Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney to U.S. President Donald Trump, gestures after media announced that Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden has won the 2020 U.S. presidential election, in, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., November 7, 2020.
Eduardo Munoz | Reuters
Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit Monday against former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, accusing him of pushing “disinformation to purposefully mislead voters” and causing “irreparable harm” to the company.
Giuliani was involved in Trump’s efforts to overturn his loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election. The former New York City mayor argued repeatedly in public that Trump’s win had been stolen by widespread electoral fraud.
Dominion accuses Giuliani of promulgating the “Big Lie” that Dominion had tampered with votes to fix the election for Biden, in order to “financially enrich himself, to maintain and enhance his public profile, and to ingratiate himself to Donald Trump for money and benefits he expected to receive as a result of that association.”
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., seeks more than $1.3 billion in compensatory and punitive damages. Dominion said in the 107-page legal complaint that its employees have been stalked, harassed and threatened as a “direct, foreseeable, and intentional result” of Giuliani’s “viral disinformation campaign.”
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.”
Giuliani did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Dominion’s lawsuit said that Giuliani, who had represented the Trump campaign in court as it pushed to invalidate swaths of votes in key swing states that went for Biden, never brought up allegations against Dominion in court. In federal court in Pennsylvania — one of dozens of failed cases from the Trump campaign and Trump’s allies aimed at reversing the election — Giuliani had told a judge, “This is not a fraud case.”
Rather, the complaint cites more than 50 statements made by Giuliani on social media, to conservative news outlets and at state legislative hearings.
Giuliani on those platforms had repeatedly accused Dominion of working with another company, Smartmatic, which he claimed “has tried and true methods for fixing elections.”
Both companies have flatly rejected those and other claims, including that Smartmatic is corruptly tied to the Venezuelan government. That claim gained widespread exposure when Sidney Powell, an attorney who was formerly connected with Trump’s legal team, aired it during a much-criticized press conference in November with Giuliani.
Smartmatic last month said it was sending letters demanding retractions from Giuliani and Powell, as well as Fox News, One America News and Newsmax, all of which had published those “false and defamatory statements.”
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