Dominion voting machines sued Sidney Powell, her law firm, Rudy Giuliani and Mike Lindell along with his company, My Pillow, alleging they defamed Dominion through numerous comments challenging the 2020 election. Those defendants motioned to dismiss throwing, the kitchen sink at it, with claims of lack of personal jurisdiction, lack of venue, failure to sufficiently allege malice, failure to state a cause of action for which relief can be granted, and more.
Today a Trump appointed judge denied every aspect of the motion to dismiss for every defendant. The case will now proceed. You can read the judge's decision HERE.
The failure to state a cause of action, and absence of malice claims are the most interesting part of the decision because they often touch upon the merits of Dominion's defamation allegations. This was because Powell and Lindell argued they had evidence to support the claims they made. So the judge evaluated that evidence.
For example, Powell had publicly claimed that she had a video that depicts the founder of Dominion saying that “he can change a million votes, no problem at all.” The judge pointed to numerous public statements Powell made promising to disclose the video and noted, "She has not, however, disclosed that video." This prompted the judge to conclude that "a reasonable juror could conclude that Powell has not produced the video because she doesn’t have it." In any event, it is a matter for discovery for Dominion to demand production of the video to see if her statement that she had it is false.
In another example, Powell accused Dominion of paying kickbacks to Georgia officials. She claims a certificate, that (as Dominion points out has been doctored) proves that. The court noted the certificate makes no such suggestion even if accepted as not doctored.
As she did in the Michigan hearing on whether to sanction her, Powell argued malice cannot be shown because she relied on affidavits of experts and other witnesses. The Trump appointed judge was particularly harsh with this. The judge walks through how the affidavits had obviously indications of unreliability, that it appears Powell herself drafted them, and that some of the affiants had recanted them.
Michael Flynn even got a mention as an indication of Powell's malicious motives.
"President Trump pardoned her client, Michael Flynn, on the same day she filed her first lawsuit challenging the results of the 2020 election."
So the judge accepts as a possibility, for a jury to consider, that Powell maliciously defamed Dominion as part of a quid pro quo with Trump to secure a pardon for her client in a completely unrelated matter.
Lindell also argued that he did not have malice because he had "evidence" for his claims. The judge looked at the evidence and concluded that Dominion "has adequately alleged that Lindell made his claims knowing that they were false or with reckless disregard for the truth." Lindell's experts were not experts and they often made ridiculous claims. For example Lindell claimed George Soros created the Deep State in Germany in the 1930s. As the judge pointed out that "would have been a remarkable feat for Soros, who was born in 1930."
The efforts by the defendants to get a quick dismissal of this lawsuit have failed miserably. Instead the judge strongly indicated the lawsuit is meritorious. A jury will decide, or defendants will begin to turn on each other with some settling. With the wording of this decision, settlement negotiations will be from a position of strength for Dominion.
Rudy Giuliani's legal bills will continue to mount. All these defendants will be subject to discovery, to include depositions under oath.
Good luck with that.