Dominion voting machines demands pro-Trump attorney Sidney P

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Dominion voting machines demands pro-Trump attorney Sidney P

Postby admin » Fri Dec 18, 2020 2:22 am

Dominion voting machines demands pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell retract 'defamatory' accusations
by Jonathan Easlley
12/17/20 01:03 PM EST

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Attorneys for Dominion Voting Systems sent a letter to Sidney Powell, a onetime member of President Trump’s legal team, demanding she retract her claims that the voting machine company helped rig the 2020 election.

The letter, from the Alexandria, Va.-based law firm Clare Locke, warns Powell that she will expose both herself and the Trump campaign to “substantial legal risk for defamation” if she refuses to publicly recant the many unsubstantiated claims she has made about the company.

“As a result of your false accusations, Dominion has suffered enormous harm, and its employees have been stalked, have been harassed, and have received death threats,” the letter states. “We demand that you immediately and publicly retract your false accusations and set the record straight. If you refuse to do so and instead choose to stand by your defamatory falsehoods, that will be viewed as additional evidence of actual malice.”


Powell has been among the most vocal and active proponents of allegations — none of which have held up in court — that the election was stolen from Trump through widespread fraud and corruption.

Powell has claimed that Dominion used an algorithm to flip some votes from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden. She has also claimed that Dominion paid kickbacks to GOP officials in Georgia and elsewhere to keep quiet about the scheme, among many other allegations.

The former Trump attorney has not taken those claims to court, where she would have to provide proof and where Dominion would be given a chance to refute her claims in front of a judge.

Public officials in both parties have not found anything suspicious about Dominion’s voting machines, which produce a paper trail that can be tracked back to a person’s electronic vote. In Georgia, GOP officials oversaw a forensic analysis of the machines and conducted multiple recounts.

Judges across the country have roundly rejected Powell’s lawsuits for containing “nothing but speculation and conjecture” from “anonymous witnesses, hearsay, and irrelevant analysis of unrelated elections.”

The Trump campaign dissociated itself from Powell after she made the claims about Dominion at a press conference at the Republican National Committee in November, where she stood alongside Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis.


Powell did not respond to a request for comment.

Dominion’s attorneys specialize in defamation cases and have won millions of dollars in high-profile cases for their clients. Clare Lock represented the dean at the University of Virginia who was painted in a negative light in a debunked Rolling Stone story about a rape on campus, as well as the Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz, who sued the Southern Poverty Law Center for putting him on a list of anti-Muslim extremists.

The attorneys say they have “clear and convincing evidence” that Powell has acted with “actual malice,” which is an important threshold in defamation cases.

“There is clear and convincing evidence that you knowingly or recklessly disregarded that your claims about Dominion were false and made them anyway, and therefore acted with actual malice,” the attorneys wrote.
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Re: Dominion voting machines demands pro-Trump attorney Sidn

Postby admin » Fri Dec 25, 2020 3:18 am

Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Newsmax sued by Dominion executive forced into hiding: Trump's lawyer was also warned to preserve all records ahead of an “imminent” lawsuit by the voting machine company
by Igor Derysh
December 24, 2020 12:41AM (UTC)

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Rudolph Giuliani and Sydney Powell (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

A top employee at Dominion Voting Systems, the voting machine company at the heart of Trumpworld's baseless allegation that votes were flipped to President-elect Joe Biden, filed a lawsuit against the Trump campaign and conservative media outlets for defamation.

Eric Coomer, the director of product strategy and security at the Denver-based firm, accused Trump allies of pushing conspiracy theories about him and his company of intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy in a Denver court. The lawsuit names Trump's campaign, attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, pro-Trump news outlets Newsmax and One America News Network, and multiple other conservative outlets and commentators.

Giuliani during a news conference called Coomer "a vicious, vicious man. He wrote horrible things about the president ... He is completely warped," the lawsuit noted.

"Today I have filed a lawsuit in Colorado in an effort to unwind as much of the damage as possible done to me, my family, my life, and my livelihood as a result of the numerous false public statements that I was somehow responsible for 'rigging' the 2020 presidential election," Coomer said in a statement.

The lawsuit says that the unfounded conspiracy theories about Coomer have resulted in death threats, repeated harassment, and "untold damage to his reputation as a national expert on voting systems." Coomer fled his home a week after the election and is staying at an undisclosed location, the suit said.


"The widespread dissemination of false conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election has had devastating consequences both for me personally and for many of the thousands of American election workers and officials, both Republican and Democratic, who put aside their political beliefs to run free, fair, and transparent elections. Elections are not about politics; they are about accurately tabulating legally cast votes," Coomer said.

Coomer told Colorado Public Radio that the conspiracy theories about him began when conservative activist Joe Oltmann, one of the people named in the suit, spread an allegation on his podcast that Coomer told "antifa" members that he "made effing sure" Trump would not win the election. Coomer said the conversation never took place and that he has no links to any political group.

The suit also names OAN reporter Chanel Rion, who reported the allegations; conservative bloggers Jim Hoft and Michelle Malkin, who interviewed Oltmann about his allegation; and conservative commentator Eric Metaxas, among others.

Fox News was not named in the lawsuit, and the complaint actually cited Fox News' Tucker Carlson's rejection of Powell's evidence-free claim about vote-switching to back its argument.

Coomer said his, his family's, and his friends' home addresses have been posted online and some have received threatening messages.

"It's terrifying," he told NBC News. "I've worked in international elections in all sorts of post-conflict countries where election violence is real and people are getting killed over it. And I feel that we're on the verge of that."


Dominion, which provides election equipment and software in 28 states, is not part of the lawsuit. But the company has also threatened legal action against Powell and the Trump campaign if they do not retract their false claims about the company.

Powell, who Trump reportedly considered appointing as a special counsel to investigate baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud, has pushed a bizarre conspiracy theory that Dominion, as part of a plot hatched by long-dead Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and bankrolled by countries like China and Cuba, sent votes to be tabulated overseas and switched votes from Trump to Biden. She has provided no evidence of her claim, her expert witnesses were discredited, and she has lost every lawsuit seeking to overturn election results. She was ousted from Trump's legal team after alleging that Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp was paid off to stay quiet about the fictitious scheme.

"Your reckless disinformation campaign is predicated on lies that have endangered Dominion's business and the lives of its employees," Dominion said in a letter to Powell. "…Your outlandish accusations are demonstrably false. While soliciting people to send you 'millions of dollars' and holding yourself out as a beacon of truth, you have purposely avoided naming Dominion as a defendant in your sham litigation -- effectively denying Dominion the opportunity to disprove your false accusations in court."

Giuliani has tried to distance Trump from Powell but she has shown up at the White House for numerous meetings in the past week. Giuliani himself has pushed the vote-switching conspiracy without evidence and even falsely alleged that Dominion was a "front" for another voting software firm called Smartmatic. The two companies have no ties and Smartmatic's software was only used in Los Angeles County in the election.

The company issued an extensive lawsuit threat to Fox News, Newsmax, and OAN for airing the baseless allegations, arguing that the networks "engaged in a concerted disinformation campaign." The threat prompted Fox News to air segments debunking the false claims made by its hosts and guests about Smartmatic and multiple Newsmax hosts were forced to give on-air clarifications about the fraudulent claims.

