“This book reads like a cross between investigative journalism and courtroom drama. The takeaway is that both Bushies and Obamaites should be very afraid: over the last few years, a coterie of vicious and unethical prosecutors who are unfit to practice law has been harbored within, and enabled by the now ironically named Department of Justice.”

William Hodes, Professor of Law Emeritus, Indiana University
Coauthor, The Law of Lawyering (Aspen), Lawyer and Consultant in Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility


Sidney Powell’s Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice is a disturbing, enlightening, and superbly presented exploration of one of the most dramatic and chilling accounts of injustice in American judicial history. Written with the skill of a novelist, the keen eye of a memoirist, and the passion of an early American pamphleteer, Powell takes us on a journey through an institutional landscape created to protect the innocent and punish the guilty transformed into a house of “legal” horrors, the framing of an innocent man, the concealing and altering of evidence, the ignoring of the law, the flouting of political power, the constant display of an ego-driven desire to win at all costs, even if the result is the devastation of a  good a family who must have felt stunned by the despotic evilness of a government suddenly and completely in charge of their lives.

As dark and disheartening as it is, there is a lesson here that should be taught in every civics class—the greatest human ideal of Justice is only as good as the character of those who administer it, existing only if its guardians are devotees to integrity and humaneness.

And yet in all this frustration and anger, there manages to remain a ray of hope. For ultimately this book becomes the unintentional profile of a  courageous and strong woman determined to fight through the corruption, cronyism, vindictiveness,  amoral egos, and repeated miscarriages of justice in order to free the light of truth from the dark place in which it had been deliberately hidden—and then let that light purify the wrongness of an inquisitional institution “once upon  time” imagined as the one absolute certainty on which all Americans could rely, a certainty that’s supposed to reflect the national conscience of America.

But is this one case enough to assure us?  What about the little guys, the poor and meek and disadvantaged who have no one to champion their causes? How many of them have suffered and are now suffering helplessly?

As Judge Sullivan concluded, “In nearly twenty-five years on the bench, I’ve never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I’ve seen in this case:  shocking, disturbing.”

 Michael Adams, Ph.D. University Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor of English,Associate Director, James A. Michener Center for Writers, University of Texas, Austin


“Sidney Powell brings a subject to light which is often overlooked or even purposely hidden. That subject is the unfair tactic that some prosecutors have used to secure a conviction. As a prosecutor for over 29 years in the state courts of Texas, I am aware of both the possibilities for unfairness to the accused, and of the pressures on some prosecutors to win cases. Sidney is able to articulate these issues in telling the stories within Licensed to Lie, and she holds up a clear moral and legal compass to point us all toward prosecution according to law and the facts.”

Jane Davis, former lead prosecutor, District Courts, Bexar County, Texas; First Assistant to the Guadalupe County Attorney