Trump Attorney Learns That Attempting A Coup Will Mean Losing TSA PreCheck

Sidney Powell was indicted in the Georgia election case, alleging that she and the former President, along with other co-defendants, sought to overturn the state’s 2020 results.

She’s charged with conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, racketeering, trespass and invasion of privacy, as well as conspiracy to defraud the state. And she’s filed a motion to dismiss.

Here’s something that we learn from Powell’s motion to dismiss. These actions cost her access to TSA PreCheck and now she has to wait in longer screening lines at the airport. You don’t have to be convicted of anything. There is no judicial review. If you antagonize someone at the Department of Justice or Department of Homeland Security, they can punish you complete outside of the rule of law.

It is not clear whether she had Global Entry, PreCheck or was a part of a different trusted travel program, but her suggestion of the status being revoked by TSA suggests PreCheck. In a footnote the brief says

Ms. Powell’s longstanding trusted traveler status has been revoked by TSA for “her criminal history”—in addition to other problems created by this wrongful indictment.

Now, my personal sense is that Sidney Powell is the sort of very stable genius that probably should receive extra scrutiny before being allowed on an airplane, on a public bus, or near a school. Tucker Carlson calls her a liar. Former President Trump called her crazy. The idea that Dominion Voting Systems rigged election machines to benefit President Biden cost Fox News a $787.5 million settlement. Powell says their machines were part of a conspiracy including thousands of Americans.

If the government is going to take a risk-based approach to airport screening then throwing Miss Powell into the standard screening pool isn’t unreasonable? And yet the arbitrary nature of it is still concerning. Though a simple workaround would be to sign up for CLEAR and skip to the front of the regular security line as long as she’s not flying out of a terminal controlled by American Airlines (which doesn’t permit CLEAR).

(HT: Mike W.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Why wouldn’t she loose TSA Precheck? She has been charged with a crime. This isn’t a simple traffic ticket. She could actually get a prison sentence although I douth that she will. TSA Precheck is a system that allows the government to check their databases and first, know that you are the exact person you claim to be and second, that you are not a possible danger or flight risk. As she gets closer to a trial date and she realizes that she could be changing her wardrobe to orange, she might think it better to fly to a country that would not extradict her. Russia might be a good place for her. They love conspiracies and they don’t worry about elections being stolen.

  2. So is she losing PreCheck being she’s accused of a crime or because she has some other crime she was convicted of in the past? It sounds like the DOJ, TSA, or whoever is working outside the legal system to punish someone who hasn’t been convicted. Not good.

  3. It’s definitely selective persecution. And for those that believe these are legitimate charges you’re brainwashed.

  4. Rudy is Next!

    Rudy Giuliani groped Ex-Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson on Jan. 6.

    Cassidy Hutchinson, the former top aid to Trump’s WH chief of staff Mark Meadows, claims in her new book that she was groped by Rudy Giuliani on the day of the attack on the Capitol:

    “He put his hand under my blazer, then my skirt…”

    I feel his frozen fingers trail up my thigh,”
    “He tilts his chin up. The whites of his eyes look jaundiced. My eyes dart to John Eastman, who flashes a leering grin.”

    “I fight against the tension in my muscles and recoil from Rudy’s grip … filled with rage, I storm through the tent, on yet another quest for Mark.”

    Why am I not surprised reading this?

  5. I see the “foremost expert” is again anything but. Really Gary, can’t you take the time to do a simple google search before posting your click-bait?

    Because a simple google search would have informed you that people under indictment for certain felonies are disqualified from TSA PreCheck. Of particular relevance to Sidney, those include “Dishonesty, fraud, or misrepresentation” and “Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (or a comparable state law).

    There is no right to participation in government programs, and people lose their ability to participate in many of them from the time they are charged until they are either found innocent or the charges are dismissed, and this process is automatic: Once someone is charged, that information is sent off to a federal database.

    In all likelihood, Sidney Powell’s TSA PreCheck revocation was automated by a computer. There is absolutely nothing arbitrary about it.