The Trump campaign has apparently expected to face legal trouble over Powell's conspiracy theory. Trump's campaign legal team sent a memo to dozen of staffers obtained by CNN that warned them to preserve all documents related to Dominion and Powell. A law firm representing Dominion later sent a letter to Giuliani and White House counsel Pat Cipollone instructing them to preserve all records related to the company, warning that legal action was "imminent," according to the network.

The letter demanded that Giuliani stop making "defamatory claims against Dominion" and ensure there is "no confusion about your obligation to preserve and retain all documents relating to Dominion and your smear campaign against the company."
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Re: Dominion voting machines demands pro-Trump attorney Sidn

Postby admin » Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:40 am

Election technology company Dominion sues Giuliani for $1.3 billion over 'Big Lie' about election fraud
by Katelyn Polantz
CNN
Updated 9:19 PM ET, Mon January 25, 2021

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(CNN) An election technology company that has been the focus of consistent conspiracy theories by Donald Trump and his allies has sued the former President's lawyer Rudy Giuliani for defamation after he pushed the "Big Lie" about election fraud on his podcast and TV appearances.

Dominion Voting Systems is seeking more than $1.3 billion in damages.

"Just as Giuliani and his allies intended, the Big Lie went viral on social media as people tweeted, retweeted, and raged that Dominion had stolen their votes. While some lies -- little lies -- flare up on social media and die with the next news cycle, the Big Lie was different," lawyers for Dominion wrote in the lawsuit, filed in DC District Court on Monday morning. "The harm to Dominion's business and reputation is unprecedented and irreparable because of how fervently millions of people believe it."

The lawsuit notes that while Giuliani spread falsehoods about Dominion being owned by Venezuelan communists and corrupting the election, he did not make those claims in lawsuits he pushed on behalf of Trump.


"Dominion's defamation lawsuit for $1.3B will allow me to investigate their history, finances, and practices fully and completely," Giuliani told CNN in a statement Monday. "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."

He said he will "investigate a countersuit against them for violating these Constitutional rights."

This is the second defamation lawsuit Dominion has filed in recent weeks seeking to recoup its losses following the Trump post-election disinformation campaign. The vote auditing company previously sued lawyer Sidney Powell, who pushed similar claims alongside Giuliani. The Powell lawsuit is still in its earliest stage.

Dominion has positioned itself in recent weeks as a major voice to push back against Trump's false election claims and the insurrection of the Capitol by his followers who hoped to overturn Joe Biden's win.

In the lawsuit Monday, the company focused on how Giuliani continued to claim without evidence that Dominion aided election fraud even after he received a cease-and-desist letter. The Canadian-founded company details how listeners of Giuliani reacted by amplifying online his message of a stolen election. The former mayor of New York and well-known prosecutor repeated his claims on podcasts and his radio show and YouTube shows. He also used his platform in recent months to make money pitching cigars, a conservative alternative to the AARP and the sale of gold coins, the lawsuit says.

Giuliani also appeared on TV networks OANN, Fox and Fox Business to make accusations of election fraud, the lawsuit notes.

Dominion also details how on January 6 -- hours before a crowd of Trump supporters in Washington violently overran the Capitol -- Giuliani continued to push claims of election fraud about Dominion in tweets, on a YouTube appearance and in his own speech at the event. Giuliani said at the rally, without evidence, that he knew of an expert who had examined Dominion voting machines and saw changed votes, concluding, "This election was stolen," according to the complaint.


Dominion sent Giuliani a second letter, asking for a retraction on January 10, the company says.

"Giuliani has not retracted his false claims about Dominion, and many of his false and defamatory television and radio appearances and tweets remain available online to a global internet audience. Indeed, to this day, he continues to double down on the Big Lie," the lawsuit noted.

Dominion said it is now distrusted by millions of American voters and its employees have been harassed. The company believes hundreds of its contracts with states and localities are now in jeopardy and that the business projects a loss of profits in the next five years of $200 million, according to the lawsuit.


Tom Clare, a lawyer for the company, said it may seek to depose Giuliani as part of the lawsuit.

When asked on a call with the media Monday if Dominion plans to sue Trump himself, Clare said, "We're not ruling anybody out."

Previously, when Dominion sued Powell, the company said it was planning to bring additional lawsuits and was also looking at possibly suing media organizations that gave platforms to election disinformation. Clare said the same thing about Trump then -- that the company hadn't ruled out anyone yet as it plans additional litigation.

"There are a number of individuals and media companies that we think are complicit. They said them in their own voice, in their own personalities and in print, and they provided a platform," Clare said previously, after the Powell lawsuit was filed on January 8.

"There will be others" sued, Clare said on Monday.

This story has been updated with additional information.
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Re: Dominion voting machines demands pro-Trump attorney Sidn

Postby admin » Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:10 am

Fox News Sued By Dominion Voting For Defamation Over Election Conspiracy
by Alison Durkee
Forbes Staff
Mar 26, 2021,06:44am EST
Updated Mar 26, 2021, 10:01am EST

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TOPLINE

Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit Friday against Fox News taking aim at the network for spreading false claims about its voting machines to improve its ratings, marking the fourth lawsuit the voting company has filed over a false election fraud conspiracy theory involving the machines that has gained traction on the far right.

KEY FACTS

• Dominion’s voting machines are at the heart of a right-wing conspiracy theory alleging they fraudulently flipped votes from then-President Donald Trump to Joe Biden, which there is no credible evidence to support but has been pushed by Trump allies, including on Fox News.

• “Fox set out to lure viewers back—including President Trump himself—by intentionally and falsely blaming Dominion for President Trump’s loss by rigging the election,” the lawsuit, filed in state court in Delaware, alleges.

• “At a minimum, Fox recklessly disregarded the truth” about its machines, Dominion alleges, noting that while some broadcasters on the network did call out the conspiracy theory as unsubstantiated, those statements “make Fox’s actions worse” by showing how the network pushed the claims despite knowing they were false.

• Dominion alleges the false election fraud narrative was beneficial to Fox’s ratings and bottom line, noting Fox Corporation’s stock had “rebounded to its pre-election value” after a month of promoting the voting machine claims.

• The lawsuit takes aim at claims spread on the network by such anchors as Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity but does not name them as defendants, with attorneys saying on a press call Friday, “Ultimately, the buck stops with Fox.”

• Dominion sent multiple letters to Fox News asking them to retract their false election claims, but allege the network did not respond and instead “double[d] down” on the conspiracy theory, going “right back on the attack against Dominion” on Jeanine Pirro’s program the day after the first letter was sent.

CRUCIAL QUOTE

“The truth matters. Lies have consequences. Fox sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process,” the lawsuit alleges. “If this case does not rise to the level of defamation by a broadcaster, then nothing does.”

CHIEF CRITIC

“FOX News Media is proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism, and will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit in court,” the company said in a statement to Forbes.

KEY BACKGROUND

The lawsuit follows previous Dominion lawsuits against pro-Trump attorneys Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, and comes after Smartmatic also sued Fox News and several of its anchors—as well as Powell and Giuliani—regarding claims against their machines. (Fox News has moved to dismiss the Smartmatic lawsuit and denied those allegations as well.) The false election claims have significantly impacted Dominion’s business, the company alleges, noting that states have backed down from contracts with the company over the effect of the election fraud theory. Dominion alleges state legislators in states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania have all expressed a desire to “reassess” their contracts with Dominion. “They have done so because of pressure from constituents and donors as a direct result of the lies peddled by Fox,” the company said in the lawsuit.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Dominion is expected to file additional defamation suits against others who have spread the election conspiracy theory, including potentially other right-wing media networks like Newsmax and One America News. Though the company did not name any of Fox’s individual anchors in the lawsuit, it has sent letters to many of them demanding they retract their claims, and attorneys told reporters Friday they were still exploring whether to bring subsequent lawsuits against specific anchors.

