WASHINGTON — A federal judge cleared the way Wednesday for a defamation case by Dominion Voting Systems to proceed against Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani and Mike Lindell, allies of former President Donald Trump who had all falsely accused the company of rigging the 2020 presidential election.
U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols ruled that there was no blanket protection on political speech and denied an argument from two of the defendants that the federal court in Washington wasn’t the proper venue for the case.
“As an initial matter, there is no blanket immunity for statements that are ‘political’ in nature,” the judge wrote in the 44-page ruling.
While courts have recognized there are some hyperbolic statements in political discourse, “it is simply not the law that provably false statements cannot be actionable if made in the context of an election,” Nichols wrote.
The judge used similar language against Lindell, the founder and CEO of MyPillow, saying Dominion proved Lindell had “made his claims knowing that they were false or with reckless disregard for the truth.”
The judge’s ruling came just a day after the vote-counting machine maker filed defamation lawsuits against right-wing broadcasters Newsmax Media Inc. and One America News Network, as well as Patrick Byrne, a prominent Trump ally and former chief executive of Overstock.com
Dan Crenshaw gets heckled by a MAGA at a recent event for refusing to say the 2020 election was stolen. Enjoy your primaries guys, dealing with the nightmare of your own creation. This is what you signed up for under your cult leader! pic.twitter.com/cOJd5sKq7c