‘I didn’t come here to kiss your f—ing ring’: Sidney Powell ripped into Rudy Giuliani after clash over election theories, book says

sidney powell trump giuliani election
Sidney Powell participates in a news conference with Rudy Giuliani, the personal lawyer for President Donald Trump, at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington on November 19, 2020.

  • Sidney Powell clashed early on with Giuliani as part of Trump’s campaign legal team, per a new book.
  • “I didn’t come here to kiss your f—ing ring,” she reportedly told the former New York City mayor.
  • Powell later saw herself cast aside and then brought back into the Trump orbit.
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As Sidney Powell, a former assistant US attorney, became one of the faces of then-President Donald Trump’s campaign legal team, tension unfolded with Rudy Giuliani last November, according to a forthcoming book by Michael Wolff.

During an outburst, Giuliani, who served as Trump’s personal lawyer and has backed up many of the former president’s debunked election claims, reportedly described Powell as “crazy.”

After Giuliani questioned some of Powell’s most bizarre election theories, she snapped back at the former New York City mayor.

“I didn’t come here to kiss your f—ing ring,” she reportedly said.

Wolff detailed the showdown in “Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency,” an early copy of which was obtained by Insider.

The book goes on to describe how Powell and Giuliani went into separate rooms as Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis sought out the former president to resolve the situation.

“The two of them [Powell and Giuliani] ended up in separate rooms sulking, with Ellis calling the president to moderate,” the book said. “The president made clear that he wanted Powell on the team. He was embracing everybody (or anybody) who agreed that the election had been stolen from him.”

As Powell became more entrenched within the Trump orbit, her conspiracy theories were amplified on a much larger scale.

Read more: Where is Trump’s White House staff now? We created a searchable database of more than 327 top staffers to show where they all landed

“In the days immediately following the election, she was the author on Fox of operatic new conspiracies, going much further out than anything the president had yet reached: computer systems had been programmed to switch Trump votes to Biden votes, with the CIA in on it. Now she had been telling Giuliani and the team that the conspiracy ran even deeper: Trump’s landslide victory was upended by an international plot,” the book said.

In media appearances, Powell falsely claimed that Dominion Voting Systems had tilted the US presidential election in favor of now-President Joe Biden. She alleged – without evidence – that Dominion secretly aided a rival election-technology company, Smartmatic, and had links to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Over time, the damage from her unsubstantiated accusations had taken a serious toll.

In late November, Giuliani and Ellis announced that Powell was “practicing law on her own” after being purged from the campaign team.

However, just weeks later, The New York Times reported that Trump was considering naming Powell as a special counsel investigating voter fraud.

According to The Times, most of Trump’s advisors didn’t support the plan, including Giuliani.

Powell currently faces a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit from Dominion over her debunked election claims; Giuliani and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell are also being sued by the election technology supplier.

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A judge expressed skepticism about arguments from Mike Lindell, Sidney Powell, and Rudy Giuliani, who want Dominion’s defamation lawsuits against them dismissed

Mike Lindell Donald Trump
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell at the White House with then-President Donald Trump in 2020.

  • A federal judge on Thursday weighed whether to dismiss Dominion’s defamation lawsuits.
  • He seemed skeptical of arguments from lawyers for Rudy Giuliani, Mike Lindell, and Sidney Powell.
  • Dominion is suing all three Trump allies over election conspiracy theories.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A federal judge heard arguments Thursday over whether to allow multibillion-dollar defamation lawsuits from Dominion Voting Systems to proceed against Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.

Over four hours of arguments, lawyers for each of the defendants tried to convince US District Judge Carl J. Nichols that Dominion’s lawsuits over their clients’ conspiracy theories about the 2020 election should be thrown out of court.

Dominion sued Giuliani, Powell, and MyPillow in three separate lawsuits filed in January and February, each one alleging $1.3 billion in damages.

Nichols did not issue an opinion from the bench at the conclusion of Thursday’s hearing, opting to deliver a written opinion at a later date. Dominion has asked for a jury trial in each case.

