From Mike Lindell to OAN, here’s everyone Dominion and Smartmatic are suing over election conspiracy theories so far

Three side-by-side images of MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Sidney Powell, and Rudy Giuliani.
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Sidney Powell, and Rudy Giuliani are being sued by Dominion.

  • Conspiracy theorists claim Dominion and Smartmatic “flipped” votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden.
  • The election technology companies are now suing the people who spread those claims.
  • Here’s who’s being sued so far.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Dominion and Smartmatic have launched a series of defamation lawsuits against individuals and groups who spread election fraud conspiracy theories related to their voting machines during the 2020 presidential election.

Dominion filed a $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox News on Friday, and more could be on their way. Dominion has sent cease-and-desist notices and warnings to preserve documents to more than 150 people, and its CEO previously told CNBC that the company was “not ruling anyone out.”

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, people turned to alternative ways to vote in the election, and voter fraud conspiracy theories quickly sprung up.

One posited that Dominion and Smartmatic developed technology that “flipped” votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden through a method developed with the regime of the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez.

The theory has been thoroughly debunked. That didn’t stop pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell and Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani from pushing elements of the theory while filing a series of failed lawsuits seeking to overturn the results of the election. Lindell has also spread misinformation about the machines, saying Dominion “built them to cheat.”

As well as making the brand “radioactive” and putting its multiyear contracts in jeopardy, according to its attorney Tom Clare, the allegations about Dominion also put its employees in danger, the company wrote in a lawsuit.

Its customer support number received a voicemail message saying “we’re bringing back the firing squad,” it wrote in the suit in January. The need for heightened personal security cost Dominion $565,000, according to the lawsuit, bringing its total costs attributed to the vote fraud claims to almost $1.2 million.

Here’s a list of everyone is being sued so far.

Sidney Powell by Dominion and Smartmatic

Sidney Powell
Attorney Sidney Powell at a Trump Campaign press conference.

Dominion was the first to snap.

On January 8, it filed a defamation suit against pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell, seeking $1.3 billion in damages.

Powell was one of the faces of the Trump campaign’s legal team in November, but Trump kicked her off the team after she floated her conspiracy theory at a press conference.

Despite being purged from Trump’s “Elite Strike Force” legal team Powell used her false theories as the premise of four federal lawsuits seeking to overturn the election result. All of them failed, and some have resulted in motions for her to be disbarred.

Dominion’s lawsuit alleges that Powell’s claims caused the company business losses after she baselessly accused the company of fraud, election rigging, and bribery.

“Powell’s statements were calculated to — and did in fact — provoke outrage and cause Dominion enormous harm,” Tom Clare, the attorney representing Dominion, wrote in the lawsuit.

The 124-page defamation lawsuit also outlines how Powell raised money from her media tour peddling her conspiracy theory through a corporate vehicle called “Defending the Republic,” also named as a party in the lawsuit.

Powell responded by tweeting that the lawsuit “is baseless & filed to harass, intimidate, & to drain our resources as we seek the truth of #DominionVotingSystems‘ role in this fraudulent election.”

Smartmatic filed a defamation lawsuit against Powell a month later, suing her at the same time it sued Rudy Giuliani, a fellow conspiracy theorist, and Fox News.

The company claimed that Powell and Giuliani used right-wing media outlets like Fox News to make their conspiracy theories go viral.

“These defendants are primary sources of much of the false information,” the company said. “Their unfounded accusations were repeated by other media outlets, journalists, bloggers and influencers the world over.”

A federal judge Wednesday denied Powell’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Rudy Giuliani by Dominion and Smartmatic

Rudy Giuliani
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani at a Trump Campaign press conference.

On January 26, Dominion filed a defamation suit against Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s now-former personal lawyer, again seeking $1.3 billion in damages.

In the lawsuit, Dominion accused Giuliani of creating “a viral disinformation campaign about Dominion,” referring to more than 50 of his statements.

Through hearings, television appearances, Twitter, and his own YouTube show, it said, Giuliani repeatedly accused Dominion of election fraud and misrepresented the company’s security measures while doing so.

