Dominion’s Defamation Lawsuits Are Still Active
By Saranac Hale Spencer
Posted on June 3, 2021
Dominion Voting Systems has sued Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell for making false accusations of election fraud that defamed the company after the 2020 election. Both of those lawsuits are ongoing, but a false claim circulating on social media says that “Dominion LOST their law suits.”
One of the largest voting machine suppliers in the U.S. — Dominion Voting Systems — sued Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, who represented former President Donald Trump, after they advanced false claims of election fraud that implicated the company following the 2020 election.
Those lawsuits are ongoing.
The reason it hasn’t been in the news is because it didn’t happen.
Dominion is seeking $1.3 billion in damages from Giuliani, alleging that he defamed the company, which caused its employees to be harassed — including with death threats — and its future business prospects to be diminished.
Giuliani has denied that he defamed the company.
When it filed the suit on Jan. 25, Dominion estimated that it had spent more than $565,000 on private security to protect its employees after election fraud claims stirred up anger against the company. It also estimated that it had spent more than $1.17 million “in an attempt to mitigate the harm to its reputation and business” and that it expected to lose more than $200 million in profits over the next five years.
“[A]s a result of the viral disinformation campaign, Dominion has been unfairly subjected to the hatred, contempt, and distrust of tens of millions of American voters, and the elected officials who are Dominion’s actual and potential customers have received emails, letters, and calls from their constituents demanding that they avoid contracting with Dominion or using Dominion machines,” Dominion argued. “As a result, elected officials, insurers, and potential investors have been deterred from dealing with Dominion, putting Dominion’s contracts in more than two dozen states and hundreds of counties and municipalities in jeopardy and significantly hampering Dominion’s ability to win new contracts.”
Giuliani filed a motion to dismiss the suit on April 7, and the parties have been filing briefs on that motion in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The judge hasn’t yet ruled on it. The case is still active.
Similarly, Dominion is seeking $1.3 billion from Powell in a separate defamation suit that was filed on Jan. 8.
Powell has also filed a motion to dismiss, but instead of denying that she defamed the company, she argued that her claims were constitutionally protected political speech.
“[N]o reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact,” her motion said, likening her claims to political hyperbole. The motion also argued that her claims should be protected because they were tied to litigation.
“All the allegedly defamatory statements attributed to Defendants were made as part of the normal process of litigating issues of momentous significance and immense public interest,” the motion said. “The statements were tightly focused on the legal theories they were advancing in litigation and the evidence they had presented, or were going to present, to the courts in support of their claims that the presidential election was stolen.”
Among the claims that Powell advanced was that Dominion used software from Smartmatic — a competing voting machine maker — to take votes away from Trump using technology supposedly developed for former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. But the agencies and organizations that oversee U.S. elections said in a joint statement, “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”
In March, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up the last of Powell’s cases alleging election fraud.
The defamation case against Powell, though, is still active. Like in Giuliani’s case, the parties have been filing briefs on the motion to dismiss, but the judge hasn’t yet ruled.
Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative, University of Pennsylvania. The Business of Voting — Market Structure and Innovation in the Election Technology Industry. Accessed 2 Jun 2021.
FactCheck.org. “Viral Voting Misinformation.” Updated 21 Dec 2020.
Dominion Voting Systems v. Rudolph W. Giuliani. Case 1:21-cv-00213. Complaint. U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. 25 Jan 2021.
Dominion Voting Systems v. Rudolph W. Giuliani. Case 1:21-cv-00213. Motion to dismiss. U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. 7 Apr 2021.
Dominion Voting Systems v. Sidney Powell. Case 1:21-cv-00040. Complaint. U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. 8 Jan 2021.
Dominion Voting Systems v. Sidney Powell. Case 1:21-cv-00040. Motion to dismiss. U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. 22 Mar 2021.
Fichera, Angelo and Saranac Hale Spencer. “Bogus Theory Claims Supercomputer Switched Votes in Election.” FactCheck.org. 13 Nov 2020.
Durkee, Alison. “Sidney Powell’s Remaining ‘Kraken’ Cases Thrown Out By Supreme Court.” Forbes. 1 Mar 2021.