Giuliani represented now-former President Donald Trump as a lawyer in lawsuits seeking to overturn the election results. Powell was fired by Trump’s election team, but filed four failed lawsuits on her own seeking to do the same. And Lindell – while all other efforts to overturn the election were unsuccessful – has gone on an extensive media tour alleging Dominion has been manipulated by foreign actors and falsified the election results.

Attorneys for Giuliani, Powell, and Lindell have submitted a wide variety of legal defenses in recent months asking Nichols to throw out the lawsuits. They have argued that Dominion cannot prove their clients acted with “reckless disregard for the truth,” and that a federal court in Washington, DC, was the wrong venue for the legal action.

The law has a high bar for defamation lawsuits

Attorney Thomas Clare, representing Dominion in court Thursday, said he has convincingly shown in the lawsuits each defendant knowingly made false statements “with reckless disregard for the truth,” meeting the legal standard for a defamation case to proceed.

He pointed to Powell using manipulated documents in her lawsuits, Giuliani promoting the claims to make money off of cigar sponsorship deals, and that Lindell barreled past legal rulings, audits, and recounts to continue leveling claims while making money for MyPillow from Trump supporters.

Nichols expressed skepticism about some of the arguments asking to dismiss the case:

  • Howard Kleinman, representing Powell, said Powell’s claims were initially made in lawsuits based on sworn statements, and should therefore be considered true for the sake of legal proceedings. Nichols pointed out that Powell repeated the same claims, without any kind of hedging, in multiple public appearances, not just in her lawsuits.
  • Douglas Daniels, an attorney representing Lindell, said the pillow mogul’s comments about Dominion could not be considered defamatory because they were made within the context of a national debate about election security. Nichols pointed out that Lindell’s specific claims about Dominion – that it rigged the election – were different from a simple policy debate about electronic voter machines.
  • Joe Sibley, representing Giuliani, said Dominion couldn’t show evidence it had lost government contracts because of the Trump lawyer’s allegations. Nichols asked whether the standard made sense, as not much time had elapsed since Giuliani’s claims.

Aside from their federal lawsuits with Dominion, each of the conspiracy theorists faces other headaches.

A New York court stripped Giuliani of his ability to practice law on Thursday, ruling he cannot be trusted because of his falsehoods about the 2020 election. He is also a subject of a Justice Department investigation reportedly examining his attempts to interfere in the 2020 election from Ukraine.

Powell is facing potential legal sanctions because of her false claims. She and Giuliani are also both targets of a defamation lawsuit from Smartmatic, a rival technology company they falsely claimed was in cahoots with Dominion to manipulate election results.

Lindell said he is losing money because of his claims about the election, and has filed a countersuit against Dominion in a federal court in Minnesota. His attorney on Thursday argued Dominion’s lawsuit should have been filed in Minnesota instead of DC, an argument the judge seemed skeptical about.

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Sidney Powell’s lawyers argue her Fox News appearances were ‘not infomercials,’ compare her to Buddhist monk as they move to dismiss defamation lawsuit

sidney powell
Attorney Sidney Powell, speaks during in Alpharetta, Ga.

  • Sidney Powell has asked a judge to dismiss Smartmatic’s $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit.
  • Her lawyers argue her appearances on Fox News weren’t just infomercials to raise money.
  • Rudy Giuliani, another defendant in the lawsuit, also asked a judge for dismissal.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

An attorney for Sidney Powell filed a court motion Thursday asking a judge to dismiss a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against her, arguing her television appearances advancing conspiracy theories about the 2020 election were “not infomercials” and comparing her to a Buddhist monk.

The filing, in New York state court, argued that Powell was sincerely concerned about the integrity of the election. Powell didn’t just want to raise money through her organization Defending the Republic, as voting technology company Smartmatic alleged in its lawsuit, her attorney argued.

“Powell’s Fox News interviews were about election integrity, evidence of election fraud, and her intention to take legal action to bring the malfeasance to light,” the filing says. “Her appearances were not informercials promoting her law firm or DTR’s websites. [sic]”

Powell, a former attorney on Donald Trump’s 2020 election team, falsely accused Smartmatic of being in cahoots with Dominion Voting Systems, a rival election technology company, to “flip” votes from then-President Trump to now-President Joe Biden. When Trump fired Powell from his legal team, she subsequently filed four failed and conspiracy-theory-filled lawsuits seeking to overturn the election results.