He “cashed in by hosting a podcast where he exploited election falsehoods to market gold coins, supplements, cigars and protection from ‘cyberthieves,'” Dominion wrote in the lawsuit.

The 107-page document also cited numerous other people who said they believed Giuliani’s claims, which it argued demonstrated the scope of the damage.

“Rudy Giuliani actively propagated disinformation to purposefully mislead voters,” Dominion CEO John Poulos said in a statement. “Because Giuliani and others incessantly repeated the false claims about my company on a range of media platforms, some of our own family and friends are among the Americans who were duped.”

In a statement, Giuliani said he welcomed the lawsuit and suggested he had not previously done a thorough investigation of Dominion’s practices.

A federal judge Wednesday denied Giuliani’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Smartmatic also included Giuliani as a defendant in its lawsuit filed in February.

The company said Giuliani used the conspiracy theories to enrich himself.

“He reportedly would seek thousands of dollars ($20,000/day) in fees from President Trump to spread the story and file frivolous lawsuits,” Smartmatic wrote in its lawsuit.

“He would also use the attention brought to him as one of the primary storytellers to sell various products – from coins to supplements to title fraud protection.”

Mike Lindell by Dominion

mike lindell trump
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.

On February 22, Dominion filed a defamation suit against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, also seeking $1.3 billion in damages.

Lindell is a staunch ally of former president Donald Trump and a major GOP donor, who has repeatedly supported Trump’s claims challenging the integrity of the election.

Dominion’s lawsuit accused Lindell of repeatedly making false allegations while knowing there was no credible evidence to support his claims. As well as rallies, interviews, and a two-hour movie, Lindell used his social-media profiles to spread his baseless claims of voter fraud.

In the lawsuit, Dominion claimed Lindell used the claims as a way to ramp up his pillow sales, advertising on far-right media outlets that parroted his claims and sponsoring a bus tour that sought to overturn the election results. Lindell told Insider that retailer boycotts of MyPillow following the insurrection have cost him tens of millions of dollars in business.

He “knowingly lied about Dominion to sell more pillows to people who continued tuning in to hear what they wanted to hear about the election,” Dominion wrote.

Lindell told Insider Dominion had “zero, zero, zero” chance of winning. The lawsuits were part of cancel culture’s attempts at silencing voices, he said.

“I looked at it as a great day for America when they sued me,” Lindell added. “I can put the evidence for the whole world to see, and it’ll be public record, and the media will quit trying to suppress it.”

A federal judge Wednesday denied Lindell’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Fox News by Smartmatic and Dominion

Donald Trump Fox News
A close-up of the Fox News Channel website with a picture of President Donald Trump displayed on a smartphone.

On February 4, Smartmatic filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox News, accusing it of waging disinformation campaigns about the company’s role in the 2020 election.

“In November and December 2020, Fox News broadcast multiple reports stating and implying that Smartmatic had fixed and rigged the 2020 election,” the company said.

“They repeated the false claims and accusations on air and in articles and social media postings that were together seen by millions in the US and even more around the world.”

Fox called the lawsuit “meritless” and asked a judge to dismiss the case.

On March 26, Dominion also filed a lawsuit against Fox News. The $1.6 billion suit – its biggest yet – claimed that the network gave prominence to the election-fraud claims as a tactic to revive viewership as ratings dropped after President Donald Trump’s loss.

The voting-technology company said that Fox News “sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process.”

In a statement, Fox News said: “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.”

Fox News representative told Insider in February that the network ran several “fact-check” segments “prior to any lawsuit chatter.”

While several of its news shows reported that there was no evidence of Dominion’s systems changing votes, Fox News, in particular its opinion hosts, “questioned the results of the election or pushed conspiracy theories about it at least 774 times” in the two weeks after the network called the race, according to Media Matters.

Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo, and Lou Dobbs by Smartmatic

Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs
Fox News hosts Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo, and Lou Dobbs.

Smartmatic’s 285-page lawsuit against Fox News also named the hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro as defendants.

Smartmatic said the hosts had offered Powell and Giuliani a platform and endorsed their falsehoods.

