Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, US President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, gestures after the media announced that Democratic US presidential candidate Joe Biden will run the 2020 US presidential election in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the United States, on Nov. 7 2020 won.

Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday filed a defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, accusing him of spreading lies in order to “deliberately mislead voters” and cause “irreparable harm” to the company.

“While Giuliani pushed the disinformation campaign that sparked death threats and violence, and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, he made money haggling gold coins, trimmings, cigars and protection from ‘cyber thieves’,” said Dominion legal advisor Thomas Clare, in a statement.

Giuliani was involved in Trump’s efforts to reverse his loss in the 2020 election against President Joe Biden. The former New York mayor repeatedly publicly argued that Trump’s victory was stolen by widespread electoral fraud.

Dominion accuses Giuliani of telling the “big lie” that Dominion voices manipulated to determine the election for Biden to “get rich financially, maintain and improve his public profile, and get Donald Trump for money and benefits to ingratiate yourself. ” he expected to receive as a result of this union. “

The lawsuit, which has been filed in the US District Court in Washington, DC, provides for damages and punitive damages of more than $ 1.3 billion. Dominion said in the 107-page lawsuit that its employees were persecuted, harassed and threatened as a “direct, predictable and deliberate result” of Giuliani’s “virus disinformation campaign”.

Giuliani “actively promoted disinformation in order to deliberately mislead voters,” Dominion CEO John Poulos said in a statement. “Because Giuliani and others kept repeating false claims about my company on a number of media outlets, some of our own family and friends are among the Americans who have been betrayed.”

Giuliani did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Dominion’s lawsuit stated that Giuliani, who had represented the Trump campaign in court when it urged to invalidate swaths of votes that went for Biden in major swing states, never brought charges against Dominion in court. In federal court in Pennsylvania – one of dozen failed cases from the Trump campaign and Trump’s allies aimed at overturning the election – Giuliani had told a judge, “This is not a fraud case.”

Rather, the complaint cites more than 50 statements by Giuliani on social media, conservative news outlets, and state hearings.

Giuliani on these platforms had repeatedly accused Dominion of partnering with another company, Smartmatic, which he claimed had “best practices for fixing elections”.

Both companies have flatly denied this and other claims, including the fact that Smartmatic is corruptly affiliated with the Venezuelan government. This conspiracy theory became widespread when Sidney Powell, an attorney formerly affiliated with Trump’s legal team, aired it with Giuliani during a much-criticized press conference in November.

Smartmatic announced last month that it had sent letters calling for withdrawals from Giuliani and Powell, as well as Fox News, One America News and Newsmax, all of which had published these “false and defamatory statements”.

Dominion sued Powell earlier this month for damages of at least $ 1.3 billion.

Trump, who resigned from office on January 20 and was preparing for a Senate trial after his impeachment in the House of Representatives for instigating a deadly riot in the Capitol, had also publicly fueled the baseless conspiracy that Dominion freaked votes.

“Also, we have a company that is very suspicious. It’s called Dominion. By turning a dial or changing a chip, you can push a button for Trump and the vote goes to Biden. What kind of system is that?” Trump said in a long video in December.

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