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Dominion Voting Systems Sues Fox News For $1.6 Billion For Pushing Trump's Big Lie


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The Daily Beast

Dominion Voting Systems Sues Fox News for $1.6 Billion for Pushing Trump’s Big Lie

Jamie Ross
Fri, March 26, 2021, 7:18 AM
 
Reuters/ Shannon Stapleton
 
Reuters/ Shannon Stapleton

Dominion Voting Systems has filed a staggering $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, alleging the cable network pushed false claims that the voting-machine company rigged the 2020 election.

It’s the latest in a string of massive lawsuits from Dominion, which was the target of a baseless and frankly bizarre Trumpist conspiracy theory that it switched millions of votes in order to help Joe Biden win the White House. Fox News joins Trump allies Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell in being chased for damages for spreading the claim.

In its suit against Fox News, Dominion alleges the network “sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process.” Attorney Justin Nelson accuses Fox News of taking a “conscious, knowing business decision to endorse and repeat and broadcast these lies in order to keep its viewership.”

 

While some of Fox News’ more legitimate anchors pushed back on the relentless flow of Trumpist election conspiracies, others were perfectly happy to throw their weight behind them. For example, in the week after the election, Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer mulled that the Dominion theory being put forward by Powell and others “sounded convincing.”

According to the Associated Press, the Fox lawsuit could be followed by more against specific media personalities at the network, but Dominion wanted to target the entire network first. “The buck stops with Fox on this,” said attorney Stephen Shackelford. “Fox chose to put this on all of its many platforms. They rebroadcast, republished it on social media.”

The Trump campaign and its allies became fixated on voting machines from Dominion Voting Systems in the days after the election. The crackpot theory included the claim that Dominion voting machines were created in Venezuela to rig elections for Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013.

 

Powell—the pro-Trump lawyer and one of the main proponents of the conspiracy theory—effectively abandoned it earlier this week in the face of her own billion-dollar lawsuit. Her lawyers argue that “no reasonable person” would believe that her election-fraud claims were “statements of fact,” and that they relied upon “exaggeration and hyperbole.”

Fox News is yet to comment on the Dominion lawsuit.

Dominion concluded in its lawsuit: “If this case does not rise to the level of defamation by a broadcaster, then nothing does.”

 

https://news.yahoo.com/dominion-voting-systems-sues-fox-111809361.html

 

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Reuters

Conservative news outlets, accused of election falsehoods, air disclaimers

Helen Coster and Jan Wolfe
Fri, March 26, 2021, 7:03 AM
 
 

By Helen Coster and Jan Wolfe

(Reuters) - Businessman Mike Lindell appeared on the cable network Newsmax last month and launched into a baseless conspiracy theory blaming a voting machine company for fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

After muting Lindell’s microphone, a Newsmax anchor told viewers that the My Pillow Inc founder’s claims were unsubstantiated and unverified. The anchor then read a prepared statement that included: “Newsmax accepts the (election) results as legal and final.”

Lindell, an ardent ally of losing presidential candidate Donald Trump, refused to drop the subject, and the anchor stormed off mid-interview.

The on-air reality check highlights a new trend in conservative media: In an apparent effort to minimize liability for defamation, Newsmax and some other outlets are relying on prepared disclaimers or additional pre-recorded programming to repudiate pro-Trump conspiracy theories spouted by guests and hosts.

Legal experts say this practice, also used in some form by One America News Network (OANN) and other conservative TV and radio networks, is a response to lawsuits recently filed or threatened by Dominion Voting Systems Inc and Smartmatic Inc, two election technology companies targeted by pro-Trump conspiracy theorists.

A Newsmax spokesman declined to comment. OANN did not respond to a request for comment.

The suits could test the effectiveness of disclaimers on news coverage more broadly, as well as the conservative media’s appetite for guests and hosts who make unsubstantiated claims about hot-button issues, legal experts say. The suits also pose an “existential threat” to the smaller networks, which can ill afford a big verdict or settlement, said Columbia University historian Nicole Hemmer, author of a book on conservative media.

Floyd Abrams, a prominent media lawyer and First Amendment advocate, said disclaimers could be modestly useful in bolstering the argument that the networks were “simply carrying the views” of Trump surrogates, rather than acting with malice toward Dominion and Smartmatic.

Big money is at stake. On Feb. 4, Smartmatic sued Fox News, parent company Fox Corp, former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others, claiming Smartmatic was falsely accused of rigging the election in favor of President Joe Biden. The voting systems company is seeking more than $2.7 billion in damages from the network and its hosts or guests.

Fox did not run disclaimers, taking a different approach. In the case of Smartmatic coverage, the network aired a three-minute taped interview of an expert who expressed skepticism about electoral fraud claims. The segment ran three times in December. It first aired days after Smartmatic demanded that Fox retract false statements made on its shows, and weeks after those statements were originally broadcast.

Fox did not retract anything. A Fox spokeswoman pointed to instances in November and December when the network reported on the lack of evidence behind the voter fraud allegations.

“If the First Amendment means anything, it means that Fox cannot be held liable for fairly reporting and commenting on competing allegations in a hotly contested and actively litigated election,” the network said last month after filing a motion to get the Smartmatic lawsuit dismissed.

In that filing, Fox said it had invited Smartmatic to appear on the network to address the allegations made by Trump’s surrogates, and that Smartmatic declined.

A Smartmatic attorney declined to comment on the invitation.

Dominion has filed defamation lawsuits against Trump allies, including Giuliani and Lindell, based in part on their statements on networks and social media. Dominion has not sued any network but the company’s legal counsel, Tom Clare, told Reuters “there will be additional lawsuits.” Dominion has formally advised social media networks to preserve posts and data from Fox, Newsmax, OANN, Trump and others, saying they are relevant to pending and forthcoming claims.

Giuliani did not return a request for comment but told Reuters in January that his comments about Dominion were constitutionally protected free speech. Lindell told Reuters he was “happy” that Dominion sued him, because it would allow him to seek evidence from the company. He said that he planned to countersue Dominion for trying to silence him.

As for the networks, Dominion counsel Clare and an attorney for Smartmatic said the disclaimers and counterarguments came too late.

They “cannot undo the damage to Dominion,” Clare said.

‘THEY’VE GOT TO WARN YOU ABOUT ME?’

When Giuliani hosted a show in February on conservative talk radio station WABC in New York, the station inserted a statement mid-broadcast that the host’s “views, assumptions and opinions” do not necessarily represent the opinions, beliefs or policies of the station, its owner, other WABC hosts or advertisers.

Giuliani, returning to the microphone after the disclaimer, appeared blindsided. “Rather insulting,” he said. “We’re in America. We’re not in East Germany. They’ve got to warn you about me?”

WABC did not respond to a request for comment.

New York media lawyer Ryan Cummings said disclaimers could help media outlets argue that their hosts and guests were presenting opinions, not news. Under U.S. law, opinion enjoys more legal protection than reporting that purports to assert facts. However, radio and cable news outlets generally don’t provide cues to make the distinction obvious to viewers.