****************************

After Lawsuit Against Fox News, Here's Who Dominion Has Sued So Far -- And Who Could Be Next
by Alison Durkee
Forbes Staff
Mar 26, 2021,01:10pm EST

TOPLINE Dominion Voting Systems sued Fox News Friday accusing the network of defamation, in the fourth lawsuit it has filed over baseless election fraud claims about the company’s voting machines. Here’s everyone who has been sued so far, and who could face litigation next:

KEY FACTS

• Denver-based Dominion filed a $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox News alleging the network had knowingly spread false news about its machines to improve failing ratings, saying they had “set out to lure viewers back...by intentionally and falsely blaming Dominion” for President Donald Trump’s loss.

• The company filed its first lawsuit in January against pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell, who has been the most prominent person spreading the fraud claims, seeking $1.3 billion in damages.

• It filed suit later in the month against Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, alleging he used the conspiracy theory about Dominion’s machines to personally “enrich himself” while knowing the claims were false.

• Dominion made similar allegations against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, suing the businessman and his company in February and claiming Lindell “sells the lie” involving the company’s voting machines “because the lie sells pillows.”

• Dominion has identified more than 150 people as potential targets of litigation, and it has sent letters to preserve evidence and warning of potential litigation to Newsmax, One America News and right-wing figures including pro-Trump attorney Lin Wood, Fox News anchors and Melissa Carone, who Giuliani has promoted as a witness to supposed voter fraud efforts.

• The company sent letters to social media networks in February asking them to preserve posts from Trump and his campaign, as well as from Trump allies including former Trump advisor Michael Flynn, Fox anchor Jeanine Pirro, Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis and far-right political commentator Dan Bongino.

Dominion’s attorneys told reporters Friday the company is continuing to investigate claims made against it by other individuals and media networks on the right, and they anticipate more lawsuits may be coming. “I don’t think this is gonna be the last lawsuit filed,” attorney Stephen Shackelford said. Though the company named only Fox News as a defendant in their lawsuit Friday and not individual anchors like Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity who spread the claims, Dominion’s counsel said they “have not ruled out” bringing subsequent lawsuits against individual Fox personalities. The company has also not ruled out suing other media outlets like Newsmax and OAN.

CHIEF CRITICS

Those sued have largely remained defiant: Fox News said in a statement Friday the company “is proud of our 2020 election coverage” and would “vigorously defend” themselves against the litigation, Giuliani said the lawsuit against him was “another act of intimidation by the hate-filled left-wing” and Lindell said he “welcomed” Dominion’s lawsuit, telling Forbes before it was filed, “Dominion, please sue me.” Powell’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss her lawsuit this week, which alleged her statements about the company should not be taken seriously and “reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact.” It is a “well recognized principle that political statements are inherently prone to exaggeration and hyperbole,” Powell’s attorneys argued.

KEY BACKGROUND

Dominion’s voting machines are at the heart of a right-wing conspiracy theory alleging they were used to fraudulently flip votes from Trump to Joe Biden, which is not substantiated by evidence. Dominion says that the claims have substantially hurt its business and put its employees in danger. The voting company controls about 30% of the U.S. market, according to data cited by ProPublica in 2019—making it the second-largest business of its kind in the country—and said in its Fox News lawsuit that it has contracts with 28 states. Business analytics firm Dun & Bradstreet estimated the company’s 2021 annual revenue will be $40.15 million, though the company alleges it has lost out on state contracts over concerns raised by constituents and Republican lawmakers about the fraud claims, including a $10 million contract in Stark County, Ohio, and a $100 million contract in Louisiana.

TANGENT

In addition to Dominion, rival voting company Smartmatic has also filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit against Powell, Giuliani, Fox News and several of its anchors. Fox News and its personalities have similarly denied the claims in that lawsuit and filed motions to dismiss.
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Re: Dominion voting machines demands pro-Trump attorney Sidn

Postby admin » Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:33 am

Sidney Powell gives up the game, admits Trump’s election conspiracies weren’t factual: In response to Dominion’s defamation lawsuit, Powell’s lawyers say “reasonable people” wouldn’t buy her claims.
by Aaron Rupar@atrupar
Vox.com
Mar 23, 2021, 2:25pm EDT

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In response to Dominion’s defamation lawsuit, Powell’s lawyers say “reasonable people” wouldn’t buy her claims.

As a former Trump campaign lawyer, Sidney Powell did more than perhaps anyone to push the big lie that President Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in last November’s presidential election was the result of fraud involving Dominion Voting Systems machines. Now, however, lawyers representing her have acknowledged that the “big lie” is, in fact, just that.

Powell faces a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit from Dominion because of her false claims, and on Monday her lawyers offered her defense: that “no reasonable person would conclude that the statements” Powell made about election fraud “were truly statements of fact.”

“Indeed, Plaintiffs themselves characterize the statements at issue as ‘wild accusations’ and ‘outlandish claims.’ They are repeatedly labelled ‘inherently improbable’ and even ‘impossible,’” Powell’s lawyers add. “Such characterizations of the allegedly defamatory statements further support Defendants’ position that reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact but view them only as claims that await testing by the courts through the adversary process.”

Image
Zoe Tillman
@Zoe Tillman
Sidney Powell has moved to dismiss Dominion's defamation lawsuit. She argues that when she accused Dominion of being part of an election-rigging scheme with ties to Venezuela, "no reasonable person would conclude" those "were truly statements of fact"

https://assets.documentcloud.org/docume ... nding-the-DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS
1:49 pm Mar 22, 2021


Indeed, Powell’s conspiracy theories were wild and outlandish.

During an infamous November 19 news conference, for instance, she asserted that there was a “globalist” conspiracy to take down Trump — improbably involving the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez — and asserted that “in the middle of the night, after they’ve supposedly stopped counting, and that’s when the Dominion operators went in and injected votes and changed the whole system.”

Image
Aaron Rupar
@atrupar
Replying to @atrupar
"In the middle of the night, after they've supposedly stop counting, and that's when the Dominion operators went in and injected votes" -- the conspiracy theories about "globalists dictators" being pushed by Sidney Powell would make Alex Jones blush. They are absolutely insane.
11:30 AM Nov 19, 2020


There was just one problem for Powell: She was never able to produce a shred of evidence for her claims.

On the contrary, election officials on both sides of the aisle, and Trump administration officials like Attorney General Bill Barr, admitted that Biden’s victory over Trump was the product of a free and fair election. And the outlandishness of her conspiracy theories seemed to be a bit much even for Rudy Giuliani, who during a Newsmax interview in December distanced Trump’s legal team from Powell and said her arguments go beyond “the bounds of rationality, common sense, and the law.”

But as the legal challenges to the election that Powell and other lawyers filed on behalf of Trump failed one by one, Trump not only didn’t join Giuliani in distancing himself from Powell, but reportedly considered appointing her as special counsel to investigate the very unfounded claims of election fraud she was pushing.

That plan didn’t pan out, and in the days after the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol, Dominion began taking legal action against those who pushed lies about its voting systems, including Powell, Giuliani, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Fox News, and Newsmax.

