Dominion Voting Systems Suing Giuliani For Defamation, Weighing Action Against Trump

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Rudy Giuliani
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo, former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, and Sydney Powell, another Trump attorney at the center of a separate Dominion lawsuit, appear during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington.

Dominion Voting Systems has filed suit against former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani over his baseless claims that Dominion was at the center of a scheme to perpetuate widespread election fraud. 

The Denver-based company provides election equipment and software to 28 states, including the majority of the equipment used in the swing states on which Trump and his surrogates focused most of their post-election ire.

This is the second defamation lawsuit the company has filed in recent weeks. On January 8, Dominion sued Sidney Powell, a lawyer who previously worked for the Trump campaign, seeking $1.3 billion in damages. The company argues that Powell's "viral disinformation campaign" has destroyed the value of its business.

An attorney for Dominion said additional lawsuits against pro-Trump media outlets, such as Fox News, and even Trump himself are possible. Both of its current suits are filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. 

“The company takes this very seriously,” said Tom Clare on a call earlier this month. “It takes its obligation very seriously. Lawsuits are serious matters, and we're going to look at the evidence and we're going to follow this wherever the evidence leads.” 

Clare said the goal is to take these cases out of the realm of the media and to trial. “The best way to vindicate the truth is in the courts, where there's cross-examination, where we have the opportunity to take discovery, where there are rules, where evidence is required to be submitted. And that is the process that we are very much looking forward to in order to vindicate the company and to get the truth out there.”

Giuliani and Powell made numerous false claims about Dominion in the weeks after the election. In mid-November Giuliani appeared on Fox News’ Lou Dobbs Tonight and referred to Dominion as a company that was “strange” and “very frightening.”

“So we're using a foreign company that is owned by Venezueluans who were close to Chavez and are now close to Maduro, and they are extremely hackable,” said Giuliani. 

Dominion was founded in Canada in 2003 and has no ownership ties to Venezuelan leadership.

A top employee of Dominion Voting Systems, Eric Coomer from Colorado, has been in hiding since shortly after the election when he became the subject of conspiracy theories that he’d masterminded a high-tech plot to steal the election for President Joe Biden. It’s a charge Coomer categorically denies. In late December Coomer sued Giuliani, the Trump campaign, and several pro-Trump media outlets, among others, alleging defamation.

Coomer's suit was filed in state court in Denver and accuses those responsible of spreading the falsehoods of intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy. He said he remains in fear for himself and his family. 

“I've been threatened more times than I could even count. Whether it's the standard online trolls, voicemails that are left almost on a daily basis, being called a traitor to this country. I can't even begin to describe what effect this has had on my life,” Coomer told Colorado Public Radio in December.

Republican and Democratic state election officials certified Biden's victory with no evidence of widespread fraud or irregularities. Audits showed that Dominion’s machine tabulations matched the tallies that were on the paper ballots.

Dominion has said the weeks of conspiracy theories are not just dangerous for the country and for democracy, but have had a huge human toll, and done untold damage to the company’s reputation and finances.  

Giuliani’s legal troubles don’t end with Dominion. Some prominent attorneys are also calling for his law license to be suspended. According to the New York Times, they allege he trampled ethical boundaries when he helped Trump pursue false claims of election fraud.