Bartiromo, Pirro, and Dobbs all filed separate motions to dismiss the lawsuit.

Fox News canceled Dobbs’ show days after the lawsuit was filed and said he would no longer have a relationship with the network. It added that the move had been planned.

Newsmax by Dominion

Rudy Giuliani on Newsmax.
Newsmax hosted Powell and Giuliani on its shows.

Dominion filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Newsmax, the right-wing outlet owned and run by Trump’s friend Chris Ruddy, on Tuesday.

Newsmax was slow to acknowledge the reality of Biden’s victory in the November 2020 election. Dominion accused Newsmax of promoting falsehoods about the company in order to compete with Fox News, which had correctly recognized Biden’s victory in November.

“Newsmax chose to prioritize its profits over the truth,” the lawsuit said. “For Ruddy and Newsmax, the facts did not matter. What mattered was feeding the audience what it wanted — even if it was spreading false information. And the race to the bottom began in earnest, dragging Dominion down with it.”

After the election, the network also hosted Powell and Giuliani. By allowing them to spout their false theories unchallenged on Newsmax’s programs, this amounted to defamation, Dominion said.

Newsmax representative Brian Peterson told Insider that the media organization was simply reporting on what notable figures said.

“While Newsmax has not reviewed the Dominion filing, in its coverage of the 2020 Presidential elections, Newsmax simply reported on allegations made by well-known public figures, including the President, his advisors and members of Congress — Dominion’s action today is a clear attempt to squelch such reporting and undermine a free press,” Peterson said.

One America News by Dominion

one america news oan
A One America News reported.

Dominion filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against One America News (OAN) Tuesday, accusing it of engaging “in a race to the bottom with Fox and other outlets such as Newsmax to spread false and manufactured stories about election fraud.”

OAN refused to acknowledge Biden’s victory in the 2020 election even as Fox News and Newsmax pulled back on far-fetched election claims and aired videos attesting to the legitimacy of the results.

Dominion said that OAN’s falsehoods contributed toward the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6 and that it defamed Dominion by broadcasting “Absolute Proof,” Lindell’s conspiracy theory-filled documentary about voter fraud.

Dominion also accused OAN hosts Chanel Rion and Christina Bobb of amplifying and spreading false claims about Dominion.

After Dominion threatened to sue OAN for defamation in December, OAN warned Dominion of a countersuit.

Patrick Byrne by Dominion

patrick byrne overstock
Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne.

Dominion filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne Tuesday.

The lawsuit accuses Byrne, a staunch Trump ally, of waging “a defamatory disinformation campaign against Dominion” in collaboration with Powell, Giuliani, Lindell, and others. This includes pushing election conspiracy theories in television appearances, a blog series, a book, and a film, Dominion said.

“Byrne continues to stick to his manufactured, inherently improbable, profitable, and demonstrable lies,” the lawsuit said.

Dominion is ‘still exploring’ whether to sue Trump over election lies

Trump
Former President Donald Trump.

More lawsuits could be on their way, with Dominion’s CEO telling CNBC in February that the company was “not ruling anyone out” after sending cease-and-desist notices and warnings to preserve documents to more than 150 people.

Asked directly if Dominion would sue Trump, Shackelford, an attorney at Susman Godfrey LLP, told Insider’s Jacob Shamsian Tuesday that the company has not ruled it out.

“We are still exploring options as to how to hold other participants in the campaign of lies against Dominion to account,” Shackelford said.

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My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell fled the stage at his cyber symposium at the same time news broke that Dominion’s billion-dollar defamation lawsuit against him would proceed

Lindell my pillow
Voting machine maker Dominion Voting Systems is currently suing MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell for defamation.

  • Mike Lindell fled the stage at his cyber symposium at the same time news broke that Dominion’s defamation lawsuit against him is going forward.
  • A federal judge denied Lindell’s bid to dismiss the voting machine maker’s $1.3 billion lawsuit.
  • Lindell is holding a 72-hour event in South Dakota to prove his election conspiracy theories.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell was seen dashing off the stage at his cyber symposium at the same time news broke that the $1.3 billion defamation suit filed against him by Dominion Voting Systems will go ahead.