Disclaimers could also help Newsmax and others argue that they were not acting recklessly, said Stanford Law School professor Robert Rabin. Under U.S. law, a false statement about a well-known person or company is deemed defamatory only if it is made with “actual malice” or a reckless disregard for the truth.

Fox, the conservative network with by far the greatest reach, took a different route with its pre-recorded interview titled “Closer Look at Claims About Smartmatic.”

The network first presented the skeptical expert’s views in December, five weeks after it originally aired the false claims about Smartmatic. The segment ran during the same shows on which the false statements originally were made.

The questions in the segment, voiced by an unidentified off-camera interviewer, were quick and to-the-point.

For instance, the interviewer asked, "Have you seen any evidence that Smartmatic software was used to flip votes anywhere in the U.S. in this election?" The voting technology expert, Eddie Perez, responded: “I have not seen any evidence that Smartmatic software was used to delete, change, alter anything related to vote tabulation.”

Perez told Reuters that Fox had been vague about the interview when it booked him, and did not say that the questions would be exclusively about Smartmatic. However, he said, Fox’s audience “needed to hear sober factual information.” The network had been “leading them astray for weeks,” Perez said.

“On the other hand,” he added, “I am not so naive to think that one five- to seven-minute piece that answers those questions would miraculously change minds.”

Smartmatic saw the taped interview as “an admission of guilt or an admission of liability on the part of Fox News,” said Smartmatic’s counsel, Erik Connolly. “And that’s how we have positioned it in our lawsuit.”

IS TRUMP IMMUNE?

As legally fraught as election fraud claims can be, the subject is enormously appealing to many pro-Trump viewers and voters. And conservative media continue to make Trump, the most powerful voice in the Republican Party, a focal point of their coverage.

Some media lawyers say the president - who led the way in making and spreading election fraud claims - may be in less legal peril than his surrogates and the conservative networks that cover him.

That’s partly because he made specific public claims about the companies only while he was still president: Sitting presidents are immune from suits related to their official acts, a protection that has been interpreted broadly by the courts. Rabin, the Stanford lawyer, said the protections are meant to ensure that high-level government officials can speak out and perform their responsibilities without fear of defamation suits.

Since leaving office, Trump has kept his remarks vague, not mentioning the election technology companies by name. “The broader or the vaguer the articulation of election fraud, the clearer it is that it will be protected by the First Amendment,” Abrams said.

Trump has not been personally sued by Smartmatic or Dominion. A senior Trump adviser did not respond to requests for comment.

By comparison, even if they issue disclaimers and keep their coverage vague, the networks are at risk for what already has been said on their news programs.

“There’s a certain irony in it,” Rabin said, referring to the contrast between Trump’s legal exposure and that of the media who cover him.

 

https://news.yahoo.com/conservative-news-outlets-accused-election-110300148.html

 

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5 minutes ago, Shabibilicious said:
 
Reuters

Conservative news outlets, accused of election falsehoods, air disclaimers

Helen Coster and Jan Wolfe
Fri, March 26, 2021, 7:03 AM
 
 

By Helen Coster and Jan Wolfe

(Reuters) - Businessman Mike Lindell appeared on the cable network Newsmax last month and launched into a baseless conspiracy theory blaming a voting machine company for fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

After muting Lindell’s microphone, a Newsmax anchor told viewers that the My Pillow Inc founder’s claims were unsubstantiated and unverified. The anchor then read a prepared statement that included: “Newsmax accepts the (election) results as legal and final.”

Lindell, an ardent ally of losing presidential candidate Donald Trump, refused to drop the subject, and the anchor stormed off mid-interview.

The on-air reality check highlights a new trend in conservative media: In an apparent effort to minimize liability for defamation, Newsmax and some other outlets are relying on prepared disclaimers or additional pre-recorded programming to repudiate pro-Trump conspiracy theories spouted by guests and hosts.

Legal experts say this practice, also used in some form by One America News Network (OANN) and other conservative TV and radio networks, is a response to lawsuits recently filed or threatened by Dominion Voting Systems Inc and Smartmatic Inc, two election technology companies targeted by pro-Trump conspiracy theorists.

A Newsmax spokesman declined to comment. OANN did not respond to a request for comment.

The suits could test the effectiveness of disclaimers on news coverage more broadly, as well as the conservative media’s appetite for guests and hosts who make unsubstantiated claims about hot-button issues, legal experts say. The suits also pose an “existential threat” to the smaller networks, which can ill afford a big verdict or settlement, said Columbia University historian Nicole Hemmer, author of a book on conservative media.

Floyd Abrams, a prominent media lawyer and First Amendment advocate, said disclaimers could be modestly useful in bolstering the argument that the networks were “simply carrying the views” of Trump surrogates, rather than acting with malice toward Dominion and Smartmatic.

Big money is at stake. On Feb. 4, Smartmatic sued Fox News, parent company Fox Corp, former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others, claiming Smartmatic was falsely accused of rigging the election in favor of President Joe Biden. The voting systems company is seeking more than $2.7 billion in damages from the network and its hosts or guests.

Fox did not run disclaimers, taking a different approach. In the case of Smartmatic coverage, the network aired a three-minute taped interview of an expert who expressed skepticism about electoral fraud claims. The segment ran three times in December. It first aired days after Smartmatic demanded that Fox retract false statements made on its shows, and weeks after those statements were originally broadcast.

Fox did not retract anything. A Fox spokeswoman pointed to instances in November and December when the network reported on the lack of evidence behind the voter fraud allegations.

“If the First Amendment means anything, it means that Fox cannot be held liable for fairly reporting and commenting on competing allegations in a hotly contested and actively litigated election,” the network said last month after filing a motion to get the Smartmatic lawsuit dismissed.

In that filing, Fox said it had invited Smartmatic to appear on the network to address the allegations made by Trump’s surrogates, and that Smartmatic declined.

A Smartmatic attorney declined to comment on the invitation.

Dominion has filed defamation lawsuits against Trump allies, including Giuliani and Lindell, based in part on their statements on networks and social media. Dominion has not sued any network but the company’s legal counsel, Tom Clare, told Reuters “there will be additional lawsuits.” Dominion has formally advised social media networks to preserve posts and data from Fox, Newsmax, OANN, Trump and others, saying they are relevant to pending and forthcoming claims.

Giuliani did not return a request for comment but told Reuters in January that his comments about Dominion were constitutionally protected free speech. Lindell told Reuters he was “happy” that Dominion sued him, because it would allow him to seek evidence from the company. He said that he planned to countersue Dominion for trying to silence him.

As for the networks, Dominion counsel Clare and an attorney for Smartmatic said the disclaimers and counterarguments came too late.

They “cannot undo the damage to Dominion,” Clare said.

‘THEY’VE GOT TO WARN YOU ABOUT ME?’

When Giuliani hosted a show in February on conservative talk radio station WABC in New York, the station inserted a statement mid-broadcast that the host’s “views, assumptions and opinions” do not necessarily represent the opinions, beliefs or policies of the station, its owner, other WABC hosts or advertisers.

Giuliani, returning to the microphone after the disclaimer, appeared blindsided. “Rather insulting,” he said. “We’re in America. We’re not in East Germany. They’ve got to warn you about me?”

WABC did not respond to a request for comment.

