Dominion Voting Systems sues for $1.3bn over baseless election claims
Dominion Voting Systems, the voting equipment manufacturer at the centre of baseless election fraud conspiracy theories pushed by Donald Trump and his allies, has sued the former president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani in a $1.3bn defamation lawsuit. The 107-page complaint, filed in federal court on Monday, accuses the former New York City mayor of having “manufactured and disseminated” a conspiracy theory related to the company’s voting machines.
“Dominion’s founder and employees have been harassed and received death threats, and Dominion has suffered unprecedented and irreparable harm,” the lawsuit states.
The company point to more than 50 statements by Giuliani about Dominion which it describes as defamatory. This includes remarks made at a 6 January rally in Washington before an insurrection on the US Capitol, appearances on Fox Business as well as social media posts.
“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 complaint states.
Giuliani is the second Trump loyalist to face litigation from the company after pushing baseless claims of election fraud. The attorney Sidney Powell, who launched a series of failed lawsuits and pushed wild claims about election integrity, has also been sued for $1.3bn by Dominion.
Giuliani has continued to stand by his false claims about the election, stating during a radio show last week he is being attacked for “exercising my right of free speech and defending my client”.
On Monday, he said he would file suit in response.
Dominion’s action, Giuliani said, would allow him to investigate the company’s “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 leftwing 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.”
A group of prominent attorneys last week asked New York’s judiciary to suspend Giuliani’s law license because he made false claims in post-election lawsuits and urged Trump supporters to engage in “trial by combat” shortly before they stormed the US Capitol.
Dominion states in its lawsuit that it has spent $565,000 on private security to protect its employees, who are facing harassment and death threats.
Amid reports he had fallen out with Trump over his legal fees, Giuliani missed out on a pre-emptive pardon, even as Trump issued a volley of acts of clemency on his way from the White House.
Speaking to the Guardian about reports that the two men were at odds, Ken Frydman, Giuliani’s press secretary in the 1990s, said: “Lay down with dogs. Wake up with fleas and without $20,000 a day.”
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The US justice department’s internal watchdog launched an investigation on Friday after revelations that former president Donald Trump’s administration secretly seized phone data from at least two House Democrats as part of an aggressive leaks inquiry related to the Russia investigation into Trump’s conduct.
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