Dominion Voting Systems has filed a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani, former President Donald Trump’s lawyer who played a key role in Trump’s efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 election.
The lawsuit, filed in the Federal District Court in Washington, accuses the former New York City mayor of carrying out “a viral disinformation campaign about Dominion” made up of “demonstrably false” allegations, in part to enrich himself through legal fees and his podcast.
Giuliani responded late Monday morning to the lawsuit, calling it “another act of intimidation” and vowing an investigation of his own into the company.
»Read the entire lawsuit here.
The 107-page lawsuit is based on more than 50 statements Giuliani allegedly made at legislative hearings, on Twitter, on his podcast and in the conservative news media.
“For Dominion — whose business is producing and providing voting systems for elections — there are no accusations that could do more to damage Dominion’s business or to impugn Dominion’s integrity, ethics, honesty, and financial integrity,” the lawsuit says. “Giuliani’s statements were calculated to — and did in fact — provoke outrage and cause Dominion enormous harm.
“Dominion brings this action to set the record straight, to vindicate the company’s rights under civil law, to recover compensatory and punitive damages, and to stand up for itself, its employees, and the electoral process,” the lawsuit read.
Trump’s allies had contended Dominion’s voting machines — which were also used in states during Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, had been tested by government agencies and were used in states Trump carried in 2020 — were involved in a rigged election, partly as a result of ties to the late Hugo Chavez, the late Venezuelan dictator.
”Dominion was not founded in Venezuela to fix elections for Hugo Chávez,” the suit says, according to The New York Times. “It was founded in 2002 in John Poulos’ basement in Toronto to help blind people vote on paper ballots.” The suit later adds that the headquarters for the company’s United States subsidiary is in Denver.
The lawsuit also links Giuliani’s statements about Dominion to the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, noting he mentioned the company in his speech at a rally for Trump before the attack, as well as numerous times on social media as the Capitol was breached.
”Having been deceived by Giuliani and his allies into thinking that they were not criminals — but patriots ‘Defend(ing) the Republic’ from Dominion and its co-conspirators — they then bragged about their involvement in the crime on social media,” the suit states.
During an episode of Giuliani’s podcast, he charged “Dominion had stolen the election ‘technologically,’” the lawsuit alleges, and warned listeners that cybercriminals could steal the titles to their homes online. The lawsuit also details Giuliani pitching supplements to cure their achy joints and muscles, offering a special discount code as he held up the bottles.
The lawsuit also includes a photo of Giuliani holding a cigar, hocking cigars with a deal for $20 off orders over $100 after he pushed accusations about Dominion and alleged the election had been fixed by a Venezuelan company.
The lawsuit argues that Giuliani worked in concert with Trump supporters and lawyers Sidney Powell, L. Lin Wood and conservative media outlets “determined to promote a false preconceived narrative about the 2020 election.”
Dominion has also sued Powell, who claimed the company was created in Venezuela to rig elections for Chavez and it has the ability to switch votes.
Dominion is a major manufacturer of voting machine equipment in the United States, second only to Election Systems & Software.
Last week, a lawyers’ group filed an ethics complaint against Giuliani with New York’s courts, calling for him to be investigated and his law license suspended over his work promoting Trump’s allegations about the 2020 election.
Lawyers Defending American Democracy, which includes former judges and federal attorneys among its members, sent the complaint on Wednesday to the Attorney Grievance Committee of the state’s court system saying Giuliani had violated the rules of professional conduct.
“Giuliani has spearheaded a nationwide public campaign to convince the public and the courts of massive voter fraud and a stolen presidential election,” the complaint said.
The complaint called for the committee to investigate Giuliani’s conduct, including his comments at a rally before rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, and to suspend his law license immediately while any investigation is being done.
Another complaint against Giuliani was filed earlier in January by New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Democrat, who asked that disbarring Giuliani be taken up for consideration.
The New York State Bar Association separately has opened an inquiry into whether he should be expelled from that organization, which is a voluntary membership organization.
The New York Times reported that on his radio show on Thursday, Giuliani said “the whole purpose of this is to disbar me from my exercising my right of free speech and defending my client, because they can’t fathom the fact that maybe, just maybe, they may be wrong.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.