New York media lawyer Ryan Cummings said disclaimers could help media outlets argue that their hosts and guests were presenting opinions, not news. Under U.S. law, opinion enjoys more legal protection than reporting that purports to assert facts. However, radio and cable news outlets generally don’t provide cues to make the distinction obvious to viewers.

Disclaimers could also help Newsmax and others argue that they were not acting recklessly, said Stanford Law School professor Robert Rabin. Under U.S. law, a false statement about a well-known person or company is deemed defamatory only if it is made with “actual malice” or a reckless disregard for the truth.

Fox, the conservative network with by far the greatest reach, took a different route with its pre-recorded interview titled “Closer Look at Claims About Smartmatic.”

The network first presented the skeptical expert’s views in December, five weeks after it originally aired the false claims about Smartmatic. The segment ran during the same shows on which the false statements originally were made.

The questions in the segment, voiced by an unidentified off-camera interviewer, were quick and to-the-point.

For instance, the interviewer asked, "Have you seen any evidence that Smartmatic software was used to flip votes anywhere in the U.S. in this election?" The voting technology expert, Eddie Perez, responded: “I have not seen any evidence that Smartmatic software was used to delete, change, alter anything related to vote tabulation.”

Perez told Reuters that Fox had been vague about the interview when it booked him, and did not say that the questions would be exclusively about Smartmatic. However, he said, Fox’s audience “needed to hear sober factual information.” The network had been “leading them astray for weeks,” Perez said.

“On the other hand,” he added, “I am not so naive to think that one five- to seven-minute piece that answers those questions would miraculously change minds.”

Smartmatic saw the taped interview as “an admission of guilt or an admission of liability on the part of Fox News,” said Smartmatic’s counsel, Erik Connolly. “And that’s how we have positioned it in our lawsuit.”

IS TRUMP IMMUNE?

As legally fraught as election fraud claims can be, the subject is enormously appealing to many pro-Trump viewers and voters. And conservative media continue to make Trump, the most powerful voice in the Republican Party, a focal point of their coverage.

Some media lawyers say the president - who led the way in making and spreading election fraud claims - may be in less legal peril than his surrogates and the conservative networks that cover him.

That’s partly because he made specific public claims about the companies only while he was still president: Sitting presidents are immune from suits related to their official acts, a protection that has been interpreted broadly by the courts. Rabin, the Stanford lawyer, said the protections are meant to ensure that high-level government officials can speak out and perform their responsibilities without fear of defamation suits.

Since leaving office, Trump has kept his remarks vague, not mentioning the election technology companies by name. “The broader or the vaguer the articulation of election fraud, the clearer it is that it will be protected by the First Amendment,” Abrams said.

Trump has not been personally sued by Smartmatic or Dominion. A senior Trump adviser did not respond to requests for comment.

By comparison, even if they issue disclaimers and keep their coverage vague, the networks are at risk for what already has been said on their news programs.

“There’s a certain irony in it,” Rabin said, referring to the contrast between Trump’s legal exposure and that of the media who cover him.

 

https://news.yahoo.com/conservative-news-outlets-accused-election-110300148.html

 

GO RV, then BV

Desperate attorney’s will try and make case out of anything ..., doesn’t mean they win the case 

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2 minutes ago, Shelley said:

Desperate attorney’s will try and make case out of anything ..., doesn’t mean they win the case 

 

I agree completely....the Kraken and Lin Wood being perfect case studies to that point.

 

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Posted (edited)
 
 
The Daily Beast

Sidney Powell’s ‘Just Kidding’ Defense Is Seriously, Literally Nuts

Matt Lewis
Sun, March 28, 2021, 4:58 AM
 
 
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty
 
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty

During the 2016 presidential campaign, journalist and author Salena Zito observed that when it came to Donald Trump, “the press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.” Zito deserves credit for coining a memorable phrase that certainly sounded plausible back when we were all trying to fathom how Trump won. By 2020, however, it was clear that Trump’s fans were, in fact, taking him literally. The Capitol insurgency that occurred after months of Trump claiming that 1) the election had been rigged and 2) we were losing our country was proof enough.

I’ve been thinking about Zito’s formulation a lot lately, in part because Trump is back in the news. He repeated false claims that the election was stolen, while also portraying insurrectionists as harmless fuzzballs to Laura Ingraham on Fox News. Dominion Voting Systems also just filed a $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox News for advancing the canard that the election was stolen.

But it’s mainly been on my mind because of an assertion made by pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell’s own lawyers in her $1.3 billion Dominion defamation suit. They claimed that “no reasonable person” would believe the conspiracy theories spun by Powell. This puts to lie the whole “seriously/ literally” shell game that has been going on for the last five years. When people enter into the political arena, invent crazy conspiracy theories, and stoke violence and sedition, millions of Americans do take them seriously and literally.

 

Let’s begin with the suggestion that “no reasonable person” would believe Powell’s assertions. This is (sadly) false. For example, a February poll from the University of Houston found that 83 percent of Texas Republicans believed there was widespread election fraud. Many average Americans (reasonable or not) seriously believed the kinds of lies Powell was intent on spreading. Could it be that the “no reasonable person” standard no longer achieves its intended goal in modern 21st century America, where surreal is the new normal and where shows like Saturday Night Live sometimes can’t compete with reality? I mean, excluding the “reasonable people” still leaves you with, what, 74 million Americans? Sarcasm aside, we are literally talking about a good third of the country. I am reminded of the woman who told Adlai Stevenson, “Governor, every thinking person would be voting for you.” Stevenson, the story goes, retorted, “Madam, that is not enough. I need a majority.”

It is true that Powell was merely one of the voices pushing bogus claims and conspiracy theories, but her voice was one of the most prominent. A quick refresher is in order. Prior to taking on this cause, Powell represented former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Prominent conservatives like past FEC chairman Trey Trainor personally vouched for her honesty. She was also considered to be part of an “elite strike force” of Trump lawyers (as Trump tweeted, a “truly great team”). Newsmax also identified her as such.

Powell joined Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani at a press conference held at the Republican National Committee. Among her many outrageous assertions, Powell alleged that Georgia’s Republican governor and secretary of state were paid off; she also claimed that a plot involving deceased Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez helped rig the election for Joe Biden via Dominion Voting Machines. Powell then appeared on various conservative outlets and shows, including Fox News, Fox Business (where she said “dead people” had voted), and even the Rush Limbaugh show (where she was interviewed by guest host Mark Steyn).

This is all to say that, although you and I might have always seen Powell as a crank, she had (on paper) solid professional and mainstream conservative credentials—not to mention the imprimatur of the Republican National Committee, America’s Mayor, and the President of the United States of America.

The reality is, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t claim to be a serious person engaging in the serious world of politics and ideas, spread toxic poison with a megaphone that reaches millions, and then cry “just kidding” when your attempts to actually overthrow an election fail.

Ideas have consequences, and the ideas we are dealing with now are deadly serious—including the notion that the election was stolen in a coup and that American democracy is in jeopardy. Allowing these serious allegations to be hand-waved away retroactively—just because they didn’t work—under the guise of harmless trolling, political theater, lulz, or satire would not only mean half the country would continue to believe that Biden is an illegitimate president, it would also encourage more irresponsible rhetoric and behavior.

