Dominion files defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani

Ontario-based Dominion is seeking more than $1.3 billion in damages.

January 25, 2021, 11:26 AM

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sued Rudy Giuliani, accusing former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney of carrying out “defamatory falsehoods” about Dominion in part to enrich himself through legal fees and his podcast.

The company said it seeks 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.”

“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.

PHOTO: Dominion voting machines are on display at an early voting location for the upcoming presidential elections in Chamblee, Ga., Oct. 9, 2020.
Dominion voting machines are on display at an early voting location for the upcoming presidential elections in Chamblee, Ga., Oct. 9, 2020.
Christopher Aluka Berry/Reuters, FILE

Ontario-based Dominion is seeking more than $1.3 billion in damages.

The lawsuit targets Giuliani but mentioned his “allies” -- including lawyer Sidney Powell, Lou Dobbs, Fox News, Fox Business, Newsmax, One America News Network (“OAN”) and The Epoch Times -- that assisted in peddling false claims about the election and the company. The suit also claims Dominion's founder and employees “have been harassed and received death threats and Dominion has suffered unprecedented and irreparable harm.”

Giuliani said he is now threatening a countersuit against Dominion. He told ABC News in a statement: "Dominion’s defamation lawsuit for $1.3B will allow me to investigate their history, finances, and practices fully and completely. The amount being asked for is, quite obviously, intended to frighten people of faint heart. 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. As such, we will investigate a countersuit against them for violating these Constitutional rights."

Dominion took aim at the conspiracy theory Giuliani promulgated that Dominion is a Venezuelan company that stole elections for Hugo Chavez.

“After decrying how an American election had been fixed by a Venezuelan-owned company, Giuliani marketed cigars from an 'American-owned' company, offering '$20 off orders over $100' if his viewers used the code 'Rudy20' when ordering,” the lawsuit said.

“Dominion was not founded in Venezuela to fix elections for Hugo Chávez. It was founded in 2002 in John Poulos’s basement in Toronto to help blind people vote on paper ballots,” the suit stated.

Dominion previously filed a defamation lawsuit against Powell for what the company said was her role in orchestrating a "demonstrably false" conspiracy theory about rigging the 2020 presidential election.

The lawsuit against Giuliani mentioned the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, which was fueled in part by debunked theories of a rigged election. That included the false claims about Dominion voting machines that were pushed relentlessly in courts, on social media and in Trump's public remarks as part of the effort to overturn the election results.

In its lawsuit, Dominion explained how Giuliani’s falsehoods spread.

“Giuliani’s false tweets about Dominion were liked over 534,000 times and were foreseeably retweeted over 160,000 times. The retweets disseminated Giuliani’s false tweets to over 1.5 million Twitter accounts,” the lawsuit said.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events