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Dominion Voting Systems sues Rudy Giuliani for $1.3B alleging defamation for election comments

Bart Jansen
USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.3 billion lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani, a personal lawyer for former President Donald Trump, alleging defamation over his repeated complaints about the reliability of voting machines in the 2020 election.

The 107-page lawsuit alleges that Giuliani made more than 50 statements disparaging the company’s equipment in speeches, on Twitter and on podcasts.

“Although he was unwilling to make false election fraud claims about Dominion and its voting machines in a court of law because he knew those allegations are false, he and his allies manufactured and disseminated the ‘Big Lie,’ which foreseeably went viral and deceived millions of people into believing that Dominion had stolen their votes and fixed the election,” the lawsuit said.

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Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, lawyers for President Donald Trump, unsuccessfully challenged the results of the presidential election last year.

“Giuliani’s statements are defamatory,” the lawsuit said. “They have exposed Dominion to the most extreme hatred and contempt.”

Giuliani said in a statement that the lawsuit will allow him to investigate the company's history, finances and practices. He threatened a countersuit alleging violation of his constitutional right to free speech.

"The amount being asked for is, quite obviously, intended to frighten people of faint heart," Giuliani said. "It is another act of intimidation by the hate-filled left-wing to wipe out and censor the exercise of free speech, as well as the ability of lawyers to defend their clients vigorously."

Courts rejected scores of complaints about the election. Then-Attorney General William Barr dismissed an assertion Dec. 1 that “machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results” by saying the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security “haven’t found anything to substantiate that.”

The lawsuit was accompanied by scores of exhibits listing Giuliani’s accusations against the company it says are unfounded – such as fixing elections in Venezuela – in messages spread to millions of Trump followers on Twitter and in tens of thousands of retweets.

The lawsuit alleged that Giuliani sought $20,000 per day for his efforts.

This month, the company sued another Trump lawyer, Sidney Powell, for $1.3 billion, alleging defamation.

Giuliani defended his efforts during a speech at the Trump rally near the White House on Jan. 6 before the Capitol riot.

“Let’s have trial by combat,” Giuliani said. “I’m willing to stake my reputation, the president is willing to stake his reputation, on the fact that we’re going to find criminality there.”

The New York State Bar Association may boot Giuliani from its membership over his speech.