From Rudy Giuliani to Fox News, here’s everyone Dominion and Smartmatic are suing over election conspiracy theories so far

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Sidney Powell, 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.”

Rudy Giuliani by Dominion and Smartmatic

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

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.”

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,” the company 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.”

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

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.”

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. They have filed to dismiss the lawsuit

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 said.

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

Dominion will ‘definitely’ file more lawsuits, its CEO said

More lawsuits could be on their way, with Dominion’s CEO telling CNBC that the company was “not ruling anyone out.”

Dominion has sent cease-and-desist notices and warnings to preserve documents to more than 150 peopleThe Washington Post reported. This includes the media outlets Newsmax and One America News.

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Sidney Powell’s defense lawyers say her conspiracy theories about Dominion were way too outlandish to be taken seriously

Sidney Powell
Sidney Powell, then an attorney for President Donald Trump, conducts a news conference at the Republican National Committee on lawsuits regarding the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in November.

  • Sidney Powell moved to dismiss the $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit Dominion filed against her.
  • Her lawyers say no reasonable person would take her claims about Dominion seriously.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Attorneys representing the attorney Sidney Powell filed a motion Monday to dismiss a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems, arguing her conspiracy theories about the election-technology company having ties to Venezuela and secretly rigging the 2020 presidential election should not have been taken literally.

“Even [assuming] that each of the statements alleged in the Complaint could be proved true or false, no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact,” Powell’s attorneys wrote in the filing.

Dominion filed its lawsuit against Powell in January, alleging the lawyer defamed the company when she falsely claimed the company secretly switched votes from then-President Donald Trump to now-President Joe Biden.

Powell, an appeals court attorney who also represented Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, became a national figure in November following Trump’s election loss. She denied the reality he lost the election and falsely argued election-technology companies like Dominion and Smartmatic, which also sued Powell, falsified votes.

She was hired and then fired by Trump’s legal team before filing four lawsuits on her own seeking to overturn the election results. Her lawsuits, filled with spelling mistakes and bizarre claims, all failed in court.

Attorneys Lawrence J. Joseph, Howard Kleinhendler, and Jesse R. Binnall filed their response to Dominion’s lawsuit on behalf of Powell and Defending the Republic, a fundraising vehicle she set up while promoting her failed lawsuits.

They argued Powell’s statements should be taken in the context of the highly charged election, even though Trump had already lost the election at that point, and that any “reasonable person” would understand she wasn’t making factual claims, even though she had made her claims in lawsuits in addition to media appearances.

“Notably, one of the focal points of the Complaint is the press conference held by Sidney Powell and others on November 19, 2020 at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C.,” the attorneys wrote. “Obviously, any press conference originating from the Republican National Committee is political to its core.”

sidney powell
Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell.

Powell’s attorneys say the fact that Dominion refers to Powell’s claims as outlandish indicates they should have never been taken seriously in the first place.

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

Powell doubled down on her conspiracy theories more than a month after the election results were settled. After Dominion sent her document retention letters warning of a lawsuit, she called the company “fraud masters” on Twitter.

Powell has steadfastly refused to retract her claims about the company and has not responded to Insider’s repeated requests for comment.

The new filing does not address many of the points in Dominion’s original lawsuit, including that Powell submitted modified documentation about the company’s certificate to provide election technology in Georgia. Legal ethics experts told Insider Powell could face sanctions if she’s found to have modified court exhibits.

A litany of legal challenges await Powell after her failed election lawsuits. In addition to the defamation lawsuits from Dominion and Smartmatic, officials in Michigan are seeking to disbar her and the attorneys who worked with her.

Read the original article on Business Insider

From Rudy Giuliani to Sidney Powell, here’s everyone Dominion and Smartmatic is suing over election conspiracy theories so far

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Sidney Powell, 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.

More could be on their way, with Dominion’s CEO telling CNBC that its most recent lawsuit, against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, is “definitely” not its last.

As a result 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.

On January 8, Dominion 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.”

Rudy Giuliani by Dominion and Smartmatic

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

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.”

