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.

 

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Dominion files $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News over election conspiracy theories

sean hannity fox news
Fox News opinion host Sean Hannity

  • Dominion filed a defamation lawsuit Friday against Fox News over election conspiracy theories.
  • Fox hosts frequently invited Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani on their programs.
  • The two pushed false theories about Dominion flipping election results, with little pushback.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News, seeking $1.6 billion in damages.

The suit alleged the right-wing media organization pushed a conspiracy theory that the election technology company helped rig the 2020 presidential election.

The lawsuit, reported by the Associated Press (AP), was filed on Friday morning.

Insider contacted Fox News representatives for comment on but did not immediately receive a response.

According to the AP, Dominion argues in the suit that Fox News gave prominence to the election-fraud claims as a tactic to revive viewership as ratings dropped after former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss.

The voting technology company said that the network “sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process,” according to a copy of the filing seen by the AP.

That has led to the company – which previously did not have a major public profile – being vilified by millions of conservatives, the AP reported Dominion as saying. Employees of the company have faced harassment as a result, the company said.

The company’s lawyers said it had suffered “enormous and irreparable economic harm,” the AP reported.

For months, Dominion was at the center of a false conspiracy theory that it has secret ties with a rival technology company, Smartmatic, as well as the regime of now-dead Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, and developed technology that switched votes in the November election from then-President Donald Trump to now-President Joe Biden.

The false theory had been pushed by Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, two Trump-allied attorneys who sought and failed to overturn the results of the election in court.

Fox News hosted both lawyers numerous times as guests in the wake of the 2020 election, even as the network had already declared Biden the rightful winner and no evidence backed the attorneys’ claims. Other segments have debunked the same claims.

“This was a conscious, knowing business decision to endorse and repeat and broadcast these lies in order to keep its viewership,” the AP reported attorney Justin Nelson, of Susman Godfrey LLC, as saying. Dominion argued that other media outlets treated the bizarre claims very differently, the agency reported. .

The company said it had repeatedly tried to correct the record, but was ignored by Fox, the AP reported.

In January, Dominion filed defamation lawsuits against Powell and Giuliani individually. Those lawsuits included numerous examples of Giuliani and Powell making their claims in right-wing media, including Fox News, without pushback from hosts.

The suit against Fox News was Dominion’s first against a media outlet rather than an individual. The company said that may yet file lawsuits against specific media personalities, the AP reported.

Smartmatic, in February, filed a single lawsuit against Fox News, Powell, and Giuliani. It also named individual hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro as defendants. Fox News canceled Dobbs’s show days later and said he would no longer have a relationship with the network, saying the move was previously planned.

Dominion had warned Fox News of an “imminent” lawsuit back in December. As Insider previously reported, the election technology company asked the media organization to preserve all documents related to Powell’s and Giuliani’s claims. It also sent letters to individual hosts Sean Hannity, Dobbs, and Bartiromo.

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

Following similar letters from Smartmatic, Fox News aired a clip of an off-screen interviewer speaking with an elections expert who said there was no link between Smartmatic and Dominion and no evidence that Smartmatic participated in malfeasance.

A Fox News representative had also directed Insider to an interview with the host Eric Shawn and an engineering professor who studied Dominion’s technology and said it was “physically impossible” for it to switch votes, and a clip of the host Tucker Carlson expressing skepticism about Powell.

Dominion attorney Tom Clare told Insider at the time that the videos were insufficient.

“If you accuse somebody falsely on a prime-time slot or in the host’s own voice or in a 10-minute segment, then you need to have equal prominence and equal dignity into the retraction and apology,” Clare said.

Dominion made a similar point in the lawsuit filed Friday, saying that the pushback had not been effective, the AP reported.

“The buck stops with Fox on this,” attorney Stephen Shackelford said. “Fox chose to put this on all of its many platforms. They rebroadcast, republished it on social media and other places.”

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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.

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A Dominion exec forced into hiding due to death threats from Trump fans is beefing up his defamation lawsuit over election conspiracy theories

stop steal rally capitol january 5 washington dc
A “Stop the Steal” rally on January 5, where Joe Oltmann spoke.

  • Dominion Voting Systems executive Eric Coomer went into hiding following threats against his life.
  • Conspiracy theorists alleged he took part in an “Antifa conference call” to rig the 2020 election.
  • Coomer quietly updated a defamation lawsuit with new claims about Newsmax and Joe Oltmann.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Dominion executive who went into hiding in December quietly filed an updated defamation lawsuit against right-wing media figures who spread conspiracy theories about him, making new claims against the far-right media outlet Newsmax.