I’m just sad that this is our last line of defense and our only real deterrent. It will likely take a lawsuit from a private company to discourage future demagogues and their accomplices from pursuing perverse incentives. Lawsuits may be the only effective mechanism left to hold irresponsible and dangerous actors accountable for their actions. I guess it’s better than nothing.

 

 

https://news.yahoo.com/sidney-powell-just-kidding-defense-085824126.html

 

GO RV, then BV

Edited by Shabibilicious
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On 3/26/2021 at 5:52 AM, Shabibilicious said:

Big Lie

Hitler's propagandous team used the words "big lie" (Kinda like a vaxhole).

 

Breaking: Ballot Audit in Montana Finds Irregularities Characteristic of Larger Democrat Urban Centers – 6.33% Ballots Without Required Envelopes

By Jim Hoft
Published March 29, 2021 at 9:25am

  Breaking: Ballot Audit in Montana Finds Irregularities Characteristic of Larger Democrat Urban Centers – 6.33% Ballots Without Required Envelopes

 

 

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4 minutes ago, bigwave said:

Hitler's propagandous team used the words "big lie" (Kinda like a vaxhole).

 

Breaking: Ballot Audit in Montana Finds Irregularities Characteristic of Larger Democrat Urban Centers – 6.33% Ballots Without Required Envelopes

By Jim Hoft
Published March 29, 2021 at 9:25am

  Breaking: Ballot Audit in Montana Finds Irregularities Characteristic of Larger Democrat Urban Centers – 6.33% Ballots Without Required Envelopes

 

 

 

Hahahaha....you said Montana and Urban Centers in the same sentence.  :lol:

 

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Posted (edited)
 
 
Business Insider

From Rudy Giuliani to Fox News, here's everyone Dominion and Smartmatic are suing over election conspiracy theories so far

Grace Dean,Jacob Shamsian
Sun, March 28, 2021, 4:03 AM
 
 
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani
 
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Sidney Powell, and Rudy Giuliani are being sued by Dominion. Drew Angerer/Getty Images, Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images, Joshua Roberts/Getty Images
  • Conspiracy theorists claim Dominion and Smartmatic "flipped" votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden.

  • The election technology companies are now suing the people who spread those claims.

  • Here's who's being sued so far.

  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Dominion and Smartmatic have launched a series of defamation lawsuits against individuals and groups who spread election fraud conspiracy theories related to their voting machines during the 2020 presidential election.

Dominion filed a $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox News on Friday, and more could be on their way. Dominion has sent cease-and-desist notices and warnings to preserve documents to more than 150 people, and its CEO previously told CNBC that the company was "not ruling anyone out."

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, people turned to alternative ways to vote in the election, and voter fraud conspiracy theories quickly sprung up.

 

One posited that Dominion and Smartmatic developed technology that "flipped" votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden through a method developed with the regime of the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez.

The theory has been thoroughly debunked. That didn't stop pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell and Trump's former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani from pushing elements of the theory while filing a series of failed lawsuits seeking to overturn the results of the election. Lindell has also spread misinformation about the machines, saying Dominion "built them to cheat."

As well as making the brand "radioactive" and putting its multiyear contracts in jeopardy, according to its attorney Tom Clare, the allegations about Dominion also put its employees in danger, the company wrote in a lawsuit.

Its customer support number received a voicemail message saying "we're bringing back the firing squad," it wrote in the suit in January. The need for heightened personal security cost Dominion $565,000, according to the lawsuit, bringing its total costs attributed to the vote fraud claims to almost $1.2 million.

Here's a list of everyone is being sued so far.

Sidney Powell by Dominion and Smartmatic

Sidney Powell
 
Attorney Sidney Powell at a Trump Campaign press conference. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Dominion was the first to snap.

On January 8, it filed a defamation suit against pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell, seeking $1.3 billion in damages.

Powell was one of the faces of the Trump campaign's legal team in November, but Trump kicked her off the team after she floated her conspiracy theory at a press conference.

Despite being purged from Trump's "Elite Strike Force" legal team Powell used her false theories as the premise of four federal lawsuits seeking to overturn the election result. All of them failed, and some have resulted in motions for her to be disbarred.

Dominion's lawsuit alleges that Powell's claims caused the company business losses after she baselessly accused the company of fraud, election rigging, and bribery.

"Powell's statements were calculated to — and did in fact — provoke outrage and cause Dominion enormous harm," Tom Clare, the attorney representing Dominion, wrote in the lawsuit.

The 124-page defamation lawsuit also outlines how Powell raised money from her media tour peddling her conspiracy theory through a corporate vehicle called "Defending the Republic," also named as a party in the lawsuit.

Powell responded by tweeting that the lawsuit "is baseless & filed to harass, intimidate, & to drain our resources as we seek the truth of #DominionVotingSystems' role in this fraudulent election."

Smartmatic filed a defamation lawsuit against Powell a month later, suing her at the same time it sued Rudy Giuliani, a fellow conspiracy theorist, and Fox News.

The company claimed that Powell and Giuliani used right-wing media outlets like Fox News to make their conspiracy theories go viral.

"These defendants are primary sources of much of the false information," the company said. "Their unfounded accusations were repeated by other media outlets, journalists, bloggers and influencers the world over."

Rudy Giuliani by Dominion and Smartmatic

Rudy Giuliani
 
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani at a Trump Campaign press conference with Sidney Powell. Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photos

On January 26, Dominion filed a defamation suit against Rudy Giuliani, Trump's now-former personal lawyer, again seeking $1.3 billion in damages.

In the lawsuit, Dominion accused Giuliani of creating "a viral disinformation campaign about Dominion," referring to more than 50 of his statements.

Through hearings, television appearances, Twitter, and his own YouTube show, it said, Giuliani repeatedly accused Dominion of election fraud and misrepresented the company's security measures while doing so.

He "cashed in by hosting a podcast where he exploited election falsehoods to market gold coins, supplements, cigars and protection from 'cyberthieves,'" Dominion wrote in the lawsuit.

The 107-page document also cited numerous other people who said they believed Giuliani's claims, which it argued demonstrated the scope of the damage.

"Rudy Giuliani actively propagated disinformation to purposefully mislead voters," Dominion CEO John Poulos said in a statement. "Because Giuliani and others incessantly repeated the false claims about my company on a range of media platforms, some of our own family and friends are among the Americans who were duped."

Smartmatic also included Giuliani as a defendant in its lawsuit filed in February.

The company said Giuliani used the conspiracy theories to enrich himself.

"He reportedly would seek thousands of dollars ($20,000/day) in fees from President Trump to spread the story and file frivolous lawsuits," the company wrote in its lawsuit.

"He would also use the attention brought to him as one of the primary storytellers to sell various products – from coins to supplements to title fraud protection."

In a statement, Giuliani said he welcomed the lawsuit and suggested he had not previously done a thorough investigation of Dominion's practices.

Mike Lindell by Dominion

mike lindell trump
 
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

On February 22, Dominion filed a defamation suit against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, also seeking $1.3 billion in damages.