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,” the company 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.”

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

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.”

Fox News by Smartmatic

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.

“Fox News Media is committed to providing the full context of every story with in-depth reporting and clear opinion,” the company said. “We are proud of our 2020 election coverage and will vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit in court.”

Asked whether Dominion would also sue Fox News, Poulos told CNBC the company was “not ruling anyone out.”

Fox News representative told Insider earlier 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. They have filed to dismiss the lawsuit

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 said.

Dominion will ‘definitely’ file more lawsuits, its CEO said

Dominion CEO John Poulos told CNBC the company’s filing against Lindell was “definitely not the last lawsuit.”

Dominion has sent cease-and-desist notices and warnings to preserve documents to more than 150 peopleThe Washington Post reported. This includes the media outlets Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News.

But Americans could be “forgiven for believing” the claims because they were touted as facts, Poulos told CNBC.

 

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A lawyer who filed Sidney Powell’s Michigan election lawsuit says he shouldn’t be disbarred and was just ‘holding the fort’ for her

GettyImages 1229757450
Sidney Powell, attorney for President Donald Trump, conducts a news conference at the Republican National Committee on lawsuits regarding the outcome of the 2020 presidential election on Thursday, November 19, 2020

  • Attorney Greg Rohl was instrumental in helping Sidney Powell file her Michigan election lawsuit.
  • Michigan’s governor and other elected officials are attempting to disbar Rohl as a result.
  • Rohl said despite filing the case, he did not make any changes, additions, or corrections to it.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

A local attorney who was instrumental in filing Sidney Powell’s Michigan lawsuit to throw out the state’s votes in the 2020 presidential election, said in a court filing he was just “holding the fort” for her and shouldn’t be sanctioned or disbarred.

Gregory Rohl, a trial attorney based in Novi, Michigan, wrote in a federal court affidavit that he was quarantined at home after having contracted COVID-19 when he was asked to assist Powell and attorney Lin Wood in filing the case. Rohl said in his affidavit he was approached at 6:30 p.m., and was told the filing deadline was at midnight.

Rohl’s filing comes just days after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, state Attorney General Dana Nessel, and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson filed complaints seeking to disbar Powell, Rohl, and several attorneys who were involved in the frivolous lawsuit.

Powell, a Texas-based attorney, was unable to file the suit herself at the time as she did not have a license to practice in Michigan. Rohl was told that Powell was waiting to hear back about her pro hac vice application, a request for permission to work on the case when a lawyer does not have the legal authority to practice law in the area.

Despite what Rohl was told, court filings do not show Powell ever actually filed a formal pro hac vice application.

In his affidavit, Rohl said the filing contained over 100 exhibits and took over an hour to review. He said he is not a political person and “did not really care who won” the presidential election, but added that he found the affidavits associated with the case “compelling” and called the complaint “sound” in his view.

The affidavits, however, had already been reviewed and summarily rejected in a separate case by the Great Lakes Justice Center on behalf of two Republican poll watchers. The judge said that “no basis exists” within the affidavits to stop the certification of Michigan’s electoral results.

Rohl filed the lawsuit at 11:56 p.m., less than five minutes before his deadline. He said he made no additions, deletions, or corrections to the complaint or affidavits.

Read more: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer filed a bar complaint against Sidney Powell, asking that she be stripped of her law license

Rohl argues he should not be disbarred as his involvement in the case became even more minuscule after District Judge Linda V. Parker waived the oral argument and held no evidentiary hearings. Once she dismissed the case, Rohl said he was told he was no longer needed as counsel.

Over 60 cases were filed across the US by Powell and other attorneys allied with the Trump administration in an attempt to challenge the election, but none of the lawsuits were successful in flipping the results of a single state, nor did they find any widespread evidence of fraud.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Dominion’s lawyers demand Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Parler preserve posts by Trump and other far-right figures, ahead of threatened defamation lawsuits

Giuliani Fox News interview

Lawyers for Dominion Voting Systems sent letters Thursday to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Parler, asking them to preserve posts by more than a dozen high-profile far-right individuals and news outlets ahead of threatened defamation lawsuits.