The lawsuit from Eric Coomer, the director of product strategy and security at Dominion Voting Systems, was first filed in December.

The amended lawsuit was filed in February but received scant attention. It adds more detail about the lengths the conservative operative Joe Oltmann went to push a baseless conspiracy theory about Coomer, as well as the degree to which Newsmax – owned by Trump’s friend Christopher Ruddy – played a role in spreading it.

The lawsuit accuses Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, conspiracy theorist attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, and right-wing media outlets like Newsmax, One America News, and The Gateway Pundit of boosting false claims about him. The defendants in the lawsuit, Coomer says, all pushed a false conspiracy theory from Oltmann, also a defendant in the lawsuit, that Coomer participated in an “Antifa conference call” for how to rig the 2020 presidential election.

While Oltmann initially said he has a recording of Coomer participating in the call, he’s never produced it and there’s no evidence it exists. Coomer says he has no involvement with Antifa – a loosely linked group of left-leaning activists who oppose fascist movements – and did not participate in any such call. There is also no evidence the results of the 2020 election were rigged, or that Dominion Voting Systems or members of Antifa made any effort to rig them.

But Oltmann’s claims spread like wildfire among far-right media circles, and Coomer went into hiding in December amid the threats against him and his family. Coomer filed his lawsuit shortly afterward “in an effort to unwind as much of the damage as possible done to me, my family, my life, and my livelihood as a result of the numerous false public statements that I was somehow responsible for ‘rigging’ the 2020 presidential election,” he said in a statement at the time.

Newsmax hosted Oltmann on its shows

Newsmax hosted Oltmann on Michelle Malkin’s show “Sovereign Nation” in November where she did not contradict his claims about Coomer and appeared to support them, according to the lawsuit.

A few days later, Newsmax hosted Powell on Howie Carr’s show where she parroted Oltmann’s claims. The right-wing network hosted numerous guests throughout the month of December who made the same false claims about Coomer, the lawsuit alleges.

“Newsmax repeatedly promoted these false allegations of voter fraud. Newsmax took no efforts to verify or corroborate the false allegations against Dr. Coomer and Dominion before publishing them and disregarded reliable sources establishing the contrary,” the lawsuit reads. “It had no credible evidence of any ‘Antifa conference call;’ that Dr. Coomer was part of this purported call; or that Dr. Coomer committed election fraud or subverted the results of the election.”

newsmax michelle malkin
Michelle Malkin hosted Joe Oltmann on her Newsmax show.

Dominion removed information about specific employees from the web in response to threats. Newsmax made that appear nefarious, the lawsuit says.

“Newsmax suggested nefarious intent when noting that Dominion had ‘scrubbed [Dr. Coomer] from their website.'” the lawsuit alleges. “In reality, Dr. Coomer had not been on Dominion’s website for years and Dominion employees’ identities were removed from third party marketing sites as an essential safety precaution given the numerous death threats already targeting them.”

In a statement to Insider, Newsmax described Coomer’s lawsuit as politically motivated.

“Newsmax exercised its First Amendment rights when it covered and reported on the electoral challenge claims made by President Trump, his attorneys and others, often relating to court documents,” a representative for Newsmax said. “Newsmax has consistently reported that Dominion was challenging claims made by the President and his lawyers, and we never embraced any claims about them as true or about Mr. Coomer.”

Oltmann doubled down at a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally ahead of the January 6 insurrection

While Newsmax was slow to acknowledge Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election, it stepped back in response to legal claims. After Smartmatic, another election-technology company targeted in conspiracy theories, threatened to sue Newsmax, the media organization released a video “clarifying” its reporting and affirming that the 2020 election was sound.

But Oltmann doubled down. On January 5, he spoke at a “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, DC ahead of the insurrection at the Capitol. In his remarks, he continued to push false conspiracy theories about Dominion and the election, and said it was “really fun” that Coomer was suing him, according to the lawsuit.

On January 26, Oltmann published a post on his Facebook page that appeared to threaten both Coomer and his attorneys, writing “Oh, and hi Eric Coomer. I’m never going to stop. You have no idea what information I have or how your loose lips and arrogance is your ultimate weakness.” He also said in a February 4 Facebook post that he would post a motion to dismiss Coomer’s lawsuit, but never did. Other posts on his Facebook page often reference elements of the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Capitol protest
Coomer’s lawsuit says that the January 6 insurrection demonstrates the real-life threat stemming from election conspiracy theories.

