Rudy Giuliani has made a lot of money since his time as New York City mayor, but he has not made the $1.3 billion for which Dominion Voting Systems is suing him for what the company characterizes as a “viral disinformation campaign.”
“Just as Giuliani and his allies intended, the Big Lie went viral on social media as people tweeted, retweeted, and raged that Dominion had stolen their votes. While some lies—little lies—flare up on social media and die with the next news cycle, the Big Lie was different," the defamation suit, filed in Washington, D.C. District Court on Monday, alleges. “The harm to Dominion's business and reputation is unprecedented and irreparable because of how fervently millions of people believe it.”
The lies have been astonishing in their audacity. Supposedly Dominion-manufactured machines switched votes from Donald Trump to President Biden, or deleted vast numbers of votes, because of something having to do with former—and now deceased—Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. One claim has Dominion having deleted 941,000 Trump votes in Pennsylvania to swing the state to Biden. But, USA Today fact checked, “Dominion only serves 14 counties in the state, which produced a total of 1.3 million votes—52%, or 676,000, of which went to Trump. That only leaves 624,000 other votes, fewer than what Trump claims were switched.”
Critically, Dominion’s suit points out that while Giuliani repeatedly made claims in the media about Dominion stealing the election from Trump, he didn’t include those claims in any of the lawsuits he filed trying to overturn election results. This lie was for public consumption, not for legal arguments or providing real proof of any wrongdoing—though fellow Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, who also faces a $1.3 billion Dominion lawsuit, did make claims about the voting machine company in her court cases.
Some conservative news outlets have apologized for their role in spreading conspiracy theories about Dominion in hopes of avoiding lawsuits that could bankrupt them, but Giuliani ignored two letters calling on him to cease and desist and retract his claims. Instead, the lawsuit says, “Giuliani has not retracted his false claims about Dominion, and many of his false and defamatory television and radio appearances and tweets remain available online to a global internet audience. Indeed, to this day, he continues to double down on the Big Lie.”
Here’s hoping Dominion squeezes Giuliani and Powell and some of these far-right media outlets for every possible penny, and moves on to Trump, too—a move the company is refusing to rule out, with a lawyer saying: “Obviously, this lawsuit against the president’s lawyer moves one step closer to the former president and understanding what his role was and wasn’t.”