“A number of posts on your website must be preserved because they are relevant to our client’s libel claims; these claims are based on false accusations that Dominion rigged the 2020 election,” lawyers from the firm Clare Locke, which represents Dominion, said in the letters.

The lawyers said that, between November and January, then-President Donald Trump, his campaign, attorneys Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Lin Wood, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, prominent QAnon adherents Ron and Jim Watkins, and far-right commentator Dan Bongino all posted content that could be relevant to Dominion’s defamation lawsuits.

Read more: Election-fraud liars are scrambling to avoid lawsuits, but they can’t retract the damage they’ve done

Dominion makes voting machines and has been the target of conspiracy theories, extensively amplified by Trump and his allies, that the company rigged the election.

Last month, Dominion filed defamation lawsuits against Giuliani for $1.3 billion and Powell for another $1.3 billion, and had sent letters threatening to sue various pro-Trump media figures.

In the letters, Dominion’s lawyers said “more will follow.”

Dominion also asked the social media companies to preserve posts and data from the accounts of: Fox News and Fox anchors Sean Hannity, Jeannine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs; far-right news outlets One America News Network, The Epoch Times, Rebel News, Newsmax, and Newsmax anchor Greg Kelly; Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis; former national security advisor Michael Flynn, entrepreneur Jovan Pulitzer, discredited election analyst Russell Ramsland, former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, and conservative talk radio host John Catsimatidis.

Read more: EXCLUSIVE: Dominion sends letters threatening defamation lawsuits to Sean Hannity, Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, and other pro-Trump media figures

Read the original article on Business Insider

Here are the most prominent people who got banned from social media platforms after the Capitol riots

US Capitol riot
Riots at the US Capitol Building.

  • Donald Trump, Sidney Powell, and Michael Flynn were among the people whose accounts were banned following the attack on the Capitol.
  • These accounts, social media platforms said, violate their rules of engagement and pose a risk to the public. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Almost immediately after the attack on the Capitol building last Wednesday, social media platforms began suspending and permanently disabling accounts they say disseminate violent rhetoric.  

The most prominent ban was Twitter’s permanent suspension of President Donald Trump’s account Friday night. 

After his account got disabled, top conservatives began sharing their Parler accounts on the platform, encouraging their followers to gravitate there. Parler has become a mainstay in alt-right communication, advertising itself as a platform for unregulated language and “free speech.”

Days after the presidential election, Parler download counts surged, signaling that the platform was at the time seeing an influx of new users. 

After Twitter banned Trump, Gab another far-right website that bills itself as a “free speech” platform, reported massive growth. About 10,000 new users signed up every hour on Saturday, according to Gab, signaling the gravitation from mainstream social media accounts to less-popular ones like Gab known for the circulation of alt-right speech.

Alt-right content is still available on mainstream social media accounts like Twitter. But after the Capitol riots, social media platforms have begun removing accounts they suspect will incite violence. Some users whose accounts have been removed have previously spread misinformation related to the 2020 election results and QAnon content. 

These accounts, social media platforms said, violate their rules of engagement and pose a risk to the public. 

Here are the people who’ve been banned since the Capitol riot attacks: 

Donald Trump

donald trump debate
President Donald Trump.

Trump has been suspended from accessing multiple social media platforms almost immediately after the Capitol riots.

He was permanently suspended from Twitter on Friday “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” the company said in a tweet. 

Facebook blocked Trump “indefinitely” a day earlier, saying the ban will last at least until President-elect Joe Biden gets sworn into office on January 20. 

Snapchat also banned Trump’s account for concerns about his rhetoric.

Reddit banned r/DonaldTrump, a popular subreddit that violated the platforms “rules against inciting violence,” a spokesperson said to Insider.

Sidney Powell

Sidney Powell
Sidney Powell.

Twitter on Friday said it suspended the account of Sidney Powell, the lawyer Trump tasked with proving his baseless claims of election fraud. 

Powell, in her attempt to alter the results of the 2020 presidential election, has been accused of spreading misinformation about Dominion Voting Systems, an electronic voting supplier.

