Dominion Voting Systems is suing Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, for $1.3 billion, for peddling lies about the company as part of his efforts to falsely claim that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.
The defamation lawsuit filed Monday in Washington, DC, federal court, accuses Giuliani of manufacturing and spreading the "Big Lie," which "went viral and deceived millions of people into believing that Dominion had stolen their votes and fixed the election" in favor of Joe Biden.
"By the night of the election, Giuliani had devised a plan to simply assert, without evidence, the Big Lie that the election had been stolen," the lawsuit reads. "While some lies — little lies — flare up on social media and die with the next news cycle, the Big Lie was different. The harm to Dominion’s business and reputation is unprecedented and irreparable because of how fervently millions of people believe it. Indeed, hundreds of people believed the Big Lie about Dominion with such devotion that they took the fight from social media to the United States Capitol to #StopTheSteal."
The lawsuit alleges that Giuliani sought to profit from the "Big Lie"; he was reportedly paid $20,000 a day as Trump's lawyer and cashed in on it during his podcast where he spewed lies about the election while marketing gold coins, cigars, and supplements for achy joints.
The company said its employees were targeted with death threats and calls for imprisonment due to Giuliani's "viral disinformation campaign."
Giuliani did not mention his lies about Dominion's voting machines in any of his legal claims in court because he "knew those allegations were false," the lawsuit says.
Instead, the lawsuit breaks down how Giuliani exploited his Twitter account, YouTube podcast, and conservative news outlets like Fox, OANN, and Newsmax, to disseminate the dangerous lies about election fraud that Trump fed to his supporters for months without evidence. Those lies culminated in a pro-Trump mob storming the US Capitol in a deadly coup attempt to stop Congress from certifying Biden's win.
Hours before the Capitol riot, Giuliani doubled down on his lies about Dominion and the election fraud at a large pro-Trump rally in DC.
"We get to see the machines that are crooked, the ballots that are fraudulent... So, let’s have trial by combat," Giuliani said at the rally.
The Trump supporters were "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," the lawsuit says, adding that "they then bragged about their
involvement in the crime on social media."
Earlier this month, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee said he was filing a complaint with the state court system to revoke Giuliani's license to practice law in New York owing "to his participation in a scheme to unlawfully overturn the results of a free and fair election and his complicity in inflaming a violent coup attempt on our seat of federal government."
The company noted that its machines — which have been tested and reviewed by government-accredited labs — were also used in more than 1,600 jurisdictions during the 2016 election that Trump won.
One of Giuliani's many bizarre conspiracy theories about the election was that Dominion was originally a company from Venezuela that helped to keep the dictator Hugo Chávez in power as president.
"Dominion was not founded in Venezuela to fix elections for Hugo Chávez," the lawsuit said. "It was founded in 2002 in John Poulos’s basement in Toronto to help blind people vote on paper ballots."
Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment.