(CNN)President Donald Trump’s campaign legal team sent a memo to dozens of staffers Saturday instructing them to preserve all documents related to Dominion Voting Systems and Sidney Powell in anticipation of potential litigation by the company against the pro-Trump attorney.
The memo, viewed by CNN, references a letter Dominion sent to Powell this week demanding she publicly retract her accusations and instructs campaign staff not to alter, destroy or discard records that could be relevant.A serious internal divide has formed within Trump’s campaign following the election with tensions at their highest between the campaign’s general counsel, Matt Morgan, who sent the memo Saturday, and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Though the campaign once distanced itself from Powell, Trump has been urging other people to fight like she has, according to multiple people familiar with his remarks. He has asked for more people making her arguments, which are often baseless and filled with conspiracy theories, on television. Morgan wrote in the memo, “The Allegations within the letter dated December 16, 2020 reference the Campaign and lawyers who may have performed work for the Campaign. Even with references to the Campaign and some of its outside lawyers, the Campaign does not reasonably anticipate litigation against the Campaign at this time. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Campaign views it as prudent to establish a litigation hold at this time to protect and preserve all rights and privileges that may exist under the law.” The Trump campaign has declined to comment. After Trump lost the election, Dominion came under fire from the President and Powell, who baselessly claimed the system’s voting machines altered votes from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden. Dominion has called the accusations meritless and noted Powell never made the claims in court. Now, anticipating that Dominion could take legal action against Powell for her claims, Trump’s attorneys instructed staff to preserve “any and all records concerning Defending the Republic, Sydney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, Lin Wood, and each of their associates and paralegals” and “all records concerning Dominion.”Read More”Please make sure that relevant personnel are aware that these records must be maintained,” the memo states. “The files or boxes should be labeled, “DO NOT DESTROY WITHOUT PRIOR AUTHORIZATION FROM THE GENERAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE.”The memo added: “In the future, you may be contacted by counsel and asked to turn over copies of relevant information in your possession. For now, preserve all such records until further notice. Other than for purposes of preserving records in response to this request, you should not discuss this matter or potential lawsuits with anyone inside or outside the Campaign.”Dominion Voting Systems did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment on whether it imminently plans to take legal action against Powell. Though the Trump campaign has sought to distance itself from Powell after she held a conspiracy-filled news conference with his other attorneys, Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, Trump has told people he likes Powell’s arguments and wants to see more of her on television. During a chaotic meeting in the Oval Office Friday, Trump said he had considered naming her as a special counsel to investigate voter fraud allegations his own administration has said are baseless. The meeting was first reported by the New York Times. Besides Powell, the meeting included her client, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, two people familiar with the matter said, describing a session that began as an impromptu gathering but devolved and eventually broke out into screaming matches at certain points as some of Trump’s aides pushed back on Powell and Flynn’s more outrageous suggestions to overturn the election. “It was heated — people were really fighting it out in the Oval, really forceful about it,” one of the sources said.One of the sources described an escalating sense of concern among Trump’s aides, even those who have weathered his previous controversies, about what steps he might take next as his term comes to an end.Shortly after that meeting, Trump’s campaign staff received the legal memo about preserving records related to Powell. This story has been updated with additional reporting.