“Dominion brings this action to set the record straight,” lawyers representing Dominion wrote in the suit against Powell, adding later: “There are mountains of direct evidence that conclusively disprove Powell’s vote manipulation claims against Dominion — namely, the millions of paper ballots that were audited and recounted by bipartisan officials and volunteers in Georgia and other swing states, which confirmed that Dominion accurately counted votes on paper ballots.”

Powell’s legal filing suggests her money was never where her mouth was.

And yet the big lie lives on

While Powell’s attorneys were quietly acknowledging that her conspiracy theories aren’t true, Trump was on Fox News pushing the big lie with impunity.

“Look, we won the election, as far as I’m concerned. We had a great election. We had almost 75 million votes,” he said on Tuesday.


Image
Aaron Rupar
@atrupar
Replying to @atrupar
Trump pushes the big lie live on Fox News, gets no pushback from Harris Faulkner
8:13 AM Mar 22, 2021


Trump wasn’t challenged to back up his claims, but it is notable that there’s been a change in his approach when talking about the election, and one that was apparent in his Fox News appearance.

When the former president has tried to make a case that the election was stolen from him in recent weeks, he’s no longer made claims about votes being changed. Instead, he’s argued that pandemic-related changes to state election laws were unconstitutional — arguments that were rejected in courtroom after courtroom when Trump’s lawyers made them, including by judges he appointed.

Image
Aaron Rupar
@atrupar
Replying to @atrupar
hard to imagine that courts didn't find this argument persuasive
3:53 PM Feb 28, 2021


Despite this shift, Trump ultimately hasn’t repudiated his false claims, as Powell appears to be doing. And as baseless as it may be, the big lie not only lives on in Trump’s new narrative but is giving Republicans in states like Georgia and Arizona that Trump narrowly lost a pretext to try to make it harder for people to vote.

Powell is reviving the Tucker Carlson defense

Powell’s court filing represents the second time in recent months that a prominent Trumpworld figure has acknowledged in a court of law that they are full of it. Fox News did much the same thing to defend host Tucker Carlson against a defamation lawsuit brought by Karen McDougal, a woman who claims to have had an affair with Trump.

As Aaron Blake explains for the Washington Post:

When Carlson accused Karen McDougal of extorting former president Donald Trump over her claims of an affair, McDougal filed suit against him. Fox News’s defense was that a “reasonable viewer” would not accept such claims as fact because of the tenor of Carlson’s show. And a judge agreed, dismissing the case.


It remains to be seen whether Powell’s strategy will be similarly successful. But her filing makes it clearer than ever that Trump allies’ attempt to overthrow the 2020 election was a naked power grab based on a pack of lies.
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Re: Dominion voting machines demands pro-Trump attorney Sidn

Postby admin » Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:57 am

Dominion Voting Defamation Lawsuit Against Fox News: Federal Action is Needed to Stop False News
Mar 27, 2021
by Glenn Kirschner



Billion-dollar defamation suits continue to mount against Fox News. Dominion Voting Systems is the lasted plaintiff to sue Fox for defamation. Fox's litigation position will be challenging given that one of its marquee guests, Sidney Powell, has also been sued for defamation and has admitted in her reply to the suit that "reasonable people" would not have credited what she said.

The federal government needs to take on news organizations that peddle fiction as fact. Here is how the government can regulate and legislate in this arena while honoring First Amendment protections of free speech and a free press.
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Re: Dominion voting machines demands pro-Trump attorney Sidn

Postby admin » Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:39 pm

Sidney Powell on Being Sued by Dominion
by Saturday Night Live - SNL

Mar 27, 2021



Sidney Powell stops by Weekend Update to discuss being sued for defamation by Dominion for making false voter fraud claims during the 2020 Election.
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Re: Dominion voting machines demands pro-Trump attorney Sidn

Postby admin » Fri Aug 13, 2021 4:52 am

'Expert Mathematician' on Election Fraud Actually a Swing Set Installer, Lawsuit Claims
A man posing as a math expert with evidence Trump won the election is actually a convicted drug dealer with no college degree who installs swing sets, according to a lawsuit.

by Aaron Gordon
vice.com
August 10, 2021, 9:52am

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Edward Solomon, not a mathematician

On January 27, the pro-Trump channel OAN broadcast a segment interviewing an "expert mathematician" named Ed Solomon who claimed to have found evidence within precinct-level reporting that the election was rigged by an algorithm. The basis of Solomon's claim is that he found several precincts throughout the country reporting exactly the same results at various times throughout the vote tabulation process.

Asked by host Christina Bobb what the likelihood of what Solomon claimed to have found being a coincidence is, Solomon replied, "You can use the binomial probability formula, and the chance of that event happening is one over ten to an exponent so large there's not enough stars in the universe—there's not enough atoms in the universe to explain the number. It can't happen naturally."

If this sounds suspiciously vague for a mathematician, that's because Solomon is not actually a mathematician, according to a lawsuit voting machine company Dominion filed against OAN for knowingly reporting defamatory claims against the company in the wake of Trump's loss. In fact, according to the lawsuit, Solomon is a convicted drug dealer and "was working as an 'installer' at a swing set construction company in Long Island" at the time of the interview.

According to a FactCheck.org review of Solomon's segment, his mathematical expertise is limited to having taken a few math classes at Stony Brook University from 2008 to 2015. He never received a degree.

Motherboard was able to independently verify that an Edward Solomon from Ronkonkoma, Long Island bearing a visual resemblance to the Edward Solomon in the video was arrested for a range of drug-related charges in 2016 and served two years for criminal sale of controlled substances.
Dominion spokesperson Claire Bischoff told Motherboard the company learned this through "publicly available information" but declined to explain further on the record. Motherboard was unable to reach Solomon for comment.

As for the nature of Solomon's supposed findings, FactCheck.org spoke to several actual voting systems and math experts who noted that, far from being "not enough atoms in the universe" to explain its occurrence, whatever that means, is not at all odd for various precincts to have the same vote shares at different times in different parts of the country. It is also unclear where his data actually came from, since in the original 50-minute video outlining his claims, Solomon says it is the "data from the NYT feed from PA on November fourth" and the link to the "original data sets" is dead.

Dominion sent OAN two retraction demands within a week of the video being posted, according to the lawsuit, pointing out that Solomon lacks any expertise and is a convicted felon. The lawsuit says OAN "quietly removed" the video and story from its website, but it can still be found on OAN's Rumble page, a popular video platform for Trump supporters, where it bears the title "Smoking Gun." Solomon has continued to post YouTube videos of election analysis and math lessons for months. His most recent stream from early July, "The Mirror of Maricopa; Is there a parametric line?" is 11 and a half hours long.
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Re: Dominion voting machines demands pro-Trump attorney Sidn

Postby admin » Fri Aug 13, 2021 4:57 am

Judge denies efforts by Powell, Lindell, and Giuliani to dismiss Dominion lawsuits
by Jake Dima, Breaking News Reporter
August 11, 2021 07:30 PM
Updated Aug 12, 2021, 12:32 PM



A federal judge denied motions from MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell, and Rudy Giuliani to dismiss defamation lawsuits from Dominion Voting Systems accusing the trio of damaging election fraud claims pertaining to the company's machines.

On Wednesday, Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee in Washington, D.C., rejected Powell's assertion that her remarks after the 2020 election were mere "opinions" or "legal theories" that "cannot be proven true or false."
Although Lindell assured "evidence" could support his claims, the court concluded it could not "rely on this information" as it was outside the scope of the complaint.

