Rudy Giuliani, the $20,000-a-day personal lawyer of former president Donald Trump, has been sued for $1.3 billion by Dominion Voting Systems, which says that he conducted a “viral disinformation campaign about Dominion” made up of “demonstrably false” allegations while trying to overturn the results of the presidential election.
The company’s 107-page lawsuit is based on more than 50 statements that Giuliani made at legislative hearings in several states, on his podcast, during appearances on conservative news media outlets and on Twitter. It points out that the former New York mayor did not mention Dominion in any court proceedings, where he could have faced legal jeopardy for making false claims. “Notably, not a single one of the three complaints signed and filed by Giuliani and other attorneys for the Trump Campaign in the Pennsylvania action contained any allegations about Dominion,” the suit says. It alleges that Giuliani’s public statements were designed to “enrich himself through legal fees and his podcast.”
Giuliani falsely claimed that Dominion was part of a coordinated effort to change votes from Trump to President Joe Biden and that the company was connected to long-deceased Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez. Earlier this month Dominion sued attorney Sidney Powell for making similar false statements in public about its voting equipment.
In its suit the company says, “Dominion was not founded in Venezuela to fix elections for Hugo Chávez. It was founded in 2002 in John Poulos’s basement in Toronto to help blind people vote on paper ballots.” And it notes that, contrary to Giuliani’s claims, the company’s United States subsidiary is in Denver.
The lawsuit also links Giuliani’s false statements about the company to the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. It notes that he mentioned the company in his speech at a rally for Trump before the attack, as well as numerous times on social media as the Capitol was breached.
“Having been deceived by Giuliani and his allies into thinking that they were not criminals — but patriots ‘Defend[ing] the Republic’ from Dominion and its co-conspirators — they then bragged about their involvement in the crime on social media,” the suit states.
John Poulos, the chief executive officer of Dominion, told the New York Times that his company took legal action against Giuliani both to correct the record about Dominion and restore trust in the American electoral systems.
“Not only have these lies damaged the good name of my company,” Mr. Poulos said of Giuliani’s false claims, “but they also undermined trust in American democratic institutions, drowning out the remarkable work of elections officials and workers, who ensured a transparent and secure election. The thousands of hand recounts and audits that proved machines counted accurately continue to be overshadowed by disinformation.”