Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, US President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, gestures after the media announced that Democratic US presidential candidate Joe Biden will run the 2020 US presidential election in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the United States, on Nov. 7 2020 won.
Eduardo Munoz | Reuters
Dominion Voting Systems filed another defamation lawsuit, this time against Rudy Giuliani, accusing him of spreading lies in an attempt to “deliberately mislead voters” and cause “irreparable harm” to the company. It didn’t rule out suing former President Donald Trump.
“While Giuliani pushed the disinformation campaign that sparked death threats and violence, and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, he made money haggling gold coins, side dishes, cigars and protection against ‘cyber thieves’,” said Dominion legal advisor Thomas Clare, in a statement Monday.
Giuliani was deeply involved in Trump’s efforts to overcome his loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election. The former New York mayor repeatedly publicly argued that Trump’s victory was stolen by widespread electoral fraud.
Dominion accuses Giuliani of telling the “big lie” that Dominion voices manipulated to determine the election for Biden to “get rich financially, maintain and improve his public profile, and get Donald Trump for money and benefits to ingratiate yourself. ” he expected to receive as a result of this union. “
The lawsuit, filed Monday in the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC, provides for damages and punitive damages of more than $ 1.3 billion. Dominion said in the 107-page lawsuit that its employees were persecuted, harassed and threatened as a “direct, predictable and deliberate result” of Giuliani’s “virus disinformation campaign”.
Giuliani “actively promoted disinformation in order to deliberately mislead voters,” Dominion CEO John Poulos said in a statement. “Because Giuliani and others kept repeating false claims about my company on a number of media outlets, some of our own family and friends are among the Americans who have been betrayed.”
When asked during a press conference whether Dominion would take legal action against Trump himself, Clare replied, “We’re not excluding anyone.”
Giuliani did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. The former federal attorney who brought the mafia to its knees represented the Trump campaign in court when he pushed for swaths of votes to be voided for Biden in key swing states.
Dominion’s lawsuit stated that Giuliani had never brought charges against Dominion in court. In federal court in Pennsylvania – one of dozen failed cases from the Trump campaign and Trump’s allies aimed at overturning the election – Giuliani had told a judge, “This is not a fraud case.”
Rather, the complaint cites more than 50 statements by Giuliani on social media, conservative news outlets, and state hearings.
On these platforms, Giuliani had repeatedly accused Dominion of working with another company, Smartmatic, which he described as “best practices for fixing elections”.
Both companies have flatly denied this and other claims, including the fact that Smartmatic is corruptly affiliated with the Venezuelan government. This conspiracy theory became widespread when Sidney Powell, an attorney formerly affiliated with Trump’s legal team, aired it with Giuliani during a much-criticized press conference in November.
Smartmatic said last month it was sending letters calling for withdrawals from Giuliani and Powell, as well as Fox News, One America News and Newsmax, all of whom made these “false and defamatory statements”.
Dominion sued Powell earlier this month for damages of at least $ 1.3 billion.
Trump, who resigned from office on Jan. 20 and was preparing for a trial in the Senate after his impeachment in the House of Representatives for instigating a deadly riot in the Capitol, fueled the baseless conspiracy that Dominion freaked votes.
“Also, we have a company that is very suspicious. It’s called Dominion. By turning a dial or changing a chip, you can push a button for Trump and the vote goes to Biden. What kind of system is that?” Trump said in a long video in December.
In Monday’s press conference, Clare also suggested that the company could take action against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who has also put forward false conspiracy theories about election fraud in relation to Dominion.
Lindell, who is heavily promoting Fox News, met with Trump in the White House shortly before Biden took office. There, photographers took snapshots of the notes Lindell was carrying that related to martial law.
The company reportedly sent Lindell a cease and desist letter last week warning that “litigation regarding these issues is imminent”.
In response, Lindell told Axios, “I want Dominion to bring their lawsuit because we have 100% evidence that China and other countries used their machines to steal the elections.”
Clare said Lindell “is definitely on our list and we will be looking at him,” adding that the CEO “will at some point get his request for execution”.
Trump did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.