Lindell is a staunch ally of former president Donald Trump and a major GOP donor, who has repeatedly supported Trump's claims challenging the integrity of the election.

Dominion's lawsuit accused Lindell of repeatedly making false allegations while knowing there was no credible evidence to support his claims. As well as rallies, interviews, and a two-hour movie, Lindell used his social-media profiles to spread his baseless claims of voter fraud.

In the lawsuit, Dominion claimed Lindell used the claims as a way to ramp up his pillow sales, advertising on far-right media outlets that parroted his claims and sponsoring a bus tour that sought to overturn the election results. Lindell told Insider that retailer boycotts of MyPillow following the insurrection have cost him tens of millions of dollars in business.

He "knowingly lied about Dominion to sell more pillows to people who continued tuning in to hear what they wanted to hear about the election," Dominion wrote.

Lindell told Insider Dominion had "zero, zero, zero" chance of winning. The lawsuits were part of cancel culture's attempts at silencing voices, he said.

"I looked at it as a great day for America when they sued me," Lindell added. "I can put the evidence for the whole world to see, and it'll be public record, and the media will quit trying to suppress it."

Fox News by Smartmatic and Dominion

Donald Trump Fox News
 
A close-up of the Fox News Channel website with a picture of President Donald Trump displayed on a smartphone. Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

On February 4, Smartmatic filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox News, accusing it of waging disinformation campaigns about the company's role in the 2020 election.

"In November and December 2020, Fox News broadcast multiple reports stating and implying that Smartmatic had fixed and rigged the 2020 election," the company said.

"They repeated the false claims and accusations on air and in articles and social media postings that were together seen by millions in the US and even more around the world."

Fox called the lawsuit "meritless" and asked a judge to dismiss the case.

On March 26, Dominion also filed a lawsuit against Fox News. The $1.6 billion suit – its biggest yet – claimed that the network gave prominence to the election-fraud claims as a tactic to revive viewership as ratings dropped after President Donald Trump's loss.

The voting-technology company said that Fox News "sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process."

In a statement, Fox News said: "Fox News Media is proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism, and will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit in court."

A Fox News representative told Insider in February that the network ran several "fact-check" segments "prior to any lawsuit chatter."

While several of its news shows reported that there was no evidence of Dominion's systems changing votes, Fox News, in particular its opinion hosts, "questioned the results of the election or pushed conspiracy theories about it at least 774 times" in the two weeks after the network called the race, according to Media Matters.

Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo, and Lou Dobbs by Smartmatic. They have filed to dismiss the lawsuit

Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs
 
Fox News hosts Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo, and Lou Dobbs Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images, Roy Rochlin/Getty Images, Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Smartmatic's 285-page lawsuit against Fox News also named the hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro as defendants.

Smartmatic said the hosts had offered Powell and Giuliani a platform and endorsed their falsehoods.

Bartiromo, Pirro, and Dobbs all filed separate motions to dismiss the lawsuit, Fox News said.

Fox News canceled Dobbs' show days later and said he would no longer have a relationship with the network. It added that the move had been planned.

Dominion will 'definitely' file more lawsuits, its CEO said

More lawsuits could be on their way, with Dominion's CEO telling CNBC that the company was "not ruling anyone out."

Dominion has sent cease-and-desist notices and warnings to preserve documents to more than 150 people, The Washington Post reported. This includes the media outlets Newsmax and One America News.

 

https://news.yahoo.com/rudy-giuliani-sidney-powell-heres-100000471.html

 

GO RV, then BV

Edited by Shabibilicious
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19 hours ago, Sage449 said:

I like it, then Dominion's records become discoverable too. 

 

Exactly right.....I look forward to that phase, as well.  Makes a person wonder why an accused company would put themselves in that kind of peril.......unless of course, they're innocent.

 

GO RV, then BV

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4 minutes ago, Shabibilicious said:

 

Exactly right.....I look forward to that phase, as well.  Makes a person wonder why an accused company would put themselves in that kind of peril.......unless of course, they're innocent.

 

GO RV, then BV

In a perfect world the truth prevails.....when dealing with US politics and politicians......the world ain't perfect...     CL

(Think JFK)

 

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4 minutes ago, Shabibilicious said:

.unless of course, they're innocent.

 

In truth they are not (see documented evidence and testimony), communists are bullies.  Can't wait to see their bloody nose.

 

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1 minute ago, Markinsa said:

 

In truth they are not (see documented evidence and testimony), communists are bullies.  Can't wait to see their bloody nose.

 

 

Time will tell.....the Kraken sure is pulling a 180 though....dollar signs will do that, I suppose.

 

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3 hours ago, Shabibilicious said:

 

Time will tell.....the Kraken sure is pulling a 180 though....dollar signs will do that, I suppose.

 

GO RV, then BV

 

It appears you missed her response to the fake news you posted. Not even close to a 180.

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Shabs, I worked with attorneys for about 30 years - what you learn is mostly attorneys don't lie - but they don't tell the truth either. There are so many ways to file and fight without ever giving away your hand. Time will tell and defense is paramount and asking the "right questions" so Dominion has to divulge what it does not want to give out.

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The Daily Beast

Dominion Builds Legal Behemoth to Drain Trumpland of Billions

 
 
Adam Rawnsley, Lachlan Cartwright, Asawin Suebsaeng
Mon, March 29, 2021, 8:00 PM
 
 
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty
 
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty

With billions of dollars in lawsuits now in the balance, Dominion Voting Systems has quietly expanded its legal armada in recent days, as the election technology company goes after Trumpworld and conservative media giants.

Clare Locke—the legal firm spearheading Dominion’s lawsuits against Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and pillow magnate Mike Lindell—recently brought in seven attorneys from the Texas-based firm of Susman Godfrey, which has experience litigating against the so-called “Kraken” suits filed by one-time Trump attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell.

“There are great synergies between the work that the Susman team had done on the 2020 election and the defamation cases we were pursuing for Dominion,” Tom Clare, from the notoriously aggressive law firm Clare Locke, told The Daily Beast.

“As those discussions unfolded we also discovered the two firms have a great cultural similarity in having a ready for trial approach to litigation,” he added. “I think it's going to be a very effective team.”

 

Dominion expanding its legal team is the latest effort to punish leading players in the months-long propaganda push to trash the company and baselessly assail the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential contest.

On Friday, Fox News was hit with a $1.6 billion lawsuit. “Fox News Media is proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism, and will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit in court,” a statement from the company said.

Other conservative media outlets including Newsmax and One American News Network—also aired post election conspiracy theories and are among the top targets for Dominion’s next round of lawsuits, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Justin Nelson—a Susman attorney who is assisting in Dominion’s defamation cases against Sidney Powell, Mike Lindell, and Fox News—represented Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobb against a “Kraken” suit filed by Lin Wood, Sidney Powell, and other attorneys against Arizona election officials in an attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state.

That suit, which asked a judge to “set aside the results of the 2020 General Election,” included many of the false claims which Dominion says amounted to defamation, including the allegation that Dominion uses software from a separate voting technology company, Smartmatic, and that Dominion was "founded by foreign oligarchs and dictators to ensure computerized ballot-stuffing and vote manipulation" to install help Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez steal an election in the country.