Giuliani, former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, argued separately that Dominion could only "recover lost profits" as it is a corporation, among other theories. The judge also rejected his arguments.

DOMINION FILES SUIT AGAINST OAN OVER VOTER FRAUD ACCUSATIONS

In January, Powell became the first of the defendants to be sued by Dominion for $1.3 billion. Giuliani was sued weeks later, followed by Lindell, who was hit with a lawsuit in mid-February. Lindell has filed his own lawsuits against Dominion.

"The recent attacks on the democratic process are not singular or isolated events," Dominion said in a January statement. "They are the result of a deliberate and malicious campaign of lies over many months. Sidney Powell and others created and disseminated these lies, assisted and amplified by a range of media platforms."

"Lies were told about government election officials, elections workers, and Dominion Voting Systems," the company added. "Those lies have consequences. They have served to diminish the credibility of U.S. elections. They have subjected officials and Dominion employees to harassment and death threats. And they have severely damaged the reputation of our company."

Dominion has since filed litigation against Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network. Fox News has filed to dismiss the case against it.

"During and after the November 2020 election, OAN saw a business opportunity. Spurred by a quest for profits and viewers, OAN — a competitor to media giant Fox — engaged in a race to the bottom with Fox and other outlets such as Newsmax to spread false and manufactured stories about election fraud," Dominion wrote in its suit against OAN.

"Dominion quickly became the focus of this downward spiral of lies, as each broadcaster attempted to outdo the others by making the lies more outrageous, spreading them further, and endorsing them as strongly as possible," the company added.

President Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, mustering 306 electoral votes, compared to Trump, who garnered only 232.

Since top authorities certified the election, Trump and his allies have sought to contest the election in a number of court battles, with none overturning the results. Still, they claim the election was stolen and have turned their support to partisan audits in places such as Maricopa County, Arizona, hoping they will uncover widespread fraud they say took place.
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Re: Dominion voting machines demands pro-Trump attorney Sidn

Postby admin » Fri Aug 13, 2021 5:20 am

Excerpt from Memorandum Opinion Re Powell, Giuliani and My Pillow's Motions to Dismiss
USDC for the District of Columbia
US Dominion, Inc., et al., Plaintiffs, v. Sidney Powell, et al., Defendants,
Civil Action No. 1:21-cv-00040 (CJN)
8/11/21

IV. Analysis

A. Statements of Fact or Opinion


Powell alone argues that her statements cannot be defamatory because no reasonable person could conclude that they were statements of fact. According to Powell, her statements were either "opinions" that cannot be proven true or false or "legal theories . . . made in the context of pending and impending litigation." Powell’s Mot. at 43–44.

For a statement to be actionable as defamatory, it must at least express or imply a verifiably false fact about the plaintiff. Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1, 19–20 (1990). And while statements of opinion regarding matters of public concern cannot be defamatory if they do not contain or imply a provably false fact, they are actionable if they imply a provably false fact or rely upon stated facts that are provably false. Id. at 20. "In deciding whether a reasonable factfinder could conclude that a statement expressed or implied a verifiably false fact about [the plaintiff], the court must consider the statement in context." Weyrich v. New Republic, Inc., 235 F.3d 617, 624 (D.C. Cir. 2001).6

Powell contends that no reasonable person could conclude that her statements were statements of fact because they "concern the 2020 presidential election, which was both bitter and controversial," Powell’s Mot. at 38, and were made "as an attorney-advocate for [Powell’s] preferred candidate and in support of her legal and political positions," id. at 39. As an initial matter, there is no blanket immunity for statements that are "political" in nature: as the Court of Appeals has put it, the fact that statements were made in a "political ‘context’ does not indiscriminately immunize every statement contained therein." Weyrich, 235 F.3d at 626. It is true that courts recognize the value in some level of "imaginative expression" or "rhetorical hyperbole" in our public debate. Milkovich, 497 U.S. at 2.7 But it is simply not the law that provably false statements cannot be actionable if made in the context of an election.8

Powell similarly argues that her statements were protected commentary about other lawsuits. But Powell cannot shield herself from liability for her widely disseminated out-of-court statements by casting them as protected statements about in-court litigation; an attorney’s out-of-court statements to the public can be actionable, even if those statements concern contemplated or ongoing litigation. Messina v. Krakower, 439 F.3d 755, 761–62 (D.C. Cir. 2006) (recognizing no privilege when statement is "published to persons not having an interest [in] or connection to the litigation") (quoting Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran v. Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc., 774 A.2d 332, 342 (D.C. 2001)); see also Williams v. Burns, 540 F. Supp. 1243, 1247 (D. Colo. 1982) (contemplating actionable defamation claim for attorney’s statements while representing client during business transaction).

The question, then, is whether a reasonable juror could conclude that Powell’s statements expressed or implied a verifiably false fact about Dominion. Milkovich, 497 U.S. at 19–20. This is not a close call. To take one example, Powell has stated publicly that she has "evidence from [the] mouth of the guy who founded [Dominion] admit[ting that] he can change a million votes, no problem at all." Powell Compl. ¶ 181(j). She told audiences that she would "tweet out the video." Id. These statements are either true or not; either Powell has a video depicting the founder of Dominion saying he can "change a million votes," or she does not.

To take another example, Powell has stated that she could "hardly wait to put forth all the evidence . . . on Dominion, starting with the fact it was created to produce altered voting results in Venezuela for Hugo Chávez." Id. ¶ 181(e). Again, this statement is either true or it is not; either Dominion was created to produce altered voting results in Venezuela for Hugo Chávez or (as Dominion alleges) it was not.9

Take a few more examples. Powell has stated publicly that Dominion "flipped," "weighted," and "injected" votes during the 2020 election, see supra at p. 7; Powell Compl. ¶¶ 181(v), 181(ii), 181(u); either Dominion did so or (as Dominion alleges) it did not. Powell has claimed that state officials received kickbacks in exchange for using Dominion machines, id. ¶ 181(g); either state officials received such kickbacks or (as Dominion alleges) they did not. All of these statements, and many others alleged in Dominion’s Complaint, "expressed or implied a verifiably false fact" about Dominion. See Weyrich, 235 F.3d at 624.


Powell argues that these statements are merely her own interpretation of "underlying facts [that] have been disclosed." Powell’s Mot. at 32. Statements may not be actionable if the "defendant provides the facts underlying the challenged statements, [and] it is ‘clear that the challenged statements represent [her] own interpretation of those facts, . . . leav[ing] the reader free to draw his own conclusions.’" Bauman v. Butowsky, 377 F. Supp. 3d 1, 11 n.7 (D.D.C. 2019) (quoting Adelson v. Harris, 973 F. Supp. 2d 467, 490 (S.D.N.Y. 2013), aff’d, 876 F.3d 413 (2d Cir. 2017)). But with respect to many of Powell’s allegedly defamatory statements, Dominion alleges (and for the purposes of the Motion to Dismiss, the Court must accept as true) that she lied about having (or at the very least has not disclosed) her purported "underlying facts." For example, Powell has stated that she has "evidence from [the] mouth of the guy who founded [Dominion] admit[ting that] he can change a million votes, no problem at all." Powell Compl. ¶ 181(j). She has not, however, disclosed that video. She has also claimed that Dominion paid "kickbacks and benefits" to the families of Georgia public officials. Id. ¶ 181(n). But the only evidence to which Powell points in support of this claim is an undated (and allegedly doctored) Georgia state certificate stating that Dominion’s systems had "been thoroughly examined and tested and found to be in compliance with" Georgia law. Id. ¶ 39. That certificate provides no evidence of illicit payments to public officials’ families; it is certainly not, as Powell has argued,

evidence . . . from various whistleblowers that are aware of substantial sums of money being given to family members of state officials who bought this software. . . . $100 million packages for new voting machines suddenly, in multiple states, and benefits ranging from financial benefits for family members to sort of what I would call election insurance, because they know that they can win the election if they are using that software.