Smartmatic filed its lawsuit in February. It accused Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and Fox News of defamation over election conspiracy theory claims.

In the new filing, Powell’s attorney, Howard Kleinhendler, said she can’t be held responsible in a New York state court over her claims, comparing her to a Buddhist monk in the Himalayas.

“Plaintiffs ask this Court to assert personal jurisdiction over Powell because her words were broadcast world-wide by Fox news from New York and maybe, as a result, some New Yorkers sent money to a Texas not-for-profit corporation called Defending the Republic,” Kleinhendler wrote. “According to this theory, a Buddhist monk shrouded in red robes high atop the Himalayas demanding Tibetan independence from China can be haled into this Court for defamatory statements against the Communist government.”

Rudy Giuliani also asked to dismiss the defamation suit

An attorney for Giuliani also filed a motion for dismissal on Thursday. Like Powell, Giuliani’s attorney argued that Smartmatic didn’t have jurisdiction to sue him in New York over comments claiming the company had secret Venezuelan connections it used to develop technology to manipulate election results.

Giuliani’s attorney also said that an “ordinary listener/reader” would interpret Giuliani’s remarks to be a reference to a Venezuelan company. Smartmatic is a British or Dutch company, and so the lawsuit should be dismissed, the attorney argued.

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Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Sidney Powell have drifted from Trump’s orbit since the election.

Fox News, too, has filed motions asking the court to dismiss the Smartmatic lawsuit.

Court filings in February and in April argued that since the media company was offering newsworthy information from the president’s lawyers to viewers, it didn’t need to deeply scrutinize Powell’s and Giuliani’s claims. Smartmatic has argued that Fox News shouldn’t benefit from legal protections normally given to media companies in defamation lawsuits in New York.

Dominion has also sued Fox News, Powell, and Giuliani in separate lawsuits over election falsehoods. They have all asked for the lawsuits to be dismissed.

In March, Powell’s attorneys argued that Dominion’s lawsuit should be dismissed because her claims about the election were too outlandish to be taken seriously, even though she’s continued to push political conspiracy theories. Powell also faces potential legal sanctions over her lawsuits.

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Mike Lindell’s lawyer has left his law firm, after being accused of filing a suit against Smartmatic and Dominion without authorization

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell
Mike Lindell.

  • Alec Beck, the lawyer representing MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, has parted ways with his law firm.
  • The move comes a day after he filed a new lawsuit against Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems.
  • According to Beck’s former employer, the lawsuit was filed without any authorization.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Alec Beck, the lawyer representing MyPillow’s CEO, Mike Lindell, has left his law firm a day after filing a new lawsuit against Smartmatic and Dominion, according to Bloomberg.

Barnes & Thornburg, Beck’s former employer, said he filed the suit without its authorization.

The company issued a statement on Twitter on Friday night: “Late last night, firm management became aware that a Minneapolis firm lawyer filed a complaint, as local counsel, in federal district court without receiving firm authorization pursuant to internal firm approval procedures,” it said.

Lindell’s new lawsuit, filed in federal court in Minnesota, accuses both voting-machine companies of “weaponizing the litigation process to silence political dissent and suppress evidence showing voting machines were manipulated to affect outcomes in the November 2020 general election.”

As previously reported by Insider’s Grace Dean, Lindell stands to lose $2 billion over the legal battle.

Lindell’s latest complaint featured references to dystopian novels and William Shakespeare. One of the included quotes is attributed to Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”: “But you can’t make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can’t last.” Another quote is from George Orwell’s classic novel “1984.”

Legal experts have spoken out about Lindell’s latest filing. These included attorney Akiva Cohen, who described it as “craptastic” and “half-assed” in a series of tweets.

In its Friday statement, Barnes & Thornburg added: “Firm management took action immediately. The firm has withdrawn as local counsel in this matter and has ended the client relationship. The attorney representing the client in this matter is no longer with the firm.”