At the time, Nelson called the suit an “attack on democracy,” and argued that Wood, Powell, and others were “using the federal court system in an attempt to undermine the rule of law and obtain breathtaking, startling and unprecedented relief to overturn the will of the people.”

Susman attorneys also have experience in litigating a number of high profile defamation cases. Davida Brook—who signed on to the case against Powell, Giuliani, and Lindell—previously represented Melanie Kohler, a Los Angeles woman who accused director Brett Ratner of rape in a since-deleted Facebook post. Brook represented Kohler after Ratner filed a defamation suit against her. Ratner subsequently withdrew his suit.

Brook also represented actress Amber Heard, who was sued by ex-husband Johnny Depp after she wrote a Washington Post op-ed which Depp claimed had falsely implied he had "perpetrated domestic violence against her."

Some of the targets or potential targets of Dominion’s legal wrath have run for cover, or even resorted to deleting articles or covering their tracks. Others have remained reliably defiant, claiming that a court battle and the discovery that comes with it would lead to humiliation for Dominion instead.

Lindell—who was also a major financial backer of pro-Trump attempts to nullify President Biden’s decisive 2020 victory—previously told The Daily Beast that he’d hired private investigators to dig up “dirt” and any evidence of foreign entanglements on both Dominion and Smartmatic, and that he was hoping to file countersuits in the coming weeks.

People familiar with the matter say that the company’s legal team still hadn’t ruled out going after ex-President Trump specifically, but that no final decision had been made yet on if they wanted to open up that can of worms on the former leader of the free world. During his time in office, Trump personally promoted the same kinds of conspiracy theories and lies that the voting-tech executives and their attorneys now claim substantially and groundlessly damaged their business and has put them in danger via numerous death threats.

Former President Trump is still facing an avalanche of separate lawsuits, probes, and criminal investigations, including ones stemming from alleged sexual assault, his family-run business empire, the bloody Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and his broader anti-democratic efforts in the wake of the 2020 election.

In recent months, Trump—who now no longer enjoys the legal protections that come with being president—has privately quipped that his enemies will be investigating and “suing me for the rest of my life.”

 

https://www.yahoo.com/news/dominion-builds-legal-behemoth-drain-000006711.html

 

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USA TODAY

Fact check: Judge did not rule Dominion Voting Systems machines engineered to yield fraud

daaa9f688c6dde449e5e3112102201f4
 
Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY
Tue, March 30, 2021, 10:25 AM
 
 

The claim: A judge has ruled Dominion Voting machines were designed to create fraud

A March 18 Facebook post accuses a voting machine company of fraudulent activity during the 2020 presidential election. The claim resurfaced in light of a lawsuit brought against a major news network by the company.

"YUUP ! —-FINALLY, A JUDGE HAS RULED Dominion Voting Machines were designed to create fraud," the post states. A specific ruling was not referenced in the post.

USA TODAY reached out to the poster for comment.

 

Dominion Voting Systems filed a lawsuit against Fox News on March 26 for broadcasting a "series of verifiably false but devastating lies," about the results of the 2020 election, USA TODAY reported. The incumbent, President Donald Trump, lost to then-Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

Dominion's charges against the network include false allegations that its voting software "rigged" the election against Trump "because the lies were good for Fox's business," according to USA TODAY.

Fox News responded, calling the lawsuit "baseless" and saying it intended to "vigorously defend against" it in court, USA TODAY also reported.

Late last year, the voting machine company became the center of numerous unfounded claims about miscounts and malfunctions. Members of the former president's camp — such as Trump's onetime attorney Sidney Powell — were also sued by Dominion for defamation, according to USA TODAY.

Election fraud allegations have slowed to a near halt since President Joe Biden was sworn into office on Jan. 20, but the March 18 Facebook post may allude to an independent investigation of Dominion Voting Systems machines in Antrim County, Michigan. A recount found no evidence of fraud.

What happened in Antrim County?

The report of the investigation was released after Judge Kevin Elsenheimer of the 13th Circuit Court lifted a protective order on the findings in December, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The judge ordered "forensic imaging" of Dominion tabulators after William Bailey, an Antrim County resident named in the report, filed a lawsuit, according to the Free Press. Michigan Assistant Attorney General Erik Grill called the findings "inaccurate, incomplete and misleading," the paper reported.

Claims that Dominion Voting Systems machines were "designed to create fraud" mirrors language used in the report, which was written by Dallas-based Allied Security Operations Group. The group's investigators claimed "the Dominion Voting System is intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results."

It was signed by Russell James Ramsland Jr., a cybersecurity analyst and former Republican congressional candidate. Ramsland filed an affidavit in November containing false voter turnout statistics in Michigan townships, USA TODAY reported. One of the analyses confused voting districts in Minnesota with ones in Michigan, according to the Free Press.

Jonathan Brater, director of elections for the state of Michigan, said the report "appears to make several unsupported allegations and conclusions about Dominion Voting Systems and what occurred in Antrim County," according to court documents.

A glitch in vote totals collected in Antrim County that was initially blamed on Dominion's machines was determined to be an error on the part of Republican County Clerk, Sheryl Guy, according to USA TODAY. County officials corrected the error.

A hand audit of the county's ballots later confirmed the accuracy of votes tabulated by Dominion's machines, according to a Dec. 17 press release from the office of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Our rating: False

We rate this claim FALSE, based on our research. A Facebook post stating a judge ruled Dominion Voting Systems machines are designed to create fraud is based on unfounded and inaccurate information. A report of an independent investigation into alleged election fraud in Antrim County, Michigan, accused the voting machine manufacturer of designing tabulators to commit fraud. The charge is inaccurate and misleading, according to multiple reliable sources.

Our fact-check sources:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/fact-check-judge-did-not-142509278.html

 

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1 hour ago, Shabibilicious said:

hich has experience litigating against the so-called “Kraken” suits filed by one-time Trump attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell.

 

Lin Wood and Sidney Powell, "NEVER"  represented President Donald J. Trump.  Have you ever noticed how liberals can never get their facts straight?  Charlotte, NC, Russian Gate, Bengazi, Hunter Biden, Joe Biden... Are they really reporting the news or just feeding you progranda?  Very useful indeed.

 

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8 minutes ago, Markinsa said:

 

Lin Wood and Sidney Powell, "NEVER"  represented President Donald J. Trump.  Have you ever noticed how liberals can never get their facts straight?  Charlotte, NC, Russian Gate, Bengazi, Hunter Biden, Joe Biden... Are they really reporting the news or just feeding you progranda?  Very useful indeed.

 

 

What happened in Charlotte, NC that you're referencing?

 

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10 minutes ago, Shabibilicious said:

What happened in Charlotte, NC that you're referencing?

 

Whoops, Charlottesville, Virginia in reference to the "Very Fine People".  I had a 50/50 chance between Charlotte vs Charlottesville.  

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Just now, Markinsa said:

 

Whoops, Charlottesville, Virginia in reference to the "Very Fine People".  I had a 50/50 chance between Charlotte vs Charlottesville.  