Id. ¶ 181(g). More generally, Dominion alleges that for many of Powell’s statements, the evidence to which she points is either false or provides no factual basis for what she said—and at this stage in the litigation, the Court must assume the truth of these allegations. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 664 (2009).

In sum, Dominion has adequately alleged that Powell made a number of statements that are actionable because a reasonable juror could conclude that they were either statements of fact or statements of opinion that implied or relied upon facts that are provably false. See Milkovich, 497 U.S. at 20.10

B. Actual Malice

Powell and Lindell both argue that Dominion has failed to allege that they made their defamatory statements "with ‘actual malice,’ that is, with ‘knowledge that [they were] false or with reckless disregard of whether [they were] false or not.’" Liberty Lobby, Inc. v. Dow Jones & Co., 838 F.2d 1287, 1292 (D.C. Cir. 1988) (quoting N.Y. Times Co. v. Sullivan, 370 U.S. 254, 280 (1964)).11 A defendant acts in reckless disregard of the truth if she "in fact entertained serious doubts as to the truth of [its] publication" or acted "‘with a high degree of awareness of . . .probable falsity.’" St. Amant v. Thompson, 390 U.S. 727, 731 (1968) (quoting Garrison v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 64, 74 (1964)). The "‘serious doubt’ standard requires a showing of subjective doubts by the defendant." Tavoulareas v. Piro, 817 F.2d 762, 789 (D.C. Cir. 1987) (en banc); see also St. Amant, 390 U.S. at 731 (explaining that "reckless conduct is not measured by whether a reasonably prudent man would have published, or would have investigated before publishing" the statement); Jankovic v. Int’l Crisis Grp., 822 F.3d 576, 589 (D.C. Cir. 2016) ("[I]t is not enough to show that defendant should have known better; instead, the plaintiff must offer evidence that the defendant in fact harbored subjective doubt."). Subjective doubt can be proven through "the cumulation of circumstantial evidence [and] direct evidence," id. at 589 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted), demonstrating that the defendant was "subjectively aware that it was highly probable that [its] story was ‘(1) fabricated; (2) so inherently improbable that only a reckless person would have put [it] in circulation; or (3) based wholly on an unverified anonymous telephone call or some other source that [it] had obvious reasons to doubt.’" Lohrenz v. Donnelly, 350 F.3d 1272, 1283 (D.C. Cir. 2003) (quoting Tavoulareas, 817 F.2d at 790)).

a. Powell

Dominion argues that it has cleared this high bar. As to Powell, Dominion contends it has alleged not only that Powell’s claims are so inherently improbable that only a reckless person could have believed them, but also that she deliberately ignored the truth in favor of relying on facially unreliable sources, intentionally lied about and fabricated evidence to support a preconceived narrative about election fraud, and did so to raise her own public profile and make a profit.

Powell’s primary argument is that she could not have "entertained serious doubts as to the truth" or acted with a "high degree of awareness" of the "probable falsity" of her claims because she relied on sworn declarations and other evidence that supported her statements. Powell’s Mot. at 46–48; see St. Amant, 390 U.S. at 731. But there is no rule that a defendant cannot act in reckless disregard of the truth when relying on sworn affidavits—especially sworn affidavits that the defendant had a role in creating. And Dominion alleges that Powell’s "evidence" was either falsified by Powell herself, misrepresented and cherry-picked, or so obviously unreliable that Powell had to have known it was false or had acted with reckless disregard for the truth. See, e.g., Powell Compl. ¶¶ 91–92, 7.

Powell again faces an obvious hurdle in the fact that she has never produced (nor mentioned in any sworn affidavit) the video of Dominion’s founder that she claims to possess, see supra at p.6; a reasonable juror could conclude that Powell has not produced the video because she doesn’t have it. Dominion also alleges that Powell doctored a certificate from the Georgia Secretary of State to make it appear as though Georgia officials purchased Dominion machines and software on a rushed timeline. Powell Compl. ¶ 91. (The certificate, which is publicly available on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website, includes the Georgia Secretary of State’s date, seal, and signature—but Powell claimed that the Dominion certification was "undated" and filed a copy of the certificate that was missing the date, seal, and signature during the course of her election litigation in Georgia. Id.)

Dominion also alleges that Powell had a hand in drafting the declarations she touts as evidence of her claims. For example, Dominion alleges that the "military intelligence expert" who was the source for one declaration has admitted that he never actually worked in military intelligence, that the declaration Powell’s law firm drafted for him was "misleading," and that he was "trying to backtrack" on it. Id. ¶ 5. Dominion further alleges that after that source’s recantation, Powell claimed that the declaration was actually from a different anonymous source (instead of investigating whether there was a reason to doubt the truth of the original source’s claims). Id. As for the other anonymous declarations proffered by Powell, Dominion alleges that they bear distinct signs of having been drafted by Powell herself. Indeed, certain sections in two of the declarations are almost completely identical. Id. ¶ 90.

More generally, Dominion alleges that the declarations provide no facts to support Powell’s claims that Dominion flipped, stole, weighted, or injected any votes into a U.S. election.
For example, one declaration says that "vote counting was abruptly stopped in five states using Dominion software"; that at that time "Donald Trump was significantly ahead in the votes"; and that "[w]hen the vote reporting resumed the very next morning there was a very pronounced change in voting in favor of the opposing candidate, Joe Biden." Pearson v. Kemp, No. 1:20-cv-04809 (N.D. Ga. Nov. 25, 2020) [ECF No. 1-2 at ¶ 26]. The declaration provides no factual support for the proposition that Dominion had flipped votes from Trump to Biden, and it certainly says nothing about Dominion having been created in Venezuela. Powell Compl. ¶ 181(e). A second declaration provides even less support; while it mentions Smartmatic, it says nothing about Dominion or a U.S. election. See generally Pearson v. Kemp, No. 1:20-cv-04809 (N.D. Ga. Nov. 25, 2020) [ECF No. 1-3 at ¶ 11].

Dominion further alleges that Powell’s "expert" reports are inherently unreliable and, as a former federal prosecutor, Powell had good reason to doubt their veracity. Powell Compl. ¶ 104. In particular, it alleges that one expert was involved in a recent fraud case where the judge "ordered [the ‘expert’] to pay more than $25,000 after finding that she violated consumer protection laws by misspending money she raised and soliciting donations while misrepresenting her experience and education," id. ¶ 105, and that another was found to have provided "materially false information" in support of his claims of vote manipulation after referencing locations in Minnesota when alleging voter fraud in Michigan, id. ¶ 106. (That expert has also publicly claimed that George Soros, President George H.W. Bush’s father, the Muslim Brotherhood, and "leftists" helped form the "Deep State" in Nazi Germany in the 1930s—which would have been a remarkable feat for Soros, who was born in 1930. Id.) Dominion also alleges that a third expert has been rejected by another federal court for his "sheer unreliability," id. ¶ 107, and a fourth has declared, under penalty of perjury, that there was a pattern of improbable vote reporting in a Michigan county that does not exist, id. ¶ 108. According to Dominion, an experienced litigator like Powell either knew (or should have known) about these grave problems with her experts’ reliability, and thus she must have "entertained serious doubts as to the truth" of her statements or at a minimum acted "with a high degree of awareness of [their] probable falsity." Id. ¶¶ 104–09; see St. Amant, 390 U.S. at 731.

