Congrats to Rudy Giuliani, whose nutty election work for Trump won him a $1.3 billion lawsuit
Just because Rudy Giuliani, the farting, face-melting, fascism-abetting former New York City mayor, won't be representing former President Donald Trump at the latter's upcoming Senate impeachment trial doesn't mean Trump's most reliably unreliable agitator is done playing defense for his role in helping undermine the 2020 election.
On Monday, Dominion Voting Systems Inc. filed a massive $1.3 billion-with-a-B defamation suit against Giuliani, over the onetime federal prosecutor's many, many, many public statements falsely accusing the company of election fraud in the service of delivering this past November's election to now-President Joe Biden.
"Dominion brings this action to set the record straight, to vindicate the company’s rights under civil law, to recover compensatory and punitive damages, and to stand up for itself, its employees, and the electoral process," attorneys for the company wrote in their 107-page suit, filed in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia this week. Earlier this month, Dominion filed a similar lawsuit against attorney Sidney Powell, who worked alongside Giuliani to advance the thoroughly unfounded claims that the company's voting machines had somehow been used to manipulate the election results in favor of Biden. Dominion has also threatened to sue MyPillow CEO and martial law enthusiast Mike Lindell, who said he'd "welcome" any potential legal action against him "because I have all the evidence, 100%."
Giuliani responded to Monday's suit with similar bravado, saying in a statement that Dominion's case "will allow me to investigate their history, finances, and practices fully and completely." He also claimed to be investigating whether or not to countersue Dominion for "violating" his constitutional rights to free speech and the ability to represent a client as their attorney.
However, as part of the suit, Dominion included in their filing dozens of examples of Giuliani peddling demonstratively false claims about Dominion's role in the 2020 presidential election across Twitter, TV appearances, and various podcasts. They also included reactions from Giuliani's audience to these claims, showing just how widespread and pernicious Giuliani's falsehoods had become within a nebulous nexus of conspiracy theorists, QAnon followers, and GOP figures.
"Viewers of Giuliani’s Christmas Day podcast about Dominion commented on the video: 'The Dominion machines changed the vote. They need to be held accountable” and 'All these people involved with the fraud need to be executed for treason,'" the suit noted, with screen grabs of the relevant comments. Elsewhere, the company cited a voicemail message left on Dominion's customer service phone line:
You’re all fucking dead, You’re all fucking dead. We’re bringing back the firing squad and you fuckers are all dead, everybody involved, up against the wall you motherfuckers. We’re gonna have a fucking lottery to fucking give people a chance to shoot you motherfuckers, you fucking wait, you cocksuckers, you commie pieces of shit. We’re going to fucking kill you, all you motherfuckers. After a fair trial of course you pieces of shit. The American people are fucking coming for you, this is the end of your fucking line guys, your fucking days are numbered.
"After a fair trial of course." The voicemail continued for a bit, with similar sentiments being expressed.
Speaking with The New York Times, Dominion attorney Thomas Clare highlighted the fact that the company had even been mentioned during Giuliani's "trial by combat" in the moments just before insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol.
"From a defamation law perspective, it just demonstrates the depth to which these statements sink in to people," Clare explained. "That people don't just read them and tune them out. It goes to the core of their belief system, which puts them in a position to take action in the real world."
In addition to the lawsuit, Giuliani also faces calls for disbarment over his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection. So not only does the lawyer have some legal troubles of his own, but he might not even be a lawyer for much longer.