 

And in a post where liberals were being bashed for getting their facts wrong too.....No worries, it happens to the best of us.  

 

GO RV, then BV :peace:

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51 minutes ago, Shabibilicious said:

 

And in a post where liberals were being bashed for getting their facts wrong too.....No worries, it happens to the best of us.  

 

GO RV, then BV :peace:

 

The difference is I'm not a professional. They supposedly get paid for what they do.  So, in other words, they get paid to feed you propaganda, I give you the truth for free, and I also acknowledge my errors and correct myself, and they don't.

 

.

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      By November, Trump’s focus had largely shifted—not to his management of the global pandemic that had torpedoed the U.S. economy and left hundreds of thousands of Americans dead, but to his and Republican’ court battles and anti-democratic crusade to overturn Biden’s clear victory in the 2020 presidential contest.
      In the weeks following Biden’s inauguration, Trump has only sporadically called on his supporters to get their COVID vaccines, including at his headlining speech during last month’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference, and has yet to mount anything resembling a sustained campaign or effort. Just last week, Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private club and residence in Palm Beach, Florida, had to partially shut down due to a new coronavirus outbreak.
      Recent polling has consistently found that Trump fans and Republican men are some of the demographics most likely to decline, or be skeptical of, getting a coronavirus vaccine.
      Ever since settling into his post-presidency, Trump has at times casually discussed with certain confidants the prospect of starring in his own videos or ads to promote the vaccines, and also to tout the successes of his administration’s Operation Warp Speed, according to two people with direct knowledge of the conversations. However, when asked if any such videos had been produced yet, a Trump adviser said last week that there was “nothing scheduled” at the moment in terms of release.
      Trump Tells Fox News He ‘Would Recommend’ Getting COVID Jab: ‘It’s a Safe Vaccine’
      Earlier this month, former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter all starred in a public service announcement aimed at convincing more Americans to get vaccinated against the virus. Trump, the two sources relayed, has privately said that he doesn’t wish to star in PSAs with the other former presidents, most of whom he openly despises.
      And for some prominent Trump allies, the 45th U.S. president’s latest entreaties simply have not sunk in. MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, an on-again-off-again Trump adviser who also served as the Trump re-election campaign’s Minnesota co-chair, claimed in a recent interview that the ex-president’s CPAC speech didn’t actually implore fans to get vaccinated (even though it did), and added that his upcoming planned social media website will be a “free speech” haven that will permit users to post as much anti-vaccine content as they wish, for instance. “I will never take it… and it's against my religion,” Lindell insisted.
      This type of talk among MAGA mega-fans sounds abundantly familiar to other former Trump lieutenants, some of whom find themselves clashing with fellow supporters of the ex-president who are refusing to get vaccinated during the ongoing push by the Biden administration and local and state governments. Caputo said that in his time out of government and battling cancer, he’s made it a priority to reach out to as many Trump supporters online and in his community as possible to try to convince them to get their shots.
      “I’ve been on Facebook, I’ve attended Republican committee meetings, I’ve done Zoom meetings, there’s this biker hangout near me called Kipp’s that has life-size cutouts of President Trump and Melania where you can take your picture there—it’s top to bottom Johnny Cash memorabilia and Donald Trump memorabilia. I’d go there and have discussions with people about it,” he said. “Some of my closest friends are anti-vaccine or anti-mask, or even COVID deniers who believe it’s just like the flu. One of my friends is anti-mask and believes COVID was a plot hatched to bring down Donald Trump—now he has COVID. And these are the people I talk to.”
      Asked what his former boss could be doing right now to get more Republicans to get on board with COVID-19 vaccination, Caputo replied, “In my opinion, the former president could do a PSA campaign with Melania Trump. And the national television networks need to be airing this now, in their primetime programming.”
      For the time being, Trump has remained almost entirely M.I.A. on the matter. And when he has poked his head up publicly to urge his anti-vaccine followers to change their minds, he has at times veered in the direction of both-sides-ism.
      "I would recommend it, and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don't want to get it. And a lot of those people voted for me, frankly,” Trump said during a phone interview on Fox News earlier this month. “But, you know, again, we have our freedoms, and we have to live by that, and I agree with that also," the ex-president continued, before adding, “But it's a great vaccine, it's a safe vaccine, and it's something that works.”
       
      https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-knew-maga-fans-wouldn-090405636.html
       
      GO RV, then BV
    • By Shabibilicious
      ‘Resist Becoming Numb’: Biden Pays Tribute to the 500,000 Who Died—and Those They Left Behind
      Scott Bixby, Erin Banco Mon, February 22, 2021, 7:23 PM     Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty For the second time in 33 days, President Joe Biden gathered the nation on Monday to mourn a loss it can no longer fathom, to collectively grieve after a year of grief beyond imagining, as the nation’s death toll from the coronavirus pandemic officially crossed half a million people.
      “We often hear people described as ‘ordinary Americans,’ but there’s no such thing,” Biden said, standing in the Cross Hall of the White House. “The people we lost were extraordinary.”
      The pandemic year has seen more deaths, as the president noted in a proclamation commanding all U.S. flags be flown at half-mast until sundown on Friday, than the number of Americans who perished “in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War combined.”
        “That’s more lives lost to this virus than any other nation on earth,” Biden said. “They’re people we knew. They’re people we feel like we knew… The son who called his mom every night, just to check in. The father’s daughter who lit up his world. The best friend who was always there. The nurse—the nurses—the nurse who made her patients want to live.”
       
      Biden, whose life and public service has been defined by moments of deep grief, urged Americans to learn from his losses, to “resist becoming numb to the sorrow” of an empty seat at the dinner table.
      “I know all too well,” Biden said, appearing to keep back tears as he spoke. “I know what it’s like to not be there when it happens. I know what it’s like when you are there, holding their hands, as you look in their eye as they slip away.”
      Biden concluded his remarks by asking Americans to “find purpose” in their grief, a purpose worthy of the lives lost in a terrible year.
      “This nation will know joy again,” Biden said, before making his way to the candlelit South Portico, where the U.S. Marine Corps Band played “Amazing Grace.” The National Cathedral, 15 minutes away, had just finished tolling its 12-ton Bourdon Bell 500 times, once for every thousand lives lost in the United States. “We will get through this, I promise you.”
      With the first lady, the vice president and the second gentleman at his side, each wearing a black face mask, Biden then led the country in a moment of silence to reflect on the darkest moment of the “dark winter” he’d warned would come. It was 100,000 more deaths since he last told the nation in January, on the eve of his inauguration, that “to heal we must remember,” and 200,000 more than when he told Americans in December that his heart went out to those about to enter the new year “with a black hole in your hearts—without the ones you loved at your side.”
      The ceremony was, of course, largely symbolic. The nation’s death toll from the coronavirus pandemic almost certainly crossed the 500,000 mark weeks ago—excess deaths remain roughly 20 percent higher than the official death toll—and the total number of lives lost to the virus will probably continue to rise long even after the pandemic has finally receded, given the upwards revision of estimated death tolls for past pandemics.
      What the moment did mark, however, is the cementing of the pandemic—and the government’s response to it—as Biden’s responsibility. Yes, he was left a national response that was in worse shape than he could have imagined, with millions of missing vaccine doses and an anti-inoculation movement that has run rampant on social media. His predecessor had lost interest in addressing the pandemic months before his term ended, turning attention to an unsuccessful coup attempt that his own task force warned would cost American lives.
      But no president, alone in his thoughts during a moment of silence remembering 500,000 dead citizens, can plausibly go back to repeating the White House’s line from earlier days that he’s “only been here three and a half weeks,” or “only been here three weeks,” or “only been here two and a half weeks,” as White House press secretary Jen Psaki had told reporters in the last week.
       
