The term “military intelligence” often is referred to jokingly as an oxymoron, particularly by those who have served in the armed forces. Sidney Powell, the kraken-releasing lawyer who has been laughed out of courtrooms nationwide while pursing election fraud lawsuits, may have redefined the phrase.
Even after Donald Trump fired her from the Rudy Giuliani-led legal team that failed to prove any type of wrongdoing in the presidential election, Powell continued to claim in court filings that she had a military intelligence expert with evidence that voting machines in several states had been hacked by Chinese and Iranian actors.
As it has a way of doing with such matters, The Washington Post has tracked down that individual. It turns out that the “expert,” alternately referred to in Powell’s filings as “Spider” or “Spyder,” is Joshua Merritt, a 43-year-old information technology consultant who lives in the Dallas area. While he had enrolled in a military intelligence training program while serving in the Army, Merritt spent the bulk of his 10 years in uniform working as a wheeled vehicle mechanic.
Meredith Mingledorff, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, told The Post, “He kept washing out of courses. He’s not an intelligence analyst.”
Merritt admitted to the newspaper that the declaration Powell submitted is misleading and that it should have it clear that he was a student in the Army program, rather than a working intelligence expert. He blames Powell’s legal “clerks” for the error and said he should have read the document more carefully before signing it. “That was one thing I was trying to backtrack on,” he said. “My original paperwork that I sent in didn’t say that.”
His name never was supposed to be made public, but a bookmark in an electronic court filing submitted by Powell included a bookmark that reads “Declaration of JOSHUA MERRITT.”
“One jackwagon forgot to clear out the data. I was really pissed,” Merritt told The Post. “The guy was like, ‘I’m sorry,’ and I was like, ‘Well, you know, that and a bag of chips will still leave me hungry.'”