Judge gives green light to Dominion’s defamation lawsuits against Trump allies
A federal judge in Washington D.C. ruled Wednesday that defamation lawsuits against Trump attorneys Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, as well as My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell can move forward — denying each of the three parties’ motions to dismiss the $1.3 billion Dominion Voting Systems lawsuits.
The voting machine company alleged that Powell, Giuliani and Lindell waged a campaign of lies against them, spreading verifiably false claims that Dominion shifted millions of votes from Donald Trump and rigged the election in favor of President Joe Biden.
Dominion says that through TV appearances, podcasts, tweets and speeches, the defendants contributed to a “viral disinformation campaign,” causing the company to suffer billions of dollars in damages.
In motions to dismiss, the defendants pushed back, arguing a myriad of reasons why the suits should be tossed, from jurisdictional arguments to claims that their statements were made without malicious intent.
But, Wednesday’s ruling from U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols disregarded each of their arguments — paving a path for the litigation to continue through the court.
Nichols, a Trump appointee, focused mostly on Powell in his 44-page opinion.
"The question ... is whether a reasonable juror could conclude that Powell’s statements expressed or implied a verifiably false fact about Dominion.” Nichols wrote. “This is not a close call.”
Powell alone claimed that her statements were hyperbolic and made in the heat of a political debate, and no reasonable person could conclude they were statements of fact because they “concern the 2020 presidential election, which was both bitter and controversial.”
“It is true that courts recognize the value in some level of ‘imaginative expression’ or ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ in our public debate,” Nichols responded. “But it is simply not the law that provably false statements cannot be actionable if made in the context of an election.”
The 66-year-old lawyer has claimed she has ample evidence to back up her statements — including a video from the founder of Dominion claiming he could easily switch millions of votes.
“A reasonable juror could conclude that Powell has not produced the video because she doesn’t have it,” Nichols said.
Nichols also said that Powell may have fabricated her affidavits and that her “expert” reports are clearly unreliable, as they rely on experts who have been involved in fraud and conspiracy theories.
“That expert has also publicly claimed that George Soros, President George H.W. Bush’s father, the Muslim Brotherhood, and ‘leftists’ helped form the ‘Deep State’ in Nazi Germany in the 1930s — which would have been a remarkable feat for Soros, who was born in 1930,” Nichols noted.
Dominion has sued seven parties so far for their defamatory campaigns against the voting systems company in the wake of the 2020 election. In addition to Powell, Giuliani and Lindell, Dominion has also sued conservative news networks One America News, Fox News and Newsmax, and former Overstock CEO and Trump ally Patrick Byrne.