A federal judge on Wednesday denied a bid by lawyers for Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and MyPillow Founder Mike Lindell to throw out defamation lawsuits filed by Dominion Voting Systems related to false claims that the 2020 election was rigged.
U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, ruled against the bid by lawyers for the trio, who had argued that the lawsuits were legally deficient. This means that Dominion’s suits can move forward against three of the most vocal supporters of former president Trump’s election lies. The company is asking for billions of dollars in damages.
According to Politico, Judge Nichols wasn’t buying the arguments from lawyers for Giuliani, Powell and Lindell that some of the outlandish comments they said in challenging the election results were within acceptable parameters of political debate. Here’s more detail
“As an initial matter, there is no blanket immunity for statements that are ‘political’ in nature,” Nichols wrote in his 44-page opinion. “It is true that courts recognize the value in some level of ‘imaginative expression’ or ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ in our public debate. … But it is simply not the law that provably false statements cannot be actionable if made in the context of an election.”
The Judge also took Powell to task for her repeated claims that she had evidence proving Dominion’s role in sabotaging the election.
More from Politico:
“These statements are either true or not; either Powell has a video depicting the founder of Dominion saying he can ‘change a million votes,’ or she does not,” Nichols said.
Nichols also dismissed Powell’s defense that her allegations could not have met the “actual malice” standard because she was relying on sworn statements from people claiming to have knowledge of alleged improprieties and vulnerabilities in Dominion’s software.
Dominion issued a statement saying it was pleased with the judge’s ruling that its cases can move forward.
The company’s legal calendar is jam packed.
It filed two new lawsuits on Tuesday against Newsmax and One America News, saying the two pro-Trump media outlets “disregarded the truth when they spread lies in November” about Dominion’s voting machines. The lawsuit added that the alleged lies continue to this day. It is seeking $1.6 billion in damages from each outlet.