Dominion Voting Sues Former Trump Lawyer, Seeking $1.3 Billion In Damages
The elections company Dominion Voting Systems, which has been at the center of many of President Trump's conspiracy narratives about the 2020 election, filed suit Friday against one of the loudest amplifiers of those false stories.
The company sued Sidney Powell, the lawyer who previously worked for the campaign, and who has spent much of the past two months claiming Dominion rigged the election and was somehow tied to the Venezuelan regime of Hugo Chavez.
None of those claims are true; Dominion was founded in Toronto, is now headquartered in Denver, Co., and its machines have been used in American elections for more than a decade. Chavez died in 2013.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and in it Dominion asks for more than $1.3 billion in damages. Powell's "viral disinformation campaign" has destroyed the value of the business, the lawsuit says.
Election experts have wondered whether the company would be able to survive after the onslaught of accusations by the Trump campaign.
To gets the contracts needed to stay afloat, a voting company needs to be able to convince local governments that its systems are trustworthy — but that becomes a herculean task if a large chunk of voters in those communities are consuming misinformation.
Even if the allegations appear ridiculous the company's fate still is complicated if Republican elected officials become torn about engaging with a vendor that has been tarred by Trump and his supporters.
Powell has more than a million followers on Twitter alone, and the 124-page lawsuit is almost entirely filled with her various conspiracies about election fraud.
"When you run out of gas in this industry, it's either because you run out of cash or you run out of reputation," said Joe Kiniry, who runs the voting technology company Free & Fair, in an interview about Dominion last month. "And that's when things go bankrupt ... Or things get acquired."
Dominion's lawsuit says it expects to lose $200 million in profits over the coming five years as a result of Powell's post-election claims.
"We're filing this lawsuit because 300 families have staked their livelihoods on this company," said Dominion CEO John Poulos on Friday. "Words don't describe the effect. Lives have been upended."
The lawsuit also notes that as a result of the claims Powell and others have made, election officials and Dominion employees have been the subject of harassment and death threats.
"We're going to blow your f***ing building up," said one person, in a voicemail left on the Dominion main office line, according to the suit.
One employee, Eric Coomer, spoke to Colorado Public Radio from an undisclosed location last month after he was forced to leave his home due to the threats.
"I actually am in fear for my safety," Coomer said. "I'm in fear for my family's safety. These are real, tangible things coming out of these baseless accusations."
Coomer, who is Dominion's head of product strategy and security, also filed suit last month against a number of pro-Trump figures, including Powell.
Dominion said Friday that the company may file future lawsuits as well, against conservative media outlets and even potentially President Trump himself.
"We have not ruled anyone out," said Tom Clare, an attorney representing Dominion. "We are looking very deliberately at the statements and actions of everyone."
Read Friday's lawsuit below.
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