She was sued for $1.3 billion on claims that she facilitated the spread of misinformation. 

 

Steve Bannon

steve bannon banned twitter
Steve Bannon.

YouTube removed Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast Friday night for “violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service.”

Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani had appeared on the podcast hours before the ban. During his appearance, he blamed Democrats for the Capitol riots. 

Twitter banned Bannon, a former White House strategist, in November after he posted a tweet calling for the decapitation of Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Michael Flynn

Michael Flynn
Michael Flynn.

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was booted off Twitter earlier this week.

Flynn partially used Twitter to urge Trump to use martial law to overturn the results of the presidential election.

He’s also been one of most visible backers of QAnon. In 2019, Flynn was scheduled to speak at a QAnon-organized conference.

Ron Watkins

ron watkins oan
Ron Watkins was interviewed by OAN’s Chanel Rion as a “cyber analyst.”

That same day, Twitter banned the account of Ron Watkins, a crucial QAnon figure who ran the alt-right platform 8kun.

Watkins’ misinformation posts have frequently often been amplified by Trump himself. When his account was active, Trump retweeted posts from Watkins. 

Other QAnon accounts were also suspended on Friday, and Twitter has been taking steps to reduce the influence and misinformation that comes out of the group. The same day, for example, Twitter removed thousands of QAnon-affiliated accounts

Still, there are several other QAnon accounts that continue to thrive on the platform. 

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Trump supporter and Fox News star Geraldo Rivera said the president is acting like an ‘entitled frat boy’ since losing the election

geraldo rivera donald trump reg
During a Fox news appearance earlier this month, Rivera said Trump was damaging “the fabric of our democracy” by dragging out the election.

  • Fox News star Geraldo Rivera criticised President Donald Trump in a tweet on Saturday for his behavior since losing the election to President-elect Joe Biden.
  • Rivera, a supporter of the president, said Trump “has behaved like an entitled frat boy” since losing a “bitterly contested election.”
  • Rivera also took aim at conservative attorney Sidney Powell, calling her a “pathetic lawyer” who is “working to destroy the legacy of Donald Trump.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Fox News correspondent-at-large Geraldo Rivera lashed out at President Donald Trump for his behavior since losing the election to President-elect Joe Biden.

In a tweet Saturday night, Rivera said he supported Trump for four years while the president was “assailed by leftist creeps who conjured the Russia Hoax to wreck his presidency.”

“Sadly he lost a bitterly contested election,” he said. “However since he has behaved like an entitled frat boy.”

Rivera has been a vocal supporter of the president. However, he has acknowledged since November that Trump lost the election, even as the president refuses to concede and continues to challenge the results.

On November 12, Rivera praised Trump for his time in office, but also said the time was coming soon for the president to “say goodbye with grace and dignity.”

 

Trump and some of his allies have continued to deny the results of the election, even after the Electoral College vote confirmed Biden’s win. Instead they have launched a string of lawsuits, the vast majority of which have been dismissed.

During a Fox news appearance earlier this month, Rivera said Trump was damaging “the fabric of our democracy” by dragging out the election.

Rivera also took aim at conservative attorney and Trump advocate Sidney Powell in a separate tweet Saturday night.

In response to a tweet that said Powell will “burn the deep state down” with evidence, Rivera called her “pathetic.”

“Sidney Powell is a pathetic lawyer who among others is working to destroy the legacy of Donald Trump,” he said.

Powell has spread unsubstantiated claims about the election, including some about widespread voter fraud and voting machines “flipping” votes from Trump to Biden.

None of her legal challenges have held up in court, with judges dismissing her cases for a lack of evidence or standing.

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Trump personally blocked conspiracy-theorist lawyer Sidney Powell from becoming a White House special counsel, report says

WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES - NOV 19: Attorney Sidney Powell speaks during a news conference with Rudy Giuliani, lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump, about lawsuits contesting the results of the presidential election at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Thursday Nov. 19, 2020. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Attorney Sidney Powell.

