U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols rejected the efforts by the three allies of former President Donald Trump to dismiss the Dominion lawsuits, centered on their claims that the voting company rigged the 2020 election.
His ruling (read it here) also comes a day after Dominion filed a series of $1.6 billion claims against Newsmax and One America News Network, as well as another high profile figure who has spread election conspiracy theories, Patrick Byrne, the former CEO of Overstock.
Nichols ruled that Dominion had sufficient grounds to pursue its cases against Giuliani, Powell and Lindell, with the election systems company seeking damages of $1.3 billion from each of the defendants.
Giuliani had argued that the lawsuit against him should be dismissed on procedural grounds, centering on the way that Dominion was claiming damages. But Nichols found that the company’s claim of lost profits was made with “adequate specificity.”
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Powell and Lindell had argued that her statements were opinion, not fact, and that Dominion had failed to allege that she acted with malice, or that she knew what she was saying was false. The judge, however, concluded that the company had “adequately alleged that Powell made her claims knowing that they were false, or at least with serious doubts as to their truthfulness.”
He had a similar conclusion about Lindell, as Dominion’s lawsuit named his company as a defendant. He noted that Dominion had “alleged numerous instances in which Lindell told audiences to purchase MyPillow products after making his claims of election fraud and providing MyPillow promotional codes related to those theories. In totality, it has adequately alleged that Lindell made his claims knowing that they were false or with reckless disregard for the truth.”
Nichols also rejected Powell and Lindell’s efforts to dismiss Dominion’s deceptive trade practices claims, and to have the lawsuits tossed on jurisdictional grounds.
Meanwhile, Lindell has countersued Dominion, alleging violations of the First and Fourteenth amendments.
Dominion also has filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News. The network also is seeking a dismissal of that claim, arguing that the lawsuit is an attack on their First Amendment right to report on the election. Newsmax also issued a statement on Tuesday attacking Dominion’s litigation as an attempt to “squelch” its reporting on public figures and “undermine a free press.”
After the election, Giuliani and Powell had made multiple appearances on Fox News, Newsmax and One America. MyPillow has been a prolific Fox News sponsor, but Lindell recently said that he was pulling the spots after the network refused to air an ad promoting a cyber symposium, in which he would be advancing his election claims.