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MyPillow’s Mike Lindell filed another lawsuit against voting machine companies that includes quotes from ‘1984,’ Shakespeare, and ‘Fahrenheit 451’

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Mike Lindell, CEO of My Pillow, speaks during a campaign rally held by U.S. President Donald Trump at the Target Center on October 10, 2019, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

  • Mike Lindell filed another lawsuit against voting machine companies involved in the 2020 election.
  • Dominion sued Lindell in February for $1.3 billion over his election-fraud claims.
  • The latest lawsuit features references to dystopian novels and William Shakespeare.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

“MyPillow guy” Mike Lindell filed another federal lawsuit Thursday against voting machine companies involved in the 2020 presidential election, Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic.

MyPillow had already filed a lawsuit in April against Dominion for $1.6 billion, claiming the company was trying to stifle free speech. Dominion sued Lindell in February for $1.3 billion over claims he was making about election fraud involving their machines.

In the latest lawsuit, filed in federal court in Minnesota, Lindell accuses the companies of “weaponizing the litigation process to silence political dissent and suppress evidence showing voting machines were manipulated to affect outcomes in the November 2020 general election.”

Read more: Check out the 17-foot mural of fan mail Marjorie Taylor Greene created on Capitol Hill that’s annoying Democrats – before House rules might force her to remove it

Lindell, a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, has repeatedly spread false or unsubstantiated claims about the integrity of the election. For example, he perpetuated the since-debunked conspiracy theory that Dominion voting machines switched votes from Trump to Joe Biden.

The recent lawsuit repeats many of the claims from the first lawsuit MyPillow filed in April and accuses Dominion and Smartmatic of engaging in a racketeering conspiracy to use the court system to silence claims about them.

Sections of the 82-page lawsuit include titles such as “The Rise of the Machines,” “Gaslighting: The REAL Big Lie,” and “Shut Up Or Else.”

The lawsuit also features quotes from famous dystopian novels and English playwright William Shakespeare.

One of the included quotes is attributed to Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”: “But you can’t make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can’t last.”

Another quote included is from George Orwell’s “1984”: “And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed-if all records told the same tale-then the lie passed into history and became truth.”

Dominion and Smartmatic did not respond to Insider’s request for comment. A Dominion spokesperson previously told Insider the initial lawsuit brought by MyPillow was a “meritless retaliatory lawsuit, filed by MyPillow to try to distract from the harm it caused to Dominion.”

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Former NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton says he ‘can’t understand’ how Rudy Giuliani became ‘subsumed by Trump’

rudy giuliani
Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Police Commissioner William Bratton in 1995.

  • Bratton said Giuliani has “made a caricature of himself” due to his close ties to Trump.
  • “I can’t understand how he allowed himself to be subsumed by Trump,” Bratton said.
  • Bratton served as Giuliani’s police commissioner from January 1994 to April 1996.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former New York Police Department commissioner William “Bill” Bratton said in a recent interview that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has “made a caricature of himself” by his close association with former President Donald Trump.

In a conversation with New York Times opinion columnist Maureen Dowd, Bratton remarked that Giuliani, a former lawyer for Trump, has diminished his legacy with his public appearances over the past few years.

“As somebody who’s got a big ego, speaking about another guy with a big ego, I can’t understand how he allowed himself to be subsumed by Trump,” Bratton said. “He’s made a caricature of himself and he’s lost the image of America’s mayor because of the antics of the last two or three years.”

Bratton served as police commissioner from January 1994 to April 1996 under Giuliani’s mayoralty and again from January 2014 to September 2016 under current Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Throughout much of the 1990s, New York City battled high rates of violent crime.

In 1994, the first year that Bratton took over as commissioner, there were 1,561 homicides in the city, according to The Village Voice. The following year, there were 1,177 homicides in the city.

Read more: We identified the 125 people and institutions most responsible for Donald Trump’s rise to power and his norm-busting behavior that tested the boundaries of the US government and its institutions

Bratton describes the fight to reign in crime as trying to “take back a city that was out of control.”