Dominion also alleges that Powell cherry-picked and took out of context statements regarding general concerns about election security made by Professor Andrew W. Appel. Powell Compl. ¶ 89. According to Dominion, Professor Appel’s research regarding election security is reputable, but concerns "a decades-old machine not designed by Dominion [and] not used in the 2020 election in any of the swing states . . . challenged by Powell." Id. (emphasis added). Indeed, Dominion alleges that Professor Appel stated that he "ha[s] never claimed that technical vulnerabilities have actually been exploited to alter the outcome of any US [sic] election" and that "no credible evidence has been put forth that supports a conclusion that the 2020 outcome in any state has been altered through technical compromise." Id. (emphasis omitted). A reasonable juror could conclude that Powell’s reliance on Professor Appel’s research when he has stated that there is "no credible evidence" of fraud is evidence of at least reckless disregard. See Zimmerman v. Al Jazeera Am., LLC, 246 F. Supp. 3d 257, 283–84 (D.D.C. 2017).

Dominion argues that its allegations regarding falsified documents, inherently unreliable sources, misrepresentations about other evidence, and Powell’s shifting positions reflect actual malice. It also argues that Powell had reasons for this conduct: to raise funds, to raise her public profile, and to curry favor with President Trump. Powell Compl. ¶¶ 75, 80, 185. Powell argues that Dominion has no facts to support these claims. But Dominion alleges that Powell repeatedly solicited donations to her law firm and DTR while making her claims, id. ¶ 58;12 that President Trump pardoned her client, Michael Flynn, on the same day she filed her first lawsuit challenging the results of the 2020 election, id. ¶ 80; and that in November 2020, "someone purchased the web domain sidneypowellforpresident.com," id. ¶ 71.

While it is true that "evidence of ill will ‘is insufficient by itself to support a finding of actual malice,’" Tah, 991 F.3d at 243 (quoting Tavoulareas, 817 F.2d at 795 (en banc) (emphasis added)); see also Harte-Hanks Commc’ns, Inc. v. Connaughton, 491 U.S. 657, 665 (1989) ("[A defendant’s] motive . . . cannot provide a sufficient basis for finding actual malice."), Dominion has proffered much more. For the reasons discussed, Dominion has adequately alleged that Powell made her claims knowing that they were false, or at least with serious doubts as to their truthfulness.

b. Lindell

As for Lindell, Dominion contends that his claims were so inherently improbable that only a reckless man would have made them, that he intentionally disregarded evidence of their falsity, that he relied on obviously unreliable sources, and that he made his claims in accordance with a preconceived narrative that he constructed for financial gain. Like Powell, Lindell argues that Dominion has failed to allege actual malice because he has "evidence" to support his claims (and because he has never expressed doubt as to their truthfulness). Lindell’s Mot. at 29–41. But the majority of the evidence to which Lindell points is outside of the Complaint, and the Court cannot rely on this information at this time. See Menoken v. Dhillon, 975 F.3d 1, 8 (D.C. Cir. 2020) ("In considering claims dismissed pursuant to Rule 12 (b)(6), we accept a plaintiff’s factual allegations as true and draw all reasonable inferences in a plaintiff’s favor. . . . [T]he district court erred by relying on two documents outside the complaint."); Zimmerman, 246 F. Supp. 3d at 285 (rejecting defendants’ attempt to rebut the complaint’s allegations of fact and denying defendants’ motion to dismiss defamation claim).

Dominion alleges that Lindell has stated, among other things, that Dominion committed the "biggest crime ever committed in election history against our country and the world" and stole the 2020 election by using an algorithm to flip and weight votes in its machines; that Trump received so many votes that that algorithm broke on election night; that Dominion’s voting machines were "built to cheat" and "steal elections"; that a fake spreadsheet with fake IP and MAC addresses was "a cyber footprint from inside the machines" proving that they were hacked; and that Dominion’s plot was kept under wraps because the government had not really investigated claims of election fraud (due to then-Attorney General Bill Barr becoming "corrupt" and having been "compromised"). Lindell Compl. ¶¶ 103, 114, 165(e), 165(p), 165(x), 170. As a preliminary matter, a reasonable juror could conclude that the existence of a vast international conspiracy that is ignored by the government but proven by a spreadsheet on an internet blog is so inherently improbable that only a reckless man would believe it. See St. Amant, 390 U.S. at 732. But Dominion also alleges other facts that make those claims even more obviously improbable (or at least indicate that a reasonable juror could conclude that those claims are inherently improbable), including (1) public statements by election security specialists, Attorney General Barr, numerous government agencies, and elected officials; (2) independent audits; and (3) paper ballot recounts that disproved those claims. Lindell Compl. ¶¶ 2, 3, 33–34, 40, 71, 72, 92, 167. Dominion also alleges that Lindell was made aware of that countervailing evidence in Dominion’s retraction letters, id. ¶¶ 63, 69, but—instead of reconsidering his claims in light of the mountain of evidence against them—doubled down and "dare[d] Dominion to sue [him]," id. ¶ 160. To be sure, a demand letter that is ignored, without more, does not demonstrate actual malice. Chandler v. Berlin, No. 18-CV-02136 (APM), 2020 WL 5593905, at *4 (D.D.C. Sept. 18, 2020); Parisi v. Sinclair, 774 F. Supp. 2d 310, 320 (D.D.C. 2011). But here, the Complaint rests on much more than Lindell’s refusal to retract; it also alleges that Lindell recklessly disregarded the truth by relying on obviously problematic sources to support a preconceived narrative he had crafted for his own profit.

Moreover, Dominion alleges that the evidence on which Lindell did rely contains glaring discrepancies rendering it wholly unreliable. Lindell, like Powell, relied on the "forensic expert" who had provided "materially false information" in support of his claims of vote manipulation and who had claimed that George Soros, President George H.W. Bush’s father, the Muslim Brotherhood, and "leftists" all had a role in forming the Nazi "Deep State" in the 1930s. Lindell Compl. ¶ 71. As for the spreadsheet Lindell tweeted as "evidence" that "President Trump got around 79m votes to 68m for Biden," id. ¶¶ 75–76, Dominion alleges that the spreadsheet is obviously fake. In particular, the Complaint alleges that, although the spreadsheet purports to list IP addresses for election hackers and their targets, id., the listed "[t]arget" IP addresses are actually the addresses for the website of a county in a swing state (not for a voting machine or device), id. ¶ 81. And according to Dominion, the MAC addresses in the spreadsheet (which should identify the specific devices involved in the purported hacks) are not even MAC addresses that exist. Id. ¶¶ 83–89.