Oltmann told Insider he stands by his claims about Oltmann and Dominion and said he doesn’t care about the lawsuit, calling it “window dressing to distract the public from the truth.”

Coomer’s lawsuit cites Oltmann’s fringe beliefs, and the January 6 insurrection, as evidence that the claims should be taken seriously by the court.

“Defendants’ conduct has resulted in direct harm to Dr. Coomer through their encouragement of violence and threats. This harm is not hypothetical. A direct manifestation of the harm caused by Defendants’ conduct is the armed insurrection on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021,” the lawsuit says. “Lies about election fraud, including lies about Dr. Coomer, incited the insurrection. The open use of force by the militants further confirms the seriousness of the threats being made against Dr. Coomer.”

Coomer’s lawsuit is distinct from the ones filed by Dominion. As a company, Dominion has filed separate defamation lawsuits against Powell, Giuliani, and pillow mogul Mike Lindell. Smartmatic has filed its own defamation lawsuit as well.

“Dr. Coomer’s claims are personal, as his reputation has been damaged and his safety has been threatened,” a spokesperson for Coomer told Insider. “It was important to assert those claims in court now, to let those responsible know they will be held accountable.”

Coomer is raising money on Fundly to pay for his defamation lawsuit. Both Dominion and Smartmatic have indicated they plan to pursue additional legal action, and Dominion has sent Oltmann document retention letters threatening “imminent” litigation.

This article has been updated.

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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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MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell says he’s losing $65 million over election fraud claims and it proves he’s not pushing conspiracy theories for the money

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

  • Dominion Voting Systems sued MyPillow and its CEO, Mike Lindell, for defamation and is seeking $1.3 billion in damages.
  • The lawsuit claims Lindell turbocharged sales for his business while pushing election fraud claims.
  • Lindell told Insider he’s actually losing tens of millions of dollars.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell said he expects to lose $65 million in pillow revenue this year following retailer boycotts over his claims that the 2020 election was rigged.

Those losses, Lindell told Insider in an interview Monday after being served with a defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems seeking $1.3 billion in damages, is evidence that he isn’t pushing election fraud claims for the money.

“I lost 20 retailers, and it’s cost me $65 million this year that I won’t get back, OK?” Lindell told Insider. “There’s your story. Print it right. Don’t try and twist this.”

The 121-page lawsuit alleges the pillow mogul used conspiracy theories about the election to turbocharge sales for his company, using conspiratorial phrases as discount codes and placing expensive advertisements with like-minded media outlets.

“Lindell – a talented salesman and former professional card counter – sells the lie to this day because the lie sells pillows,” Tom Clare, the defamation attorney representing Dominion Voting Systems, wrote in the lawsuit.

Dominion says Lindell used election conspiracy theories as a way to sell more pillows

Lindell has been an ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump for years. A former crack addict and professional gambler, he credits his company’s success to his aggressive advertising strategy, which pushed MyPillow’s revenue to over $300 million in 2019.

According to Dominion’s lawsuit, that advertising strategy involves intertwining his personal brand and that of his company into right-wing media to juice sales.

MyPillow has spent tens of millions of dollars advertising on pro-Trump media outlets like Fox News and Newsmax – both also targets of litigation over election falsehoods. After Donald Trump lost the election in November, Lindell falsely claimed Dominion rigged the election. MyPillow sponsored a “March for Trump” tour (which was actually a bus) where Lindell spoke at rallies claiming the election was stolen.

Dominion alleges in the lawsuit that the conspiracy theories are a platform for Lindell to sell more pillows.

“After hitting the jackpot with Donald Trump’s endorsement for MyPillow and after a million-dollar bet on Fox News ads had paid out handsome returns, Michael Lindell exploited another chance to boost sales: marketing MyPillow to people who would tune in and attend rallies to hear Lindell tell the ‘Big Lie’ that Dominion had stolen the 2020 election,” Clare wrote.

Lindell my pillow
Michael J. Lindell CEO of My Pillow, cheers as U.S. president Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a campaign rally in 2018.

Lindell told Insider that MyPillow’s advertising strategy is distinct from his personal politics. He said MyPillow has advertising and sponsorship deals with the likes of CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post, and the New York Times – all outlets he isn’t a fan of – as well as around 5,000 podcasts and radio and TV stations.

“I advertise everywhere. And every spot either breaks even or makes money,” he said.