  6. To every Democrat happy about this, do try and remember that parties flip the white house every so often.

    This will also happen to your team. Which is why this escalation and forced inconvenience is so pointless.

  7. @Mangar: There is nothing political about this at all. Get charged with certain felonies, lose TSA PreCheck… it’s part of the terms of the program.

  8. @ML: Innocent until proven guilty isn’t the standard used by government security programs. Being charged with a crime is disqualifying for Global Entry and certain crimes disqualify from TSA Pre.

    If you think having to wait in the long security line is annoying, consider how destructive it is to innocent people’s lives when they spend months behind bars because they can’t afford to post bail.

  9. regardless of what anyone thinks of Trump or any of the people in the georgia case, it should be deeply disturbing to any American that an accusation, not a conviction, can cause you to lose rights and privileges.

    Doesn’t matter if it is “the rules of the program” or not. It is a fundamentally flawed concept that is incompatible with the entire rest of the US code of law.

    Further, Gary just published an article that they do security scans of Americans on a daily basis. It isn’t like they don’t know who has been convicted.

  10. @Robert
    You saying Russia is a good place for her? LOL. She lives in modern version of USSR. Russia somewhat downgrade.

  11. @ML @Christopher Raehl
    Actually, the signs I saw at IAD the other day said that making a false statement was grounds for losing GE, so you don’t even have to get close to committing a felony or be indicted to lose the PRIVILEGE (emphasis intentional).

  12. @GaryK: I didn’t mean to imply that ONLY getting charged with a crime would get you booted from Global Entry. Global Entry has much tighter conditions than TSA Pre. The allegation here is that she was excluded from TSA Pre, which requires a felony charge, and only certain felony charges are apparently disqualifying for TSA Pre.

  13. Attempted coup? Sounds very serious. I guess I missed it. But…at least I’m sure several big bad Republicans have been convicted of the crime of insurrection by now, right, for such a horrible attempted coup (as opposed to mere trespassing or disorderly conduct)? Don’t be manipulated by the stories of mass media and do your own research.

  14. Total weaponization coming from the Stalin crowd. Never thought I see the day that the current leaders would stoop so low. All this does is divide us further and deeper. I do not expect one ruling of honesty and integrity to come out of this.

  15. What’s most sad about 2020 (& 2000 & 2004) is that we know there was quite a bit of mishandling BY PEOPLE, (not machines), and the mainstream media (the true enemy of the people) realizes that a political fight and related “hate the other side” drama attracts more viewers / ad revenue, than demanding we fix the integrity issues of people in charge (of tallying up the votes) and broken system.

  16. Private McPrivate:

    “Do your own research” is Trumpster code for “Ignore all science, ignore all facts, ignore all research, believe only what confirms your bias.”

  17. When interviewed for Trusted Traveler I was clearly told that any charge or arrest would lead to revocation. It was explained that this was a privilege not a right.

  18. Daniel,

    And 62 courts unanimously rejected all allegations of ballot mishandling, but you know better.

  19. But if you’re Hunter, you keep the pre check, keep riding on Air Force One, sleep with the president (most likely to wipe him each few hours), and let the corrupt DOJ continue to run out the clock on influence peddling and sexual crimes while your dad makes more and more of an a$$ out of all involved and every American. Sounds about right. Just check out the news and see for yourself.

  20. A coup? lol. so a few hundred people dressed as clowns going into one government building over a few hours (with no military support, no weapons…), really? So what should we call weeks of democrats burning and looting cities, calling for the downfall of law enforcement, attacking private citizens and their businesses regardless of political affiliation? Did any of the individuals involved in that loose their Pre-Check. My family and friend were completely untouched by the events of Jan 6th, my uncle however, never saw his clothing business of 15 years in Chicago recover after being ransacked by peaceful democrats and he had to close down. I would much prefer the coup than what the democrats did.

    Can any of the democrats out there tell me – on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being most likely), what chance do you think the Jan 6th idiots had of overthrowing the US government.

