during a Dec. 29 appearance on The Rush Limbaugh Show. During her appearance, Powell said people could donate to the nonprofit “that is working to help defend all these cases and to defend me now that I’m under a massive attack from the attorney general of Michigan and the city of Detroit and everything else."
One of Powell’s lawyers, Howard Kleinhendler, did not respond to the Observer's request for comment. However, he told ABC Powell’s personal legal expenses are covered by her malpractice carrier and that the nonprofit has a corporate structure with a board of directors.
“She does not have unfettered control over its funds or how the funds are spent," Kleinhendler told ABC.
Even though the election is done, Joe Biden is president and all the significant court challenges to his victory have been shot down, the legal defense fund continues to raise money, now with help from the organizers of the Q convention in Dallas.
A group called Patriot Voice claims responsibility for the Memorial Day weekend event on its website. The faces behind the group are the Q Power Couple John Sabal and his partner, Amy. On the social media platform Telegram, the two go by QAnon John and QueenAnon Amy. They did not respond to requests for comment.
The FBI has called QAnon a domestic terrorist threat. The conspiracy theory revolves around the idea that the so-called “deep state” is controlled by pedophile Hollywood elites and powerful Democratic politicians, all of whom are supposedly acting against the former president.
Promotional material for the event often includes an acronym that stands for “where we go one, we go all,” a popular QAnon slogan. Despite their monikers and all the references, the couple consistently claims the For God & Country Patriot Roundup is not a Q or QAnon event.
On their Telegram accounts, they’ve shared pictures of themselves having dinner with Powell ahead of the event. Sabal wouldn’t explain the decision to support Powell’s nonprofit with proceeds from the event. However, he did say the money isn’t for her personal benefit.
He told ABC News, “As far as I know, [Defending the Republic] is benefiting a bunch of different causes. Those I will not speak on, but you can talk to her about that.”
Dominion filed its $1.3 billion defamation suit against Powell, her law firm and her fundraising site on Jan. 8, just two days after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. During that deadly unrest, Trump supporters stormed and vandalized the building, clashing with police officers.
Records link other speakers at the Q convention to Powell’s nonprofit as well.
Powell, Lin Wood, Flynn and his brother, Joseph, were named as directors of the nonprofit in December 2020 filings with the Texas secretary of state’s office. Wood didn’t respond to the Observer for comment. However, he told ABC that Powell asked him to serve as a director, but he hasn't done any work on Defending the Republic. “She didn't follow up with me about it,” Wood said.
Other affiliates of former president Trump have also been involved with the nonprofit.
“As far as I know, [Defending the Republic] is benefiting a bunch of different causes." – John Sabal, Patriot Voice
Mike Lindell, MyPillow founder and CEO, for example, was listed as a director for less than one week before deciding to form his own legal defense fund. Lindell is also being sued by Dominion. He did not respond for comment. Former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne was the nonprofit’s chairman and CEO until he resigned last month. He’d held the positions for less than a month.
Powell is tangled in a few lawsuits regarding her claims that the election was stolen. Her own lawyers have since said her efforts to invalidate the results of the 2020 election were not based in fact. “No reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact,” her attorneys said in a court filing.
But, if you’re planning on attending the For God & Country Patriot Roundup, don’t be surprised if you hear similar false claims about the election and other conspiracy theories.
Besides a meet and greet at the Omni, most of the convention was supposed to be held at Gilley's in Dallas, but there has since been a change of venue. The organizers said they’d only announce the new venue to ticket holders closer to the event. The Omni is mostly just being used as a place for attendees to stay while in Dallas.
Sabal and Amy claim they decided to pull out of Gilley’s because of the “absurd harassment and threats” the venue was getting for the event. Following the Observer’s coverage of the venue change, the two did an interview with the online web show Patriot Transition Voice. Although there is some collaboration on the Dallas event, Patriot Voice and Patriot Transition Voice are not directly related. The latter does, however, peddle Q conspiracy theories.
In the interview, the couple said they considered moving the whole thing out of Dallas and hosting it at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, but that didn’t work out. Instead, they claim they found another venue in the Dallas area to host the bulk of their event. They’re keeping the location to themselves and ticket holders because they don’t want the new venue to receive backlash.
The couple did say they had to reduce capacity for the event from 1,500 to 1,000. Additionally, one of the hosts of the web show said the new venue is closer to the Omni Dallas than Gilley’s.
Wherever it happens, the event will be stacked with a cast of speakers, including Texas GOP chairman Allen West and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert. Most recently, organizers added Judy Mikovits to the list of speakers. Mikovits is the discredited virologist who starred in the conspiracy video and film Plandemic, which promoted misinformation about the pandemic.