After Bratton was featured on the cover of Time magazine in January 1996, with the periodical noting that he was “a leading advocate of community policing,” his relationship with Giuliani soured.

In March 1996, Bratton announced that he would resign from his post the next month.

Bratton also told the Times that Giuliani “had such awful relations with the Black community and the Black leadership, it really prevented police commissioners, myself included, from developing relationships that we would love to have made with the Black community.”

Giuliani, who in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential campaign traveled the country in an attempt to overturn the election results through a series of unsuccessful lawsuits, made numerous media appearances that were nothing short of bizarre to most observers.

In January, Dominion Voting Systems sued Giuliani for $1.3 billion, alleging that the former federal prosecutor pushed debunked conspiracy theories that the company produced faulty election results in favor of now-President Joe Biden.

Giuliani sought to dismiss the lawsuit in April, but Dominion responded the next month, asking the judge to bring the case to trial.

In late April, the FBI searched Giuliani’s Madison Avenue apartment and Park Avenue office in Manhattan, seizing cellphones and computers as part of an investigation into Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine, according to The New York Times.

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Fox News filed to dismiss a $1.6 billion defamation suit by vote-machine company Dominion. The suit claims Fox promoted baseless claims of election fraud from Giuliani and others.

Rudy   Photo by MANDEL NGAN : AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN:AFP via Getty Images
Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

  • Fox News Media filed a motion to dismiss a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems in March.
  • Fox said the lawsuit threatened freedom of speech.
  • Dominion said Fox’s coverage of its voting machines during the election had caused “enormous and irreparable economic harm.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Fox News Media has filed a motion to dismiss the $1.6 billion lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems.

Dominion filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox in March, accusing the cable network of promoting false claims that Dominion rigged its voting machines in the 2020 Presidential election so that they flipped votes to President Joe Biden over then President Donald Trump.

Dominion’s lawsuit claimed Fox gave prominence to claims of election fraud by its guests, including Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, because it was in the network’s business interests.

In Fox’s motion, filed in federal court in Delaware on Tuesday, Fox said that Dominion’s lawsuit threatened the freedom of speech of news organizations, and that “the American people deserved to know why President Trump refused to concede despite his apparent loss.”

Fox hosted lawyers who pushed the vote-rigging conspiracy theory, which has been thoroughly debunked. Dominion also filed a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Giuliani in January.

Fox said in the motion filed Tuesday that “a free press must be able to report both sides of a story involving claims striking at the core of our democracy.”

“Especially when those claims prompt numerous lawsuits, government investigations and election recounts,” it added.

Fox’s legal team said in the motion that the security of Dominion’s technology had come under scrutiny in the past, and that the cable network “had a free-speech right to interview the president’s lawyers and surrogates even if their claims eventually turned out to be unsubstantiated.”

At the time Dominion filed the lawsuit, Fox News said in a statement: “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.”

Dominion’s lawyers have projected that the company will lose more than $600 million in profit over the next eight years as a result of media disinformation about its voting equipment.

Smartmatic, another election-technology firm, brought a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox in February, which Fox has also filed to dismiss.

Insider contacted Dominion for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

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A judge dismissed a Trump-endorsed lawsuit to audit votes in a Michigan county

Trump
Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

  • A Michigan judge dismissed a 2020 election lawsuit heavily hyped by former President Trump.
  • The lawsuit over a local ballot proposal challenged the integrity of the county’s election.
  • Antrim County’s results were fully audited and hand-recounted in December, affirming Trump’s win.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A Michigan judge formally dismissed a lawsuit seeking to audit and recount votes that former President Donald Trump heavily hyped as a “major” case, the Washington Post reported Monday

Trump posted a May 11 statement posted on his website cheerleading the Antrim County lawsuit, even though he was formally certified as winning the most votes in the county during the 2020 presidential election.

Trump touted the baseless contents of a “bombshell pleading” in a “major Michigan Election Fraud case” that he said will show that votes were “intentionally switched” to harm him, a claim for which there is no evidence.

He also compared the nonexistent fraud in the 2020 election to a heist of precious jewels, writing that if “a thief robs a jewelry store of all of its diamonds (the 2020 Presidential Election), the diamonds must be returned.”