Lindell attempted to have this defamation lawsuit against him dismissed during a hearing in June. But US District Judge Carl J. Nichols on August 11 ruled that the three defamation lawsuits against Lindell and Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, which are seeking more than a billion dollars in damages from each party, are slated to proceed in full.

Nichols noted in his judgment that the First Amendment offers “no blanket immunity” to Lindell in the Dominion lawsuit. The company alleges it was defamed by Lindell’s false claims that it rigged the election against Trump.

The judgment comes one day after Dominion filed lawsuits accusing right-wing media networks One America News and Newsmax of pushing false theories about the election.

Lindell is currently hosting a marathon 72-hour cyber symposium in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, from August 10 to August 12 in a bid to prove his election conspiracy theories.

After news that his attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed came out at around 6 p.m. on August 11, Lindell was seen on video getting off his seat and rushing off-stage abruptly, disappearing behind a dark curtain.

At press time, Lindell had not returned to the stage, and the live stream of the cyber symposium was replaced by a video reel showing news articles touting voter fraud claims next to an image of Lindell hugging a pillow.

mike lindell pillow cyber symposium
The livestream of Mike Lindell’s cyber symposium feed was replaced with a reel of news article clips accompanied by a MyPillow ad, after the CEO dashed off-stage abruptly.

Lindell told attendees on August 11 that he intended to stay on stage for three days straight.

“We’re not going on a break,” Lindell said. “You guys can go eat. That’s fine, but I ain’t eating! I’m staying up here for 72 hours.”

Zachary Petrizzo, a journalist from news outlet Salon who was covering the event, noted that Lindell was talking to a mostly empty hall on day two of the conference.

Insider has reached out to Mike Lindell for comment.

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Dominion says OAN defamed the company by airing MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s ‘Absolute Proof’ election fraud video

mike lindell mypillow ceo
MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell, speaks to reporters outside federal court in Washington, Thursday, June 24, 2021.

  • Dominion has sued One America News, saying it defamed the company by airing Mike Lindell’s videos.
  • The MyPillow CEO made four “docu-movies” that purport to show Dominion rigged 2020 election results.
  • While OAN put a disclaimer on one of the videos, Dominion says it doesn’t make any sense.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

On Tuesday, Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against One America News, a right-wing media organization that has pushed conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.

The lawsuit takes special aim at MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, whose “docu-movies” purporting to prove election fraud have been broadcast on OAN’s platforms.

“Mike Lindell has used at least 30 hours of OAN airtime to broadcast lies about Dominion through his ‘documentaries’ Absolute Proof, Scientific Truth, Absolute Interference, and Absolutely 9-0,” the lawsuit says. “OAN knowingly broadcast lies about Dominion to a global audience by inviting Lindell on the air, where it knew he would repeat those lies.”

Dominion already had sued Lindell, a staunch supporter of former president Donald Trump, in February. Lindell has falsely claimed that Dominion, in collaboration with a host of shadowy international hackers, rigged its election machines against Trump in favor of now-President Joe Biden.

The pillow mogul has continued to push his conspiracy theories, recently saying that Trump would be “reinstated” as president in August and, just this week, hosting a “cyber symposium” about the election.

Dominion said in Tuesday’s lawsuit that OAN, too, ignored warnings, and “knowingly lied to its audience” in broadcasting Lindell’s videos.

“OAN was fully aware that Lindell’s ‘docu-movie’ was full of lies and recklessly disregarded the truth about the 2020 election but deceived its viewers nonetheless,” the lawsuit says. “Why? At least in part to please Lindell, who was (and remains) one of OAN’s biggest advertisers. And it also allowed OAN to curry favor with President Trump.”

OAN played a disclaimer suggesting it knew Lindell’s claims were false

The media organization first aired Lindell’s three-hour video “Absolute Proof” in February.

It slapped a disclaimer on the video saying that Lindell was “exclusively responsible” for the content, and that its contents “are presented at this time as opinions only and are not intended to be taken or interpreted by the viewer as established facts.”

