Fact check: False claim that Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell prevailed in Dominion lawsuits
The claim: Dominion lost lawsuits against Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell
Attorneys for former President Donald Trump who claimed Dominion Voting Systems was part of a conspiracy to rig the 2020 election are facing federal defamation lawsuits seeking as much as $1.3 billion in damages.
Those lawsuits haven’t yet been resolved in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, though, contrary to a Facebook post declaring victory for Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.
The May 31 post said the triumph of the two attorneys over Dominion was “absent from the news.” It was shared more than 1,000 times, with several commenters celebrating the win.
A few commenters pointed out they couldn’t find a link confirming the news.
That’s because it isn’t true. Still, users have continued to circulate the false post, in some cases generating as much as 1,000 additional shares.
Court dockets show no ruling in Giuliani’s and Powell’s requests to dismiss the lawsuits.
The lawsuits came after Trump and his allies sought to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, claiming along the way that Dominion was part of a conspiracy to keep Trump from winning a second term.
Courts have rejected claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election, and officials within Trump’s own administration have said the election was “the most secure in American history.
The Facebook user who shared the May 31 post did not respond to a request for comment.
Dominion filed its defamation lawsuit against Powell on Jan. 8, then followed with a similar lawsuit against Giuliani two weeks later on Jan. 25.
The lawsuits seek about $1.3 billion in damages for their baseless claims that Dominion rigged the 2020 election against Trump, paving the way for President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Fact check: Judge did not rule Dominion Voting Systems machines engineered to yield fraud
Dominion voting systems are used in “red and blue jurisdictions” in 28 states, according to the company, but they became the focus of an array of baseless election conspiracies in tightly contested states that were key to Biden’s victory.
Dominion said in its lawsuit against Giuliani that the former New York City mayor and his allies “manufactured and disseminated the ‘Big Lie,’ which foreseeably went viral and deceived millions of people into believing that Dominion had stolen their votes and fixed the election.”
Powell caused “unprecedented harm,” the company’s attorneys wrote in their lawsuit, in claiming Dominion rigged the 2020 presidential election, the company was created in Venezuela to fix elections for Hugo Chavez and that Dominion bribed officials in Georgia. All those claims are false.
Their claims built on the foundation Trump himself laid before the election when he said the only way he could lose is if the election was “rigged.” He went on to claim repeatedly after his loss that that’s what had happened.
Both Giuliani and Powell have asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuits against them.
Those requests, however, remained unresolved as of June 1, according to court dockets. Dominion filed opposing a dismissal in both lawsuits on May 24.
Fact check: Dominion voting machines didn’t delete votes from Trump, switch them to Biden
In its court filing requesting the lawsuit be dismissed, Giuliani’s attorney argued the court lacked jurisdiction. Powell’s attorneys wrote in a court document that her statements were not facts but opinions she still holds.
“No reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact,” they wrote.
Dominion spokeswoman Amanda McRae said in an email to USA TODAY that both lawsuits are “ongoing.” The company also has sued Fox News and MyPillow founder Mike Lindell.
Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, left, listens to Sidney Powell, both lawyers for President Donald Trump, during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters, Nov. 19, 2020, in Washington. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, AP)
Our ruling: False
The claim that Dominion has lost its defamation lawsuits filed against Giuliani and Powell is FALSE, based on our research. Federal court dockets show Giuliani and Powell have asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuits but that they remained unresolved as of June 1.
Our fact-check sources:
- PACER, accessed June 1, U.S. Dominion Inc. v. Powell docket in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- PACER, accessed June 1, U.S. Dominion Inc. v. Giuliani docket in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- Amanda McRaw, June 1, email correspondence with USA TODAY
- Dominion Voting Systems, accessed June 1, Legal updates on defamation lawsuits
- Dominion Voting Systems, accessed June 1, Lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani
- Dominion Voting Systems, accessed June 1, Lawsuit against Sidney Powell
- Reuters, April 7, Trump adviser Giuliani asks judge to throw out $1.3 billion lawsuit over his ‘big lie’ election claims
- NBC News, March 23, Sidney Powell’s legal defense: ‘Reasonable people’ wouldn’t believe her election fraud claims
- NBC News, Nov. 19, Rudy Giuliani baselessly alleges ‘centralized’ voter fraud at free-wheeling news conference
- The New York Times, Jan. 25, Rudy Giuliani Sued by Dominion Voting Systems Over False Election Claims
- USA TODAY, Jan. 8, Dominion Voting Systems files $1.3B defamation suit against ex-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell
- USA TODAY, Jan. 25, Dominion Voting Systems sues Rudy Giuliani for $1.3B alleging defamation for election comments
- Forbes, March 1, Sidney Powell’s Remaining ‘Kraken’ Cases Thrown Out By Supreme Court
- The Associated Press, Nov. 13, Repudiating Trump, officials say election ‘most secure’
- Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Nov. 12, 2020, JOINT STATEMENT FROM ELECTIONS INFRASTRUCTURE GOVERNMENT COORDINATING COUNCIL & THE ELECTION INFRASTRUCTURE SECTOR COORDINATING EXECUTIVE COMMITTEES
- The New York Times, Dec. 26, Trump’s Fraud Claims Died in Court, but the Myth of Stolen Elections Lives On
- USA TODAY, Aug. 17, Trump: Only way we lose is if election is ‘rigged’
- Dominion, accessed June 2, SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: FACTS & RUMORS
- The Washington Post, Dec. 1, Swing-state counties that used Dominion voting machines mostly voted for Trump
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