This week, a federal judge nominated by President Trump handed a major victory to Dominion Voting Systems by allowing the company’s defamation lawsuits against Sidney Powell, Mike Lindell, and Rudy Giuliani to proceed.
All three made public allegations following the November election claiming that Dominion machines switched votes from then-President Trump to now-President Biden, allowing Biden to win. Powell and Giuliani are attorneys who were part of Trump’s legal team, while Lindell – the founder of My Pillow – produced a film alleging the election was stolen from Trump.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols refused the trio’s request to dismiss the lawsuits by Dominion. Nichols was nominated by Trump in 2018 and is a member of the conservative Federalist Society.
Dominion has “adequately alleged that Lindell made his claims knowing that they were false or with reckless disregard for the truth,” Nichols ruled in a 44-page opinion.
Dominion alleges that Lindell supported the conspiracy theory because it would be “good for business.” Nichols, in his ruling, noted that Lindell often offered coupon codes for My Pillow products during media interviews about Dominion machines.
Powell has not provided evidence to back up her claims about Dominion, Nichols wrote. The judge noted that Powell claimed Dominion machines “flipped” votes and that state officials received “kickbacks” for using Dominion machines.
“All of these statements, and many others alleged in Dominion’s Complaint, ‘expressed or implied a verifiably false fact’ about Dominion,” Nichols wrote.
Powell had argued her statements about Dominion could not be defamatory because “no reasonable person could conclude that they were statements of fact,” Nichols said. Nichols, though, rejected Powell’s argument.
“Dominion has adequately alleged that Powell made a number of statements that are actionable because a reasonable juror could conclude that they were either statements of fact or statements of opinion that implied or relied upon facts that are provably false,” he wrote.
Lindell made public statements alleging the Dominion machines were programmed to give more votes to Biden than to Trump. He also claimed China hacked the Dominion machines.
“A reasonable juror,” Nichols wrote, “could conclude that the existence of a vast international conspiracy that is ignored by the government but proven by a spreadsheet on an internet blog is so inherently improbable that only a reckless man would believe it.”
Dominion says it could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in business because of the claims by Lindell, Powell and Giuliani.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Hermosa Wave
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.