Former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell said the defamation lawsuit filed against him by Dominion Voting Systems Inc. should be dismissed because “no reasonable person” would believe that its claims about the voting software company were “true statements of fact.”
In a motion to dismiss filed Monday in Washington, Powell argued that his claims about Dominion were “political speech” protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. His claims were clearly understood as nothing more than “legal opinions and theories,” he argued, and criticisms of his comments at one time as “inherently unlikely” illustrate his point.
“Such characterizations of the allegedly defamatory statements further support the defendants’ position that reasonable persons would not accept such statements as fact, but would see them only as statements waiting to be proven by the courts through adversarial process.” , argued his lawyer.
Powell said he stands up for his claims even though they were repeatedly rejected by justices who dismissed his lawsuits seeking to reverse the election.
Dominion’s $ 1.3 billion lawsuit accuses Powell of gutting the company’s reputation by falsely claiming he conspired with Democrats and shadow foreign agents to steal the election. They did so, he claimed, by using corrupt computer code originally created for the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez to steal millions of votes from Donald Trump.
Powell, who spread the conspiracy theory at a press conference and numerous conservative media appearances, did not provide hard evidence.
If the case is thrown out, Dominion will be deprived of its stated objective of taking the case to trial, forcing Powell to present evidence showing that his claims about the company were true or that he at least had reason to believe them.
“Powell’s attempt to dismiss the case contradicts his claim that he wants to present his evidence in court,” Dominion’s attorney, Tom Clare, said in an emailed statement. “Dominion Voting Systems is eager to move the case forward and intends to hold Powell accountable.”
Powell also argued that the Washington court has no jurisdiction over her because Dominion failed to properly link her allegedly defamatory statements to the city. She asked the judge to consider transferring the case to Texas, where she lives, if her motion to dismiss the case is denied.
Powell, whose claims about Dominion allegedly led to numerous death threats against his employees, was rebuffed by the Trump campaign shortly after a November 19 news conference in Washington in which he claimed agents from Iran and China infiltrated the the Dominion voting machines to help the president. Joe biden
Powell said his comments probably cannot be proven true or false, making it impossible for Dominion’s case to continue. Even if they could be, “no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were really statements of fact,” his presentation said.
Powell cited the unrest by Trump supporters as further evidence to move the case to Texas if not dismissed, arguing that federal court in Washington is busy with litigation after the attack.
“It is public knowledge that this file is backward, congested and overwhelmed,” he said.
Clare and her partner Libby Locke represent Dominion in lawsuits against Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, seeking a total of $ 3.9 billion for falsely claiming that their voting machines were used to cheat on the 2020 election. The married couple, who run their own boutique firm, are fighting a battle at the heart of an effort to stem a continuing stream of disinformation from Donald Trump supporters, and they have not ruled out suing Trump himself.
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(Updates with details of Powell’s presentation.)