Trump won a majority of votes in Antrim County but lost Michigan overall to now-President Joe Biden.

A human error with tabulating the results initially showed Biden winning the county. Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy, who happens to be a Republican, swiftly rectified the problem and certified the county’s election results for Trump, who carried the county with 61% of the vote with 37% going to Biden. Trump and his allies have seized on a quickly-corrected counting error in the county to spread disinformation about the 2020 election results.

The crux of the lawsuit filed by Antrim County resident Bill Bailey was about the results of a marijuana-related ballot initiative in the village of Central Lake, 9 & 10 News reported.

Bailey claimed he has the standing for the lawsuit because three ballots were spoiled during a recount for the initiative, though he does not actually live in Central Lake. Bailey asked the judge to allow him to conduct his own audit of all the 2020 election results, baselessly alleging that software developed by Dominion Voting Systems used in the election was intentionally programmed to falsify results.

The state of Michigan already audited the results

The Antrim County election results were already audited nearly five months ago, as lawyers for the townships and the Michigan secretary of state’s office noted in a May 11 hearing.

On December 17, officials from the secretary of state’s office oversaw a risk-limiting audit of the county’s election, conducted by bipartisan counting boards, that included a full hand-recount of all 15,000 ballots cast in the county affirmed Trump’s win over Biden. It boosted the margin of Trump’s win by 11 votes from 9,748 to 9,759. As the secretary of state’s office noted, it’s common for there to be slight changes in hand recounts due to human counters interpreting pen marks or write-in votes differently than ballot scanners.

The judge overseeing the case, 13th Circuit Court Judge Kevin Elsenheimer, dismissed the case as moot because Antrim’s results had already been fully verified in both the December recount and in a statewide post-election audit that finished up in March, according to the Post.

trump rally traverse city michigan
U.S. President Donald Trump leaves after a campaign rally at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan, U.S., November 2, 2020.

Despite the recount, Bailey continued to press his lawsuit. His attorney Matthew DePerno, who has embraced Trump’s support for the legal efforts on social media, issued subpoenas to various Antrim County lawsuits, according to the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Bailey also tried to expand the scope of the lawsuit by adding state and local election officials as defendants. In a hearing Money attended by 9 & 10 News, he claimed that expanding the lawsuit and having Elsenheimer enforce the subpoenas would allow him to prove the existence of widespread fraud. There is no evidence of widespread fraud.

Read more: Church attendance is to President Biden as golf outings were to President Trump

DePerno is also seeking a subpoena for Dominion. The election technology company has been the subject of a number of conspiracy theories falsely alleging it used its devices and software to “flip” results from Trump to Biden. The December audit found that Dominion’s technology accurately tabulated the county’s votes and played no role in the initially erroneous tabulation.

Jocelyn Benson
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Dominion is involved in several defamation lawsuits against election conspiracy theorists and right-wing media organizations it says pushed those false theories. Bailey’s lawsuit has been bolstered by an error-ridden “report” by Russell Ramsland, a conspiracy theorist championed by Trump. Attorneys for Dominion sent both Ramsland and DePerno document-retention letters in December, warning of “imminent” defamation litigation. A representative for Dominion directed Insider to a fact-check of Ramsland’s claims.

Attorneys for Antrim County and the Michigan secretary of state’s office asked Elsenheimer to dismiss the case in the May 11 hearing, arguing that Bailey’s legal rights had been satisfied by the December audit, which found that the results were sound. Elsenheimer said he’d decide whether to grant the dismissal next week, according to 9 & 10 News.

Despite his electoral loss, Trump has continued to falsely claim he was the true winner of the 2020 presidential election, and has endorsed a recount in Arizona’s Maricopa County that has been condemned by election experts.

If Bailey loses his Antrim County lawsuit, it will be another addition to the list of more than 40 failed election lawsuits from Trump and his allies.