  • President Donald Trump has told Sidney Powell that he will not make her White House special counsel for investigating voter fraud in the 2020 election, The Daily Beast reported.
  • At a meeting last Friday, Trump reportedly floated the idea of appointing Powell, and top aides including his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani had opposed it strongly.
  • Powell, an attorney and conspiracy theorist, had been seen at the White House in the past fortnight, pitching Trump legal strategies. 
  • Giuliani confirmed the president’s decision to oust Powell on Tuesday, telling The Daily Beast: “She is on her own.”
  • The Trump campaign distanced itself from Powell in November, with The New York Times reporting at the time that she was “too conspiratorial even for him [Trump].”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump personally blocked conspiracy-theorist lawyer Sidney Powell from becoming a White House special counsel, The Daily Beast reported Tuesday.

At a meeting in the Oval Office on Friday, Trump had aired the idea of naming Powell as a special counsel to investigate election fraud, according to The New York Times.

The idea, however, did not sit well with White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, The Times said.

Powell was also present at the “raucous” meeting, The Times said, and was accompanied by Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

Amid opposition to her appointment, Powell reportedly called Trump’s aides “quitters.”

However, Trump told Powell on Monday that he would not be making her special counsel, The Daily Beast reported.

It is not clear how the decision was made. Insider has contacted the White House and Powell for comment.

Donald Trump wildcard
President Donald Trump looks on during a ceremony presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom to wrestler Dan Gable in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on December 7, 2020.

Giuliani confirmed the decision on Tuesday, telling The Daily Beast: “She is on her own.”

On Tuesday, Powell told Fox News that she had been barred from interacting with Trump, according to Forbes.

Powell is best known for her wild conspiracy theories as to how the election was stolen from Trump – ideas which saw the Trump campaign’s legal team distance itself from her in November.

As Insider’s Josh Barro has reported, Powell has claimed that the election was stolen from Trump by factions from George Soros and the Clinton Foundation, to former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (who died in 2013), the country of Serbia, and “probably China.”

She has also baselessly accused Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems, two companies that make voting equipment and software, of switching votes from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden.

She also cited Ron Watkins, a prominent figure in the QAnon conspiracy-theory movement, in an affidavit earlier this month.

Powell previously served as a lawyer for the Trump campaign, but was let go in mid-November, with sources telling The New York Times that Powell was “too conspiratorial even for him [Trump].”

Rudy Giuliani
Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, speaks during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters, Thursday Nov. 19, 2020, in Washington.

Since Biden won the election Trump and his allies have claimed without evidence that the election was fraudulent. None of the Trump campaign’s legal challenges seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election result have been successful.

White House watchers had reported that Powell had been seen on the premises several times in the past fortnight.

Journalists who were at the White House on Sunday saw Powell leaving the building, with The New York Times reporting that she had been pitching Trump an executive order that would ostensibly allow him to seize voting machines.

On Tuesday, Powell retweeted a post that said she would indict a slew of people in relation to election fraud within weeks if she is appointed as a White House special counsel.

Despite opposition from Giuliani, Trump was taken with Powell and her ideas, The Times and The Daily Beast reported.

Even before she was denied the post by Trump on Monday, Giuliani had on several occasions publicly sought to distance the president from Powell and her views.

“Let me say definitively that Sidney Powell is not part of our legal team, she hasn’t been for five weeks,” Giuliani told the right-wing cable channel Newsmax on Monday.

“She is not a special counsel for the president, she does not speak for the president, nor does she speak for the administration. She speaks for herself.”