Dominion said in its lawsuit that the disclaimer was incoherent and wholly insufficient, and that it was functionally an extension of the network’s prior “reporting.” The lawsuit includes numerous screenshots of social media posts from OAN promoting the video as showing evidence of election fraud.

The disclaimer was “nothing more than a ploy – a hollow attempt to try to avoid liability for what it knew to be a film about the very same false and utterly baseless allegations OAN itself had created, endorsed, and spread for almost four months,” the lawsuit says.

mike lindell trump
US President Donald Trump listens as Michael J. Lindell, CEO of MyPillow Inc., speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on March 30, 2020.

Dominion’s attorneys also said that the disclaimer amounted to evidence that OAN “knew or recklessly disregarded” the truth – a legal threshold for defamation lawsuits.

The network broadcast “Absolute Proof” 13 times over four days, the lawsuit notes.

Following “Absolute Proof,” Lindell made more videos pushing false conspiracy theories about Dominion’s role in the election. OAN aired “Scientific Truth” and “Absolute Interference” in April. It also aired “Absolutely 9-0” – which purported to show how the Supreme Court would overturn the 2020 election results – in June.

OAN did not include a disclaimer when airing any of those sequels, according to the lawsuit.

Lindell has stood by his false claims and asked the judge to dismiss Dominion’s February lawsuit against him. He has also filed a counter-suit against Dominion.

Attorneys for OAN did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Dominion says OAN’s ‘expert mathematician’ who claimed to prove election fraud actually had a job ‘setting up swing sets’

rudy giuliani oan oann
Rudy Giuliani wipes sweat away after an interview with One America News Network’s Chanel Rion outside the White House West Wing July 01, 2020 in Washington, DC.

  • In January, One America News presented an “expert mathematician” in an interview.
  • The “expert” claimed to have uncovered evidence that the 2020 election was rigged against Donald Trump.
  • He is actually a swing set installer on Long Island, according to a new Dominion lawsuit.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The right-wing media organization One America News presented a Long Island swing set installer as an “expert mathematician” who claimed to uncover evidence that the 2020 election was rigged, according to a new lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems.

One America News’ Christina Bobb interviewed the swing set installer, Ed Solomon, on January 27 in a segment about the 2020 election, which President Joe Biden had won nearly three months earlier.

In the interview, Solomon claimed that he conducted a mathematical analysis showing that the results in Fulton County, Georgia, “can only have been done by an algorithm.” He added that the probability of Biden’s victory in the county was “1 over 10 to an exponent so large there’s not enough stars in the universe, there aren’t enough atoms in the universe, to explain the number.”

It’s not clear where Solomon got his dataset, or if he made it up. Factcheck.org compared the numbers he used in his analysis with the data available from Georgia’s secretary of state and found that they did not match. An audit of the ballots cast in Georgia in the 2020 election found that the results were correct.

Ed Solomon OAN Dominion
One America News claimed Ed Solomon was a “Mathematician” when he actually installed swing sets, Dominion Voting Systems said in a lawsuit.

According to Dominion’s lawsuit, Solomon is not an “expert mathematician” as OAN claimed, but “was in fact a convicted felon with no college degree.” The lawsuit said Solomon’s “current job was setting up swing sets in Long Island, New York.”

A spokesperson for Stony Brook University, with which Solomon claimed an affiliation, previously told Factcheck.org that he took several math classes over the course of seven years at the school but never received an undergraduate degree.

A person who appeared to be Solomon also was arrested in 2016 on drug-related charges and served two years in prison, according to Vice.

Dominion included these claims in a lawsuit filed Tuesday against OAN, alleging defamation over election conspiracy theories and seeking over $1.6 billion in damages.

Representatives for OAN didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. A Twitter account that appeared to be associated with Solomon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dominion previously decried Solomon in a letter sent to MyPillow CEO and conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell. The letter, dated February 4 and obtained by Insider, also pointed out that Solomon “is not a ‘mathematician'” and that he “is currently employed as an ‘Installer’ at a swing set construction company.” Dominion is suing Lindell, as well as a host of other entities, over false conspiracy theories about the company’s role in the 2020 election.