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Trump is cheerleading a long-shot lawsuit to audit votes in a Michigan county he already won in the 2020 election

Trump
Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

  • Trump is encouraging a 2020 election lawsuit in a Michigan county he already won.
  • An ongoing lawsuit over a ballot proposal challenges the integrity of the county’s election.
  • Antrim County’s results were fully audited and hand-recounted in December, affirming Trump’s win.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

More than six months after the 2020 presidential election, former President Donald Trump is hyping a lawsuit in a small Michigan county that he already won.

In a Monday statement posted on his website, Trump touted the baseless contents of a “bombshell pleading” in a “major Michigan Election Fraud case” that he said will show that votes were “intentionally switched” to harm him, a claim for which there is no evidence.

He also compared the nonexistent fraud in the 2020 election to a heist of precious jewels, writing that if “a thief robs a jewelry store of all of its diamonds (the 2020 Presidential Election), the diamonds must be returned.”

Trump won a majority of votes in Antrim County but lost Michigan overall to now-President Joe Biden.

A human error with tabulating the results initially showed Biden winning the county. Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy, who happens to be a Republican, swiftly rectified the problem and certified the county’s election results for Trump, who carried the county with 61% of the vote with 37% going to Biden. Trump and his allies have seized on a quickly-corrected counting error in the county to spread disinformation about the 2020 election results.

The crux of the lawsuit filed by Antrim County resident Bill Bailey is about the results of a marijuana-related ballot initiative in the village of Central Lake, 9 & 10 News reports.

Bailey claims he has the standing for the lawsuit because three ballots were spoiled during a recount for the initiative, though he does not actually live in Central Lake. Bailey is asking a judge to allow him to conduct his own audit of all the 2020 election results, baselessly alleging that software developed by Dominion Voting Systems used in the election was intentionally programmed to falsify results.

The state of Michigan already audited the results

The Antrim County election results were already audited nearly five months ago, as lawyers for the townships and the Michigan secretary of state’s office noted in a Monday hearing.

On December 17, officials from the secretary of state’s office oversaw a risk-limiting audit of the county’s election, conducted by bipartisan counting boards, that included a full hand-recount of all 15,000 ballots cast in the county affirmed Trump’s win over Biden. It boosted the margin of Trump’s win by 11 votes from 9,748 to 9,759. As the secretary of state’s office noted, it’s common for there to be slight changes in hand recounts due to human counters interpreting pen marks or write-in votes differently than ballot scanners.

trump rally traverse city michigan
U.S. President Donald Trump leaves after a campaign rally at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan, U.S., November 2, 2020.

Despite the recount, Bailey has continued to press his lawsuit. His attorney Matthew DePerno, who has embraced Trump’s support for the legal efforts on social media, issued subpoenas to various Antrim County lawsuits, according to the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Bailey is also trying to expand the scope of the lawsuit by adding state and local election officials as defendants. In a hearing Money attended by 9 & 10 News, he claimed that expanding the lawsuit and having the judge overseeing the case, 13th Circuit Court Judge Kevin Elsenheimer, enforce the subpoenas would allow him to prove the existence of widespread fraud. There is no evidence of widespread fraud.

Read more: Church attendance is to President Biden as golf outings were to President Trump

DePerno is also seeking a subpoena for Dominion. The election technology company has been the subject of a number of conspiracy theories falsely alleging it used its devices and software to “flip” results from Trump to Biden. The December audit found that Dominion’s technology accurately tabulated the county’s votes and played no role in the initially erroneous tabulation.

Jocelyn Benson
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Dominion is involved in several defamation lawsuits against election conspiracy theorists and right-wing media organizations it says pushed those false theories. Bailey’s lawsuit has been bolstered by an error-ridden “report” by Russell Ramsland, a conspiracy theorist championed by Trump. Dominion sent Ramsland a document-retention letter in December, warning of “imminent” defamation litigation. A representative for Dominion directed Insider to a fact-check of Ramsland’s claims.

Attorneys for Antrim County and the Michigan secretary of state’s office asked Elsenheimer to dismiss the case in Monday’s hearing, arguing that Bailey’s legal rights have been satisfied by the December audit, which found that the results were sound. Elsenheimer said he’d decide whether to grant the dismissal next week, according to 9 & 10 News.

