The CEO for Dominion Voting Systems, the company at the heart of right-wing conspiracy theories about fraud in the presidential election, said Monday that his company plans to file a defamation lawsuit against conservative attorney Sidney Powell.
What You Need To Know
- Dominion Voting Systems CEO John Poulos told Axios that a defamation lawsuit against conservative attorney Sidney Powell is "imminent"
- Powell has made baseless claims about Dominion; In December, Dominion demanded Powell retract the “wild” and “knowingly baseless” claims she has made about the company
- Poulos said Powell is "the most egregious and prolific purveyor of the falsities against Dominion"
- He said Dominion's legal team is "looking at every actor that has made these type of false accusations about us"
John Poulos told Axios’ “Re:Cap” podcast that the filing is “imminent.”
“Our focus right now is on Sidney Powell, and there’s a very good reason for that,” he said. “She is by far, in our opinion, the most egregious and prolific purveyor of the falsities against Dominion. Her statements have caused real damage. They’re demonstrably false.”
Poulos added that Dominion’s legal team is looking at “every actor that has made these type of false accusations about us, and also the news media outlets that have allowed these allegations to be amplified unfettered and unchecked.”
He sidestepped a question about whether Dominion might file a lawsuit against President Donald Trump, who has repeated misinformation about the company as he falsely claims that widespread voter fraud cost him the election.
Powell has made baseless claims about Dominion at news conferences and during media interviews. Among them, she said that its voting software used in the U.S. was created in Venezuela at the direction of Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013. “It can set and run an algorithm that probably ran all over the country to take a certain percentage of votes from President Trump and flip them to [Joe] Biden,” Powell said during a Nov. 19 news conference in Washington, D.C.
There’s no proof to support Powell’s accusations. The Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the National Association of State Election Directors have described the election as "the most secure in American history,” adding there is “no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”
In December, Dominion demanded Powell retract the “wild” and “knowingly baseless” claims she has made about the voting machine company.
Poulos has said it is impossible to program Dominion’s software to switch votes because the machines print a paper ballot, which is reviewed by the voter and can be used to audit election results. The company was founded in Canada and is based in Colorado. Dominion has posted a point-by-point rebuttal of the many baseless accusations of which it has been a target since the election.
Nevertheless, the conspiracy theories have spread with ease in conservative media and on social media.
“Certainly, I have to think that it has taken root because they have been repeated over and over and over on various news networks most prominently by Sidney Powell,” Poulos said.
Powell, a former federal prosecutor, did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent through her website.
Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, another Trump campaign attorney, disavowed Powell in a statement released days after the D.C. news conference. But she was reportedly at an Oval Office meeting with Trump and others on Dec. 20 in which she and former national security adviser Michael Flynn floated suggestions for how to overturn the election.
Dominion has sent more than 20 letters demanding retractions and threatening defamation lawsuits against individuals and media entities that have accused it of participating in a conspiracy to steal the election.
Others receiving letters include Trump lawyer Rudy Giuilani; Fox News and network personalities Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity and Maria Bartiromo; Newsmax; One America News Network; and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.
Fox News and Newsmax have aired corrections and clarifications about Dominion and Smartmatic, a competing company that also has been the subject of baseless fraud accusations and is threatening legal action. Fox aired fact-checking segments before receiving Dominion's letter.
Dominion’s name also came up in Trump’s leaked call Saturday to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger pressuring him to “find” the 11,780 votes needed to flip the election in the state to him.
Trump told Raffensperger and his office’s legal counsel, Ryan Germany, that he’s heard Dominion is “really moving fast to get rid of their machinery” in an attempt to cover up vote tampering.
Germany denied to Trump that had happened. Poulos told Axios “it’s completely false.”
“The equipment has been in the custody of officials in Georgia since it was delivered sometime in 2019,” he said. “And not to mention that a lot of this equipment is actually being used right now in the runoff election. So we have the president being given information by people like Sidney Powell that is 100% false.”
Meanwhile, Eric Coomer, security director at Dominion, filed a defamation lawsuit Tuesday against the Trump campaign, Powell, Giuliani and some conservative media figures and outlets.
Coomer says he was driven into hiding by death threats after being named in false charges as a key actor in “rigging” the election for President-elect Joe Biden.
His lawsuit, filed in district court in Denver County, Colorado, also names conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, the website Gateway Pundit, Colorado conservative activist Joseph Oltmann, Newsmax and One America News Network.
“I have been thrust into the public spotlight by people with political and financial agendas but, at heart, I am a private person,” Coomer said in a statement.
“While I intend to do everything I can to recapture my prior lifestyle, I have few illusions in this regard,” he said. “And so, today, I put my trust in the legal process, which has already exposed the truth of the 2020 presidential election.”
There was no immediate comment from those named in Coomer’s lawsuit.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Note: This article was updated to correct the timing of Fox News' fact-checking segment about Dominion and Smartmatic.