  21. TSA PreCheck should be shut down completely. Everyone should have to compete the same way to get to their flights on time. Maybe that would be the impetus for real change in TSA for most of the travelers.

  22. This comment section reinforces my commitment to never engage in a conversation with another stranger on an airplane.

  23. Lol. She deserves exactly the same as the hundreds of BLM activists got. You know, the rioters that caused billions in damage and killed dozens of people.


  24. Good. Anybody who seeks to undermine an election is dangerous. Once she’s convicted she will lose Global Entry as well. Permanently.

  25. MAGA- many attorneys getting attorneys
    The GOP has gone completely off the rails. They have abandoned democracy altogether and now only support dear leader.
    GTFOOH traitors!

  26. @Boraxo: If she had Global Entry she’s already lost it, as does anyone who has been charged with a crime.

  27. @ML
    > ever heard of innocent until proven guilty? That’s why

    Innocent until proven guilty is sort of like the 1st Amendment. It only applies to the government’s interaction with you–not the general populace, nor privately/publicly-held businesses. Look no further than Russell Brand to see the latest example.

  28. My understanding is that simply being arrested anytime in your life – regardless of whether charges are ever brought against you, much less whether you’re ever convicted – will automatically trigger a loss of TSA Pre-Check privileges forever. You can be tried by a jury and acquitted, and you still have no redress to get your TSA Pre back.

    If I lost my Pre-check I would find it impossible to continue living in the USA and subject myself to TSA’s full goonery every time I got on a plane. If makes life in the USA surveillance state tolerable, and should be considered a right rather than a privilege to be taken for arbitrary reasons.

  29. @Mak: Many convictions, let alone mere arrests, are not disqualifying for TSA Pre. But some felony arrests certainly are, at least until they’re dismissed or the subject is acquitted, including some of the ones Sidney is charged with.

  30. This is a third-party tweet (or “X”). We have no idea if Powell was ever really enrolled in any Trusted Traveller Program.. She may have been granted PreCheck through some form of managed inclusion.

    If she was in enrolled in PreCheck or other Trusted Traveller Programs, part C of the PreCheck qualifications cites that “A person will be disqualified if he or she is wanted or under indictment in any civilian or military jurisdiction for a felony listed under Part A or Part B until the want or warrant is released or the indictment is dismissed.”

    In other words, PreCheck qualifications are not covered under the Fifth Amendment (due process). PreCheck qualification can be reinstated if an indictment is dismissed.

    I am not a con law attorney, but I believe that a possible Fifth Amendment infraction would only apply if Ms. Powell was told that she could not travel at all. Even if her PreCheck enrollment was disqualified, she still has the freedom to travel using standard screening protocols.

    This applies to all Trusted Traveller members (PreCheck, Global Entry, Sentri, NEXUS.)

    – We have no evidence that Ms. Powell was enrolled in a Trusted Traveller program at all.

    – We have no evidence that Ms. Powell was treated differently than any other Trusted Traveller program participant.

    – If Ms. Powell’s participation was suspended due to an indictment, her Trusted Traveller participation can be reinstated if the indictment is dismissed.

    – The list of disqualifying factors includes other factors, so it is possible that Ms. Powell’s participation in a Trusted Traveller program was suspended for something other than a RICO indictment. We do not have enough information to make such assumptions.

    – All Trusted Traveller participants (including Known Crewmember, NEXUS, Global Entry, and PreCheck) are subjected to random regular screening. Ms. Powell may have been sent to the “standard” screening queue at random, and this was misinterpreted as a revocation of Trusted Traveller status.

    Although interesting fodder for discussion, the information presented is from a tweet (or “X”) with inadequate information to suggest that Ms. Powell was treated differently than anyone else.

  31. @Max: All of which is a secondary consideration to Gary needs clicks, and is lazy about getting them.

  32. @Christopher Raehl

    I stand corrected. I was confused with Global Entry, which you lose upon any arrest. Given how they’ve destroyed that program, I could live without that one.

Comments are closed.