In a videotaped deposition obtained by CNN (watch above), Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell admitted that they did not make a serious effort to fact-check claims they presented in public about election fraud.

Both lawyers were faces of Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential contest. They repeatedly accused two election companies – Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic – of rigging the vote for Joe Biden.

Eric Coomer, a former Dominion executive, is among a number of entities suing Giuliani and Powell for defamation. Coomer’s lawyer deposed the pair in August.

When Coomer’s lawyer asked Giuliani about his assertion that Dominion executives worked with the Venezuelan president to rig an election in the South American country, Giuliani responded, “Yes, that’s what I was told. … Before the press conference I was told about it. Sometimes I go and look myself — when stuff comes up. This time I didn’t have the time to do it.”

“It’s not my job, in a fast-moving case, to go out and investigate every piece of evidence that was given to me. Otherwise, you’re never going to write a story. You’ll never come to a conclusion,” he added.

CNN reports on Powell’s deposition:

For her part, Powell admits in the deposition footage that getting to the truth was not one of her objectives.
“You had the ear of a number of conservative media outlets. Why did you not ask to provide a statement correcting the misstatements that you had reported?” Coomer’s attorney asks.
“That didn’t seem to be the material part of the inquiry,” Powell replied.
Powell also admitted that she did not have “a lot of specific knowledge about what Mr. Coomer personally did” in the fraud she alleged.
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said the depositions could be damning for the Trump lawyers:
In order to win a libel case like this, the plaintiffs have to show what’s called ‘reckless disregard for the truth.’ That deposition to me looks like the definition of reckless disregard for the truth. The idea that you will go out in public and damage the reputation — as Giuliani clearly did — of these companies, without any sort of checking, without any sort of concern for whether what you’re saying is true, seems to me, clearly libelous.
Toobin added that Giuliani is now “on the hook for millions of dollars” and “these libel cases will be disastrous for him, and they may as well be disastrous for the media outlets, including Fox News, that put it on uncritically.”