Washington, Jan 25 (efe-epa).- Dominion Voting Systems, a company that makes voting machines, on Monday filed a defamation lawsuit against ex-President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, demanding $1.3 billion in damages for causing “irreparable” harm to the firm’s reputation.
Giuliani was one of the most visible figures on Trump’s legal team working to spread the former president’s claims that massive voter fraud had denied him reelection in the Nov. 3 balloting, a claim in which he implicated Dominion, although the Trump team never provided any evidence in any of the dozens of failed lawsuits they filed trying to overturn the results of the election.
The former New York mayor continually spread the conspiracy theory that software installed in voting machines by Dominion altered votes to harm Trump’s chances in the 2020 election.
Dominion accused Giuliani of pursuing “a viral disinformation campaign about Dominion,” referring to more than 50 of his statements in interviews, on Twitter and in public.
“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 (the) company on a range of media platforms, some of our own family and friends are among the Americans who were duped.”
After Trump’s November election defeat, Giuliani and others incessantly touted the conspiracy theory that Dominion and Smartmatic, another election-technology company, had used software that changed Trump votes to Democrat Joe Biden.
Those claims have been completely debunked.
Dominion’s attorneys said that the conspiracy campaign pursued by Giuliani and others caused unprecedented and “irreparable” damage to Dominion’s business and reputation because “millions of people” believed the unfounded claims spread by Trump’s team.
The lawsuit says that, although Giuliani publicly spread the false idea that Dominion was founded in Venezuela to rig elections there to ensure victory by now-deceased then-President Hugo Chavez, Trump’s team never mentioned that allegation in any of the suits they filed to try and overturn the election.
On Jan. 8, the company, which provides equipment and computer and vote-counting programs for all levels of elections in the US, sued attorney Sidney Powell, another member of Trump’s legal team.
Powell was the most visible promoter of Trump’s complaints that Dominion, using Venezuelan funding, manipulated the November election’s votes to ensure that Biden defeated the mogul.
That lawsuit, which was also filed in federal court in Washington DC, contends that with her “false allegations” Powell caused damage to the firm and harmed its value as well as endangering its employees.
Trump’s attorneys said that Dominion’s voting system was created in Venezuela to manipulate elections there and used secret algorithms to favor Biden in the US vote. Powell had promised to release a video in which she said Poulos is recorded saying that he could change “a million votes” with no trouble, but she never did.
In December, Poulos sent Powell a letter demanding that she retract her claims but she replied saying that she would not retract anything.
The complaint also says that just hours before a huge mob of Trump’s followers violently invaded the US Capitol building in Washington – an attack that resulted in five deaths – Giuliani continued to repeat his accusations of fraud against the firm, which he has never retracted.
Dominion hired Clare Locke, a law firm specializing in defamation lawsuits, to sue Giuliani and other conspiracy theory purveyors.
Attorney Tom Clare, representing Dominion told The New York Times that the firm would “certainly” file more lawsuits, contending that “There are other individuals who have spoken the big lie and have put forward these defamatory statements about Dominion, but then there are also players in the media that have amplified it.”
Clare added that the firm was still determining whether to sue Trump himself.
Meanwhile, Giuliani said in a statement on Monday that he welcomed the lawsuit, adding that “Dominion’s defamation lawsuit for $1.3 (billion) will allow me to investigate their history, finances, and practices fully and completely.”