Law & the Courts

Dominion Voting Systems Files $1.3 Billion Defamation Lawsuit against Trump Ally Sidney Powell

Voting machines on display at an early voting location in Chamblee, Ga., October 9, 2020. (Chris Aluka Berry/Reuters)

Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against former Trump attorney Sidney Powell on Friday for her attempts to sow mistrust about the company’s voting machines following the presidential election.

The federal lawsuit seeks $1.3 billion as well as a court order against Powell mandating that she cease making false statements about the company.

“The recent attacks on the democratic process are not singular or isolated events,” Dominion CEO John Poulos said Friday. “They are the result of a deliberate and malicious campaign of lies over many months. Sidney Powell and others created and disseminated these lies, assisted and amplified by a range of media platforms.”

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, accuses Powell of spreading “demonstrably false” allegations against Dominion, including claims that the company engaged in a scheme to fraudulently swing the election for Biden. Powell launched a “viral disinformation campaign” in order “to financially enrich herself, to raise her public profile, and to ingratiate herself to Donald Trump,” Dominion states in the lawsuit.

Powell was a member of Trump’s legal team until several weeks after the election, when the administration distanced itself from her after she promoted several conspiracy theories about issues with the voting process. She alleged in late November that Dominion machines were built at the direction of communists in Venezuela and that votes for Trump had likely been switched to President-elect Joe Biden.

“Lies were told about government election officials, election workers and dominion voting systems,” Poulos said. “Those lies have consequences. They have served to diminish the credibility of U.S. elections. They have subjected officials and Dominion employees to harassment and death threats. They have severely damaged the reputation of our company. Today is just the first step to restore our good name, and faith in elections by holding those responsible to account.”

The 124-page complaint also referenced the mob of Trump supporters that stormed the Capitol this week and blamed Powell for the violence, saying the incident was “fueled by the disinformation campaign launched and sustained by Powell in concert with her allies and like-minded media outlets.”

The riot, which left five people dead, followed a rally in front of the White House where Trump spoke to his supporters and expressed hope that Republican lawmakers would object to certifying states’ electoral votes.

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