A representative for the Times told Insider it last ran MyPillow advertisements in 2015. The other media outlets Lindell named didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Lindell dismissed the notion that he had some “preconceived plan” to make money by claiming Dominion and Smartmatic, a rival election technology company also implicated in conspiracy theories, rigged the presidential election. He said that the retailer boycott from brands like Kohl’s and Bed Bath & Beyond has cost him tens of millions of dollars in revenue.

“Those stores combined did $65 million in business last year. And now I won’t have them this year, or any year,” he said. “They’re done.”

Lindell says he’s just trying to save America

Following the January 6 insurrection, where a pro-Trump mob sought to stop Congress from certifying the election results, Lindell only doubled down on election fraud claims.

He met with Trump in the Oval Office, taking notes with him suggesting the president should declare martial law. He continued to push the theories in media appearances and funded a two-hour “docu-movie” based on them called “Absolute Proof.” He, like Trump before him, was eventually banned from Twitter.

He says he openly welcomes the lawsuit from Dominion he’s facing now, saying they would offer him an avenue to prove his claims of a rigged election.

“I am happy that I got served the papers today,” Lindell said.

To bolster its claims that Lindell tied election conspiracy theories to MyPillow sales, Dominion’s lawsuit includes a dozen pages of social media users saying they’re purchasing MyPillow products to support Lindell’s election falsehoods.

“Mike Lindell is a true Patriot and an American hero for standing up for the truth. I’m buying more pillows using discount code NEWSMAX #ElectonFraudHappened #MikeLindell #MyPillowGuy #MyPillow,” one person wrote on Twitter. “The mypillow guy is being attacked by evil leftists. Go to mypillow.com and spend heavily,” wrote another.

mike lindell trump
Donald Trump listens as Michael J. Lindell, CEO of MyPillow Inc., speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus in March.

Dominion’s lawsuit also claims Lindell used discount codes on his website that tied into right-wing conspiracy theories, including using “FightforTrump” as a discount code while Trump supporters literally fought officers at the Capitol, and “Proof” after broadcasting his “docu-movie.”

But Lindell said advertising partners made those discount codes. “FightforTrump,” for example, was from a podcaster MyPillow worked with – one of the hundreds of radio hosts with which MyPillow has sponsorship deals.

He said that controversies over advertising typically increased sales for his company, but that boycotts since January appear to be causing long-term damage to pillow sales.

“When I’m boycotted, people tend to buy more pillows – at least in the short term,” Lindell told Insider. “I always get a little lift for a couple of days when they attack the company. But now this time is different.”

my pillow mike lindell
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell waits outside the West Wing of the White House before entering on January 15, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Despite the damage to his company, Lindell is prepared to move forward with his claims, so he can, he said, “save the country” from the pernicious influence of Communism. He said he doesn’t believe the people demanding retailers to boycott MyPillow are real, claiming they’re bots.

“I’m not a stupid person. I have a huge company that I built from scratch. I’m an ex-addict, and I’m not going to back down from some big billion-dollar company that’s trying to steal our country,” he said. 

“All I want is this election now. I don’t care how much money it costs me,” he added.

Lindell’s claims about the election are unsubstantiated

Most recently, Lindell returned to the spotlight after releasing a self-made documentary called “Absolute Proof,” which purports that in some states, voter interference caused states to “flip” from then-President Donald Trump to now-President Joe Biden.

One data table in the film, for example, says nearly 200,000 votes from Wisconsin were improperly marked as absentee ballots and should therefore have been counted differently – even though multiple state and federal judges, including one appointed by Trump, approved the counting of those votes.

The “docu-movie” also claims that multiple countries, including China, Iran, and the United Kingdom, were complicit in generating election inconsistencies.  

my pillow ceo mike lindell documentary
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.

It’s not clear where the data shown in “Absolute Proof” is from. Lindell claims it came from “spyware the government has” and was rendered by a “mega computer” into charts and graphs. Federal agencies have said the 2020 election was “the most secure in history,” and judges have thrown out dozens of lawsuits challenging election results, finding no evidence of irregularities.

According to Lindell, “Absolute Proof” has been viewed more than 110 million times, though he declined to offer evidence for those viewership numbers. This year’s Super Bowl had around 96 million viewers.

Lindell told Insider that he is not concerned with Dominion’s lawsuit against him, saying he has “bigger fish to fry” and “much bigger things” that he’s working on. He said he’s got a “massive team” of lawyers working on the case, and he already has all the evidence needed to prove his case.

“This is going to go to the Supreme Court. And when it does, it’ll be a nine-zero vote that our country was attacked,” Lindell said. “And then all the media outlets will finally come and go, wow, ‘Mike, you know what? You were right all along.'”

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