UPDATED, with Giuliani comment, additional Dominion comment: Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani on Monday, accusing him of repeatedly peddling falsehoods about the company, including the debunked claim that its software was rigged in favor of Joe Biden.
The 107-page lawsuit cites numerous instances in which Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, was given a platform to advance conspiracy theories on Fox News, Newsmax, One America News Network and other outlets.
In the lawsuit (read here via Axios), Dominion states, “As a result of the defamatory falsehoods peddled by Giuliani—in concert with Sidney Powell, Russell Ramsland, L. Lin Wood, Mike Lindell, Patrick Byrne, Lou Dobbs, Fox News, Fox Business, Newsmax, One America News Network (“OAN”), The Epoch Times, and other like-minded allies and media outlets determined to promote a false preconceived narrative about the 2020 election—Dominion’s founder and employees have been harassed and have received death threats, and Dominion has suffered unprecedented and irreparable harm.
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“Dominion brings this action to set the record straight, to vindicate the company’s rights under civil law, to recover compensatory and punitive damages, and to stand up for itself, its employees, and the electoral process.”
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in D.C.
Another election systems company, Smartmatic, has threatened lawsuits against Fox News, Newsmax and One America, citing instances when guests and their on-air personalities claimed that they were involved in election rigging.
In a statement, Giuliani said that Dominion’s lawsuit “will allow me to investigate their history, finances, and practices fully and completely. The amount being asked for is, quite obviously, intended to frighten people of faint heart. It is another act of intimidation by the hate-filled left-wing to wipe out and censor the exercise of free speech, as well as the ability of lawyers to defend their clients vigorously. As such, we will investigate a countersuit against them for violating these Constitutional rights.”
In the first paragraph of their complaint, Dominion notes that Giuliani, in challenging the election results, was unwilling to advance the conspiracy theory in court, as when he told a Pennsylvania judge that the Trump campaign “doesn’t plead fraud” and that “this is not a fraud case.” Yet “he and his allies disseminated the ‘Big Lie,’ which foreseeably went viral and deceived millions of people into believing that Dominion had stolen their votes and fixed the election.”
That dichotomy will be key to Dominion’s case, as they likely will have to show that Giuliani knew what he was saying about election rigging was false but said it anyway.
The lawsuit notes that Giuliani reportedly demanded $20,000 per day to represent Trump, but also “cashed in by hosting a podcast where he exploited election falsehoods to market gold coins, supplements, cigars and protection from ‘cyberthieves.'”
“Even after the United States Capitol had been stormed by rioters who had been deceived by Giuliani and his allies, Giuliani shirked responsibility for the consequences of his words and repeated the Big Lie again,” the lawsuit states.
In its lawsuit, Dominion outlines numerous instances where Giuliani was given a platform to make his claims, including on his WABC radio show, Fox & Friends, Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs Tonight, One America’s In Focus with Stephanie Hamill and Weekly Briefing, Steve Bannon’s War Room: Pandemic podcast and Glenn Beck’s show.
On Nov. 18, when Giuliani and attorney Sidney Powell held a press conference to claim election fraud, Dominion notes that Fox News’ Tucker Carlson reported that Powell and those around the Trump campaign had failed to provide any evidence of their claims against the election systems company. Carlson also reported that “people in positions of authority” said that Powell had never provided evidence.
Despite that, the lawsuit states, “Fox News gave Giuliani a platform on Sean Hannity’s show that very evening to make the false accusation that ‘a Dominion employee’ in Detroit on election night had been ‘notified by Smartmatic in Frankfurt that Biden was way behind.'”
A spokesperson for Dominion said that, when it comes to additional litigation, “No one has been ruled out and Dominion is taking a close look at others who have participated directly in the defamatory campaign–as well as those who have recklessly provided a platform for these discredited allegations.”
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