Despite his electoral loss, Trump has continued to falsely claim he was the true winner of the 2020 presidential election, and has endorsed a recount in Arizona’s Maricopa County that has been condemned by election experts.

If Bailey loses his Antrim County lawsuit, it will be another addition to the list of more than 40 failed election lawsuits from Trump and his allies.

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Daily Mail asked a judge to dismiss MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s lawsuit, arguing that reporting he dated a ’30 Rock’ star isn’t defamatory

mike lindell white house
My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell walks out ahead of President Donald J. Trump to speak with members of the coronavirus task force in March 2020.

  • The Daily Mail asked a judge to dismiss MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s defamation lawsuit.
  • Lindell sued the tabloid over a report that he dated actress Jane Krakowski, which he denies.
  • His complaint centers on the reported detail that he gifted her alcohol, though he is a recovering addict.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Attorneys for The Daily Mail have once again asked a judge to dismiss Mike Lindell’s lawsuit against the media organization, arguing its story about the pillow mogul dating “30 Rock” actress Jane Krakowski didn’t amount to defamation.

“Plaintiff has not cited a single case where a court has found the type of innocuous statements at issue here, about a consensual romantic relationship between two adults, was capable of a defamatory meaning,” the Daily Mail’s lawyers wrote in a legal memorandum filed Thursday.

The British tabloid reported in January that the MyPillow CEO had a secret nine-month fling with the actress. Both Lindell and Krakowski denied the report, and Lindell said he had never even heard of her.

Lindell sued The Daily Mail days later, alleging the report was defamatory. The lawsuit said the article caused him “significant humiliation and emotional distress” and cost him “economic opportunities.”

Lindell became a mega-celebrity among political conservatives for his staunch support of former President Donald Trump. He has also championed his personal story, as someone who was addicted to crack for eight years, is now recovering, and built a multi-million dollar pillow business empire. His lawsuit against the Daily Mail, in particular, the zeroes in the reported detail that Lindell gave Krakowski alcohol as a gift.

“As a recovering addict and alcoholic who frequently writes and speaks publicly about his spiritual triumphs over substance abuse, Mr. Lindell is horrified by the Defendants’ fabricated and very public accusations,” the lawsuit said.

The Daily Mail says legal standards for defamation don’t involve gifting bottles of alcohol

The Daily Mail first made a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on April 22. But Lindell’s lawyers submitted a revised version on April 27, as Insider first reported. In the amended version, Lindell claimed that some churches had distanced themselves from his nonprofit that helps people recovering from addiction.

New filings from The Daily Mail have asked the judge to reject those revisions as well, arguing they still don’t amount to the legal standards for defamation.

“Plaintiff [cannot] identify any case where it was found to be defamatory to state that an adult (whether he is a recovered addict, pious, or conservative) gave another adult a gift of alcohol – an entirely legal, and commonplace event,” the filings say, adding: “Well-established law makes clear that even a ‘devout Christian’ would not be subjected to hatred or contempt by ordinary readers, applying today’s societal mores, because of a report that he dated a popular actress and gave her gifts that included alcohol.”

Jane Krakowski
Jane Krakowski.

In the past few months, Lindell has found himself with a number of tangled legal headaches. In addition to his lawsuit against The Daily Mail, he has been sued by Dominion Voting Systems. Lindell has pushed a false conspiracy theory that the election technology company was manipulated through China and secretly “flipped” votes in the 2020 presidential election from Trump to now-President Joe Biden. Dominion sued him, alleging $1.3 billion in defamatory damages, and Lindell counter-sued.

In court filings, Lindell’s attorneys have sought to distinguish between Lindell’s personal beliefs and the alleged damage done to his company and organization. The new Daily Mail filings argue that the legal arguments Lindell makes in his case with the media outlet are the opposite of the arguments he makes in his case with Dominion.

“As the materials submitted with the Motion make clear – and Plaintiff does not dispute – he has been the subject of widespread, negative publicity that includes his advocacy of fake COVID-19 ‘cures,’ false theories about election fraud, and support of martial law,” the Daily Mail filing says.

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