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Sidney Powell's 'Spider' Is Revealed

Joshua Merritt is apparently a 'secret' GOP witness
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2020 2:10 PM CST

(Newser) – A secret witness in the GOP effort to overturn election results may be a little less than advertised, the Washington Post reports. Sidney Powell—a former Trump legal advisor who's working on the election effort—has called him a "military intelligence expert." He's codenamed "Spider" or "Spyder" in legal documents, and has alleged in a court declaration that US voting systems were "certainly compromised by rogue actors, such as Iran and China." But it turns out he's really a tech consultant named Joshua Merritt who, according to a US Army spokeswoman, is "not an intelligence analyst" at all. Merritt did enroll in a 305th Military Intelligence Battalion training program but lacked prerequisites and dropped out.

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Records show he completed courses in leadership and wheeled vehicles, deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was honorably discharged in 2013 with several commendations. As for the "military intelligence" tag, Merritt blames "clerks" on Powell's team: "That was one thing I was trying to backtrack on," says the Dallas-area resident. "My original paperwork that I sent in didn't say that." Merritt adds that he has an associate degree in network security administration and has worked in cybersecurity. During that time, he says, he began working on election security—and, per the Post, appeared in "right-wing" videos as "Jekyll" and warned that the election system was vulnerable to corruption. A Reuters reporter first outed Merritt in a tweet. (Read more Sidney Powell stories.)

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