Despite losing more than 80 lawsuits in the aftermath of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, Republican lawmakers continue to insist that their claims of election fraud haven’t been given proper consideration by the courts. But it seems that conservative claims about rigged voting machines will be getting a thorough legal review as Rudy Giuliani becomes the latest member of the Trump team to be hit with a massive defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems.
Along with Trump attorney Sidney Powell and a coterie of media cronies, Giuliani spent months following the election spreading unfounded claims that Dominion had conspired to rig the election against Donald Trump by programming its voting machines — which were used in more than two dozen states — to flip totals in now-President Joe Biden’s favour. In a new lawsuit filed on Monday, Dominion claims that Giuliani made more than 50 false claims about the company across posts on social media, at court hearings, and during media appearances.
“Although he was unwilling to make false election fraud claims about Dominion and its voting machines in a court of law because he knew those allegations are false, he and his allies manufactured and 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,” the company wrote in the filing. “Notably, not a single one of the three complaints signed and filed by Giuliani and other attorneys for the Trump Campaign in the Pennsylvania action contained any allegations about Dominion.”
Despite Giuliani’s reluctance to accuse Dominion of wrongdoing in a court of law, the former New York City mayor has continued to spout evidenceless claims in the media that Dominion is really a Venezuelan company called Smartmatic that has close ties to the investor George Soros. In Giuliani’s telling, this shadowy cabal has rigged elections in other countries and now they’ve done it here. Dominion points to Giuliani and Trump’s decision not to sign onto “sham” litigation that did name the company filed by Trump attorneys Sidney Powell and Lin Wood in November. Dominion sued Powell for defamation earlier this month and is seeking $US1.3 ($2) billion in damages.
Giuliani’s lies, Dominion says, were also a motivating factor in the Capitol Hill riots on January 6. The company says that Giuliani mentioned issues with its voting machines in remarks to the crowd in Washington, D.C., just before Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to derail the certification of votes. Dominion lays the blame for these people’s action at the feet of Trump’s attorney, saying that the people in that crowd were “deceived by Giuliani and his allies into thinking that they were not criminals — but patriots ‘Defend[ing] the Republic’ from Dominion and its co-conspirators, they then bragged about their involvement in the crime on social media.”
Dominion says that Giuliani profited from his lies in numerous ways including through his podcast “where he exploited election falsehoods to market gold coins, supplements, cigars and protection from ‘cyberthieves.’” The suit also points to reports that Giuliani asked Trump for $US20,000 ($25,956) a day for legal counsel. Giuliani recently admitted that one of his “associates” did send an email asking for the fee but he was unaware of it at the time and he “never had a single expectation of being paid a penny.” Now that Dominion is asking the court to order Guilliani to pay $US1.3 ($2) billion in damages, that $US20,000 ($25,956) figure must be looking like a bargain.