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Rudy Giuliani tries to distance Trump from Sidney Powell’s conspiracy theories, despite reports that she has been in multiple recent White House meetings

sidney powell trump giuliani election
Sidney Powell, an attorney later disavowed by the Trump campaign, participates in a news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani at the Republican National Committee headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. November 19, 2020

  • Rudy Giuliani on Monday sought to distance himself and President Trump from Sidney Powell, a lawyer who has been spouting conspiracy theories related to the 2020 election..
  • Powell has been spotted at the White House several times in the past week, where she has pitched Trump baseless allegations about election fraud.
  • “Let me say definitively that Sidney Powell is not part of our legal team, she hasn’t been for five weeks,” Giuliani told Newsmax. “She speaks for herself.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Sidney Powell’s conspiracy theories about the 2020 election – that US intelligence agencies collaborated with Venezuela and maybe China to rig voting machines for President-elect Joe Biden – are too extreme for even Rudy Giuliani, with the president’s personal attorney once again seeking to distance his client from a lawyer who has been spotted at the White House multiple times over the past week.

“Let me say definitively that Sidney Powell is not part of our legal team, she hasn’t been for five weeks,” Giuliani said in an appearance on the right-wing cable channel Newsmax. “She is not a special counsel for the president, she does not speak for the president, nor does she speak for the administration. She speaks for herself.”

Last month, Giuliani himself appeared alongside Powell at a news conference where she spouted unfounded theories about election fraud – claims that have been rejected by every court that has heard them. Days later, Trump’s legal team cut ties with Powell, saying she “is practicing law on her own.”

Despite this, President Trump himself has been meeting with her. On Sunday, reporters spotted her leaving the White House after pitching an executive order that would ostensibly allow the president to seize and examine voting machines. Today, outgoing Attorney General Bill Barr rejected any basis to seize voting machines or name a special counsel to look into voter fraud, dismissing any “systemic or broad-based” election fraud.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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Sidney Powell was at the White House Sunday to push for an executive order that would allow voting machines to be seized

Sidney Powell
During a meeting on Friday, Trump discussed naming Powell as a special counsel to investigate voter fraud.

  • Attorney Sidney Powell was spotted by reporters leaving the White House on Sunday.
  • Powell was there to advocate for an executive order that would allow for voting machines to be seized and examined, the Times said.
  • It’s not clear if President Donald Trump supports the idea. But during a meeting on Friday, he reportedly discussed naming Powell as a special counsel to investigate voter fraud.
  • Powell has spread baseless conspiracy theories about the election for months, with judges dismissing her legal challenges in key battleground states.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Attorney Sidney Powell was spotted leaving the White House Sunday, there to advocate for an executive order that would allow for voting machines to be collected and examined, The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman reported.

CNN White House Correspondent Jeremy Diamond said he saw Powell leaving the residence side of the White House, though she told him she did not meet with President Donald Trump.

It is not clear if the president is interested in Powell’s executive order pitch, but Haberman said the president’s staff has told him it’s not a legally valid option.

The White House did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

The Times had previously reported that the idea of collecting voting machines was floated during a tense White House meeting on Friday, where Powell was also present and clashed with Trump’s advisers.

During that meeting, Trump reportedly discussed naming Powell as a special counsel to investigate voter fraud, though most of his advisers did not support the idea.

The suggestion marked a reversal from last month, when Trump campaign lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis distanced themselves from Powell, saying she was “practicing law on her own” and not part of the campaign team.

Powell has pushed election conspiracy theories for months. One of her central claims is that software used in some states’ elections was manipulated to “flip” votes for Trump to President-elect Joe Biden. There is no evidence this occurred, and Dominion Voting Systems, the company behind the software, is threatening to sue her for defamation if she does not retract her allegations.

Powell asserted this claim about the voting software in election lawsuits she filed in key swing states won by Biden, seeking to have the results in those states overturned.

Her lawsuits, dubbed by her as releasing the “Kraken,” were dismissed in Arizona, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Michigan, with one judge saying the allegations were “sorely wanting of relevant or reliable evidence.”

A small but increasing number of Republicans have acknowledged Trump lost the election, some only after the Electoral College vote last week formalized Biden’s victory.

But the president has refused to concede and continues to assert baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. Trump’s campaign and allies have accrued a string of legal defeats in an attempt to subvert the election, including a Supreme Court decision to reject a Texas bid to overturn the results.

The campaign’s latest election challenge, filed Sunday, asks the US Supreme Court to toss more than 110,000 mail-in ballots that were cast in accordance with state law.

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