The same day, Dominion said in its lawsuit, it sent a letter to OAN demanding a retraction of Bobb’s interview with Solomon. OAN then took down the interview from its website, but left it up on other platforms, according to the lawsuit.

“OAN itself had effectively acknowledged [the claims were false] by secretly removing several articles and broadcasts from its own website that made similar claims,” Dominion’s lawsuit said.

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Dominion lawyer says the voting technology company is ‘still exploring’ whether to sue Trump over election lies

donald trump at rally with open mouth
Former US President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Lorain County Fairgrounds on June 26, 2021 in Wellington, Ohio.

  • Dominion is still deciding whether to sue Donald Trump over election conspiracy theories, a lawyer for the company said.
  • Trump has baselessly accused the voting software company of manipulating election results.
  • The former president hasn’t openly criticized the company since the January 6 insurrection.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Dominion Voting Systems is still weighing whether to bring a defamation lawsuit against former president Donald Trump over election conspiracy theories, an attorney for the company said Tuesday.

“Dominion continues to take an evidence-based approach to investigating other participants in the campaign of lies dating all the way back to last November,” attorney Stephen Shackelford told Insider at a press conference.

The election technology company filed three lawsuits Tuesday morning against the right-wing media organizations One America News and Newsmax. It has also sued two employees of OAN, as well as former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne.

Alleging billions of dollars in damages, Dominion said the defendants perpetuated false conspiracy theories claiming the company rigged the 2020 election against Trump and in favor of now-President Joe Biden.

Tuesday’s lawsuits include some mention of Trump’s behavior, including his relationship to OAN, which openly championed his false statements about the 2020 election. As the lawsuit against OAN notes, Trump praised the media organization for its support of an ongoing “audit” in an Arizona county that has baselessly cast doubt on the state’s election results.

Trump has not directly criticized Dominion since the January 6 insurrection, according to an archive of his public statements. In a speech to his supporters moments before many of them stormed the US Capitol, he falsely claimed the company’s machines erroneously tabulated votes in Georgia.

Trump also pushed false theories about Dominion in a phone call to Georgia’s secretary of state, which is now the subject of a state-level criminal investigation, and in numerous rallies and media interviews following his election loss in November.

Asked directly if Dominion would sue Trump, Shackelford, an attorney at Susman Godfrey LLP, told Insider that the company has not ruled it out.

“We are still exploring options as to how to hold other participants in the campaign of lies against Dominion to account,” Shackelford said.

rudy giuliani oan oann
Rudy Giuliani wipes sweat away after an interview with One America News Network’s Chanel Rion outside the White House West Wing July 01, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Dominion CEO John Poulos said earlier this year the company was exploring whether to sue Trump. Asked about it Tuesday, he referred the question to Shackelford.

Shackleford said waiting until August to file lawsuits against Newsmax, OAN, and Byrne for conspiracy theories related to the November 2020 election showed how careful Dominion was in filing Tuesday’s lawsuits, which collectively run to around 400 pages.

“Dominion has been unfortunately forced to spend a considerable amount of time and money carefully researching and managing the lawsuits,” Shackelford said. “We do our due diligence and we file when we’re ready. We file these lawsuits today to hold these particular defendants accountable as Dominion continues to suffer from these lies.”

The Department of Homeland Security says election fraud conspiracy theories have led to an increase in violent threats.

Poulos said Tuesday that someone recently threw a brick through the window of one of Dominion’s offices, and that the company’s employees continue to receive death threats that began around the time of the 2020 election.

The company also said in its lawsuit against OAN that at least one landlord has declined to discuss leasing an office to the company, “citing security concerns relating to the election lies.”

Tuesday’s lawsuits join previous ones the company filed against Fox News, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, and former Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani. All of the defendants have asked judges to dismiss those lawsuits in motions that remain pending.

Smartmatic, a rival election technology company also falsely implicated in election conspiracy theories, has sued Fox News, Giuliani, and Powell in pending litigation.

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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.

PowellRudy
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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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.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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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