As for Lindell’s purported profit motive, Dominion alleges that Lindell knew that appealing to Trump supporters would be "good for business," id. ¶ 22, and that his true motive is apparent in the repeated tying together of his election fraud claims and promotion of MyPillow products. Like Powell, Lindell correctly notes that allegations of a defendant’s ill will or profit motive, without more, do not satisfy the actual malice standard. See Harte-Hanks, 491 U.S. at 666–67. But again, Dominion has alleged more: in addition to alleging that Lindell’s claims are inherently improbable, that his sources are unreliable, and that he has failed to acknowledge the validity of countervailing evidence, Dominion has alleged numerous instances in which Lindell told audiences to purchase MyPillow products after making his claims of election fraud and providing MyPillow promotional codes related to those theories. In totality, it has adequately alleged that Lindell made his claims knowing that they were false or with reckless disregard for the truth.13

C. Deceptive Trade Practices Claims

With respect to Dominion’s deceptive trade practices claims, Powell and Lindell argue that Dominion fails to state a claim under the relevant statutes, though for different reasons.

Powell argues that she cannot be liable for deceptive trade practices under Georgia law because Dominion has not alleged that she was "engaged in trade and commerce of goods." Powell’s Mot. at 52. She points to a single case in which the court granted summary judgment to the defendant on a deceptive trade practices claim when the defendant was engaged "neither in the business of selling or distributing the substances at issue, nor in the business of selling or distributing products similar to those sold and distributed by Plaintiffs." Int’l Brominated Solvents Ass’n v. Am. Conf. of Governmental Indus. Hygienists, Inc., 625 F. Supp. 2d 1310, 1318 (M.D. Ga. 2008). But the court reached that conclusion only after distinguishing other cases in which the defendant had a "financial interest" in the promulgation of its statements, id.; when such an interest exists, there is no requirement that the defendant be engaged in the trade and commerce of goods at issue, see Davita Inc. v. Nephrology Assocs., P.C., 253 F. Supp. 2d 1370, 1380 (S.D. Ga. 2003) (permitting a deceptive trade practices claim to proceed when plaintiffs pleaded that defendant made false and misleading comments, statements disparaged plaintiffs’ services and business, and maliciousness was ascertainable from complaint). Dominion, in contrast, has pleaded that Powell had a financial interest in the promulgation of her statements. See supra at 23.

Lindell, in turn, argues that Dominion’s deceptive trade practices claim is merely an attempt to avoid the requirements of the First Amendment. But Dominion has satisfied those requirements, see supra at pp. 15 n.7, 24–26, and the Minnesota deceptive trade practices statute expressly contemplates that conduct might be actionable as both a common law tort and under the statute by providing relief "in addition to remedies otherwise available against the same conduct under the common law," Minn. Stat. § 325D.45(3). And Lindell’s argument that only injunctive relief is available under the Minnesota statute, Lindell’s Mot. at 38, ignores that Dominion does seek injunctive relief, Lindell Compl., Prayer for Relief.

_______________

Notes:

6 Powell argues that Colorado law applies to Dominion’s defamation claim. Powell’s Mot. at 22. But because Colorado also uses the Milkovich standard to determine whether a statement is actionable, see NBC Subsidiary (KCNC-TV), Inc. v. Living Will Ctr., 879 P.2d 6, 9–13 (Colo. 1994), the Court need not reach the choice-of-law question.

7 Such "imaginative expression" or "rhetorical hyperbole" is permitted under the theory that "the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas—that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market." Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616, 630 (1919) (Holmes, J., dissenting); Snyder v. Phelps, 562 U.S. 443, 460–61 (2011). But that free trade of ideas depends on a common understanding of the facts, which is undermined by provably untrue statements.

8 MyPillow appears to similarly argue that the First Amendment grants some kind of blanket protection to statements about "public debate in a public forum." MyPillow’s Mot. at 10. Again, there is no such immunity. See Weyrich, 235 F.3d at 626. Instead, the First Amendment safeguards our "profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open," Tah v. Global Witness Publ’g, Inc., 991 F.3d 231, 240 (D.C. Cir. 2021) (quoting N.Y. Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 270 (1964)) (internal quotation marks omitted), by limiting viable defamation claims to provably false statements made with actual malice.

9 The Venezuela theory presumably finds its roots in the Venezuelan origins of Smartmatic, a different company that Giuliani alleges owns Dominion, id. ¶ 101, but that Dominion alleges is its competitor with no connection—either through ownership or software—with Dominion, id. ¶ 183.

10 DTR argues that it did not make any statements about Dominion. Powell’s Mot. at 51. But Dominion alleges that Powell made her statements (at least in part) as an agent of her law firm and an agent of DTR, and so (at this point in the proceedings) Powell’s statements can be imputed to DTR. Dominion’s Mem. in Opp’n to Powell’s Mot. to Dismiss ("Powell Opp’n"), ECF No. 39 at 50–51. In particular, Dominion alleges that Powell acted as an agent of DTR when she solicited donations for it during her defamatory television appearances, Powell Compl. ¶¶ 26, 126, and for her law firm when publishing online the declarations it filed in its election lawsuits, id. ¶ 151. Aside from the agency theory, Dominion also alleges that DTR independently published Powell’s statements on its website. See, e.g., id. ¶¶ 52, 58.

11 For the purposes of the Motions, Dominion does not dispute that it must plead actual malice but argues that it has alleged ample facts to demonstrate that the Defendants acted with the requisite intent. Powell Opp’n at 23–37; Dominion’s Mem. in Opp’n to Lindell’s Mot. to Dismiss ("Lindell Opp’n"), ECF No. 47 at 13–34.

12 Dominion alleges that Powell leveraged DTR to collect donations under false pretense. In particular, Dominion alleges that Powell has described DTR as a "non-profit working to help [her] defend all [of her election lawsuits] and to defend [her as an individual]," Powell Compl.¶ 156 (emphasis omitted), and represented that it is a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organization, id. ¶¶ 17–19, but that it appears as neither on the IRS website, id. ¶ 20. And it argues that Powell used DTR donations for personal gain, as indicated by the lack of separation between DTR, Powell, and her law firm: DTR’s and the law firm’s websites are connected through at least ten hyperlinks and encouraged users to donate money by checks payable to the law firm’s "Defending the Republic Election Integrity Fund," id. ¶¶ 175–76, or directly to DTR (but mailed to the law firm’s address), id. ¶ 177. According to Dominion, the DTR website began collecting donations before DTR even existed as a corporate entity. Id. ¶ 17.

13 MyPillow argues that Lindell’s statements cannot be imputed to it. MyPillow’s Mot. at 29. But a corporation may be liable for an executive’s conduct when the executive was acting within the scope of his employment and in furtherance of the company’s business, see Palin v. N.Y. Times Co., 940 F.3d 804, 815 (2d Cir. 2019) (determining that a complaint stated a claim for defamation against The New York Times where it alleged facts giving rise to a plausible inference that the paper’s agents recklessly disregarded the truth); Mangan v. Corp. Synergies Grp., Inc., 834 F. Supp. 2d 199, 202–04 (D.N.J. 2011) (deciding that a complaint stated a claim for defamation against a corporation where CEO made allegedly defamatory statements). Here, Dominion alleges that Lindell repeatedly made his statements while being identified as the CEO of MyPillow, Lindell Compl. ¶¶ 51, 70, 96, and at MyPillow-sponsored rallies at which he furthered those claims, id. ¶¶ 35, 165, and that MyPillow accepted promotional codes distributed during Lindell’s appearances that alluded to those claims (e.g., "FightforTrump"), id. ¶ 67.
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