Dominion CEO John Poulos told Axios it is preparing an “imminent” defamation lawsuit against Sidney Powell for her false election conspiracy theories about the voting technology company.
Poulos also said he is considering whether to sue President Donald Trump for pushing some of the same false theories.
Dominion has sent document retention letters to a range of right-wing media organizations and figures for propagating elements of the theories and warned of lawsuits against them.
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Dominion Voting Systems CEO John Poulos said the company is weighing a defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump and plans to move forward with a separate lawsuit against his former campaign lawyer Sidney Powell.
“Our focus right now is on Sidney Powell,” Poulos said in an interview with Axios on Monday. “She is by far in our opinion the most prolific and egregious purveyor of false information about Dominion. Her statements have caused real damage.”
Dominion and rival election technology company Smartmatic are both at the center of a false and convoluted conspiracy theory that the two are secretly in cahoots with each other and, through ties with the regime of now-dead Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, developed election software that switched votes from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden.
Read more: Secret Service experts are speculating in group chats about how Trump might be hauled out of the White House if he won’t budge on Inauguration Day
The conspiracy theory has been pushed by Powell, an attorney who was kicked off the Trump campaign’s legal team in late November. Powell has filed four separate lawsuits seeking to overturn the election results based on the theory. All of them have failed in court, and are among the 40-plus failed election lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies.
Poulos told Axios that Dominion’s attorneys were preparing the lawsuit against Powell, and that its filing was “imminent.”
Tom Clare, the defamation lawyer representing Dominion, previously told Insider that the company planned to sue Powell after she refused to retract her allegations against the company.
“If she doesn’t retract the statements – which she’s already said she won’t – then we’re going to move forward with defamation litigation against Sidney Powell,” Clare told Insider in December.
Read more: Dominion sends letters threatening defamation lawsuits to Sean Hannity, Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, and other pro-Trump media figures
Poulos said Dominion was moving forward with its litigation because the conspiracy theories about the company have become widespread. Since Powell has resisted making her allegations through the normal court process where the evidence could be litigated and proven false, Poulos said, the company had little choice but to sue her.
“The level of falsity has reached a level which I had not previously thought possible,” Poulos told Axios.
Powell didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
“Dominion has never provided machines or any of its software or technology to Venezuela, nor has it ever participated in ant elections to Venezuela,” the company said in a letter sent to Powell in December. “It did not receive $400 million from the Chinese in the weeks before the 2020 election. It has no ties to the Chinese government, the Venezuelan government, George Soros, Bigfoot, or the Loch Ness Monster.”
Dominion has sent document retention letters to right-wing media organizations that have perpetuated elements of the theory, including Fox News, Newsmax, One America News, the Epoch Times, and individual hosts and writers at those outlets. Poulos said it’s continuing to weigh lawsuits against those media organizations, as well, in addition to lawsuits against Powell and Trump.
While Fox News and Newsmax have aired clarifications admitting the election fraud conspiracy theories were false, One America News has continued to publish stories about Powell’s baseless claims.
Trump is already facing a range of civil lawsuits, many of which he has been able to delay because of his status as president of the United States. Clay Calvert, a First Amendment scholar at the University of Florida, told Insider that he expects Trump to continue to try to assert presidential privileges in court to shield himself from lawsuits, but that he’d be unsuccessful once’s he’s a private citizen again on January 20.
Calvert said that even if Trump is not sued directly, he’s still open to legal exposure if the other defendants who Dominion sues cite him as evidence that their conspiracy theories about Dominion are protected speech.
“If you don’t sue Trump directly, but if Trump is cited as one of the sources that is relied on, then I would want to take Trump’s deposition,” Calvert said.
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