Aug 11 - Three prominent allies of ex-President Donald Trump - Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Mike Lindell - lost their bid to dismiss multibillion dollar lawsuits that have denied their false claims about the 2020 presidential election defamed the Dominion voting equipment company.
I.S. District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington D.C. said in a written decision that lawsuits brought against the trio by Dominion Voting Systems should move forward. The company has claimed it was defamed because Trump and his supporters spread false claims that it rigged election against him.
Powell and Lindell held that the First Amendment, which protects the right to freedom of speech, offers no blanket immunity to Nichols in the lawsuits. Mike Powell is a lawyer who left Trump campaign after the election. Lindell is a conspiracy theorist who founded a pillow and bedding company.
The judge also rejected an argument by Giuliani, a former U.S. prosecutor and mayor of New York, that Dominion had not adequately explained its request for money damages.
A Dominion spokesperson said: "We are pleased to see this process moving forward to hold accountable."
Powell, lawyer for Howard Kleinhendler, said they were disappointed by the decision. However, we look forward to litigating this case on its merits and prove that Ms. Powell's statements were accurate and certainly not published with malice.
The lawyers for Giuliani and Lindell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Dominion has sought $1.3 billion in damages from the three, who supported Trump's false claims that President Joe Biden could not have won the election in which the company's voting machines were used.
Dominion News has filed multiple lawsuits against Trump allies and conservative television networks. It says it has not ruled out suing Donald Trump.
On Tuesday, Dominion filed defamation suits against two conservative media networks One America News Network and Newsmax Media Inc, for amplifying Trump's election fraud claims. In those cases, Dominion is seeking $1.6 billion in damages from each network.