      It took weeks for the Biden COVID-19 task force to get its footing. For the first several days, the administration struggled to explain exactly how it would get vaccinations moving and why states across the country were canceling appointments en masse. Officials offered various answers, including that the administration was still trying to locate millions of doses and that the Trump administration had left them with a broken distribution playbook. In that time, thousands of people died, many of whom were infected before Biden took office. Still, the talking points at most press conferences on COVID-19 over the last several weeks have focused on the fact that case and death numbers across the country are steadily decreasing.
      While the nation’s vaccination rate is improving and the administration has inked new deals with pharmaceutical companies to ensure doses flow throughout the next several months, health officials are still concerned about the emergence of new variants. Officials say while data suggests that the vaccines available to Americans work well against the United Kingdom and South African mutations, other, potentially more deadly variants could cause another surge this spring—and further delay any semblance of normalcy in American life.
      Back to normal—children attending school in an actual school, adults making face-to-face small talk with colleagues, families eating at restaurants and celebrating weddings and gathering for funerals, and a White House where visitors aren’t tested for a virus as thoroughly as they are for firearms—has never seemed so far away. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the lone holdover from the Trump administration’s beleaguered COVID-19 firmament, appears perpetually on the verge of telling Americans that we’ll never have true “normal” again.
      “It really depends on what you mean by ‘normality,’” Fauci said in an interview last weekend. “If ‘normality’ means exactly the way things were before we had this happen to us, I can’t predict that.”
      Biden, too, has been cautious not to overpromise on timelines for vaccinations or school reopenings, lest he under-deliver or be thwarted by any number of the many factors beyond his control. It remains a giant question whether vaccinations stop the spread of the virus, or whether children can be effectively vaccinated, which means that “normal” for families will be delayed even longer. A third of people say they won’t get a vaccine, for reasons either understandable and moronic. Other once-in-a-century disasters, like the Texas deep freeze that delayed the delivery of tens of thousands of vaccinations, could further move “normal” out of reach.
      The reality of that possibility comes as the nation’s grieving process has moved on from shock and denial and depression to, increasingly, anger. Violence against Asian Americans is increasing across the country. Voters are increasingly desperate that Congress won’t be able to send additional COVID relief to Biden’s desk until mid-March, even as he went the fast route rather than sacrifice, as one Biden insider put it, “two or three months of negotiation” that would have led to “only two or three Republican votes.”
      Biden’s focus, Psaki told reporters ahead of Monday’s ceremony, is on passing the American Rescue Plan and ensuring that the nation has enough vaccines to inoculate 300 million Americans against the virus.
      “But the American people have a role to play here as well,” Psaki said. “Wearing masks, social distancing. Everybody wants to get back to normal, but the president, the federal government can’t do that alone. It is going to take everybody participating in that process to get closer to normalcy.”
       
      https://news.yahoo.com/resist-becoming-biden-pays-tribute-002336148.html
       
      GO RV, then BV
    • By Shabibilicious
      Mike Pence Backs Away From the Trump Election ‘Fraud’ Train Wreck
          Asawin Suebsaeng, Lachlan Markay, Sam Stein Wed, December 2, 2020, 8:00 PM EST     Alex Wong/Getty Vice President Mike Pence has been a go-to fundraising draw for the president’s campaign, and since October, no more than a day passed without his name emblazoning a fundraising email for the Trump re-elect.
      But that changed late last month. Since Nov. 25, not a single fundraising email from the Trump campaign or its Republican National Committee fundraising account has featured Pence’s name in the “from” field. And this week, that Republican National Committee joint fundraising committee, the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, made another subtle change: a handful of its emails swapped out the official Trump-Pence campaign logo for one featuring just the president’s name.
      Trump Make America Great Again Committee At first blush, those may seem like minor tweaks to gimmicky portions of Team Trump’s fundraising strategy. A source familiar with the process said the fundraising emails do not go to Vice President Pence’s team for clearance and an RNC official said the digital team was merely testing a new logo around the end-of-the-month deadline. Indeed, some of the joint fundraising committee’s emails this week have included the original campaign logo with Pence’s name below Trump’s.
          But several high-level sources say that the graphics change, along with Pence’s disappearance from the headers of President Donald Trump’s increasingly frantic and conspiratorial pleas, are not actually coincidental. According to four people with knowledge of the matter, they reflect an effort by the vice president and his team to distance Pence from some of the president’s more outlandish claims about a conspiracy to undermine the election and illegally deny him a second term in office.
      “It is an open secret [in Trumpworld] that Vice President Pence absolutely does not feel the same way about the legal effort as President Trump does,” said a senior administration official. “The vice president doesn’t want to go down with this ship… and believes much of the legal work has been unhelpful.”
      The Trump campaign declined to comment on this story. Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for Pence, said Wednesday night, “As he has for the last four years, the vice president is proud to stand with the president—in this case to ensure every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is rejected. The Daily Beast’s anonymous sources have no real insight into what the vice president thinks on these matters.”
      Trump Campaign Has Raised $150M Off Voter-Fraud Fiction Since Election
      The political marriage between Trump and Pence was always based on simple tradeoff: Pence gave Trump credibility among establishment and religious types and, in exchange, shared the spoils of Trump’s far larger and more unorthodox coalition of voters. But in the aftermath of the 2020 elections, that deal has come under intense strain.
      As Trump has tended to his own future, Pence has preferred to place his energies on the critical Senate runoff elections in Georgia. Pence, sources say, privately views the Rudy Giuliani-led legal operation to overturn the 2020 election through the mass disenfranchisement of votes as counterproductive and doomed. And, as a former governor himself, he has been particularly uncomfortable with Trump’s attacks on Republican governors in some of the key battleground states that he lost. The president has accused several GOP leaders of incompetence or negligence in their inability or unwillingness to stop the certification of their state’s election results.
      “Pence deeply understands the position that [Ohio Gov. Mike] DeWine, [Arizona Gov. Dave] Ducey and [Georgia Gov. Brian] Kemp are in. He has tried to be an effective mediator and communicator between those parties and the president back and forth,” said one Pence ally. “Any time he’s played that role, it’s gone well. The president is satisfied with the facts they’ve provided. And then somehow, without hours or days, the president is publicly attacking them by being fed inaccurate information from other White House sources, which frustrates the VP. It’s not a good look for the president. And it’s only created division in the party at a time when unity is very important.”
      The result has been a subtle but clear effort at creating political space.
      Rudy’s Phony Fraud Hearing in Gettysburg Debuts Trump’s Shadow Government
      Since Election Day, Pence has walked a rhetorical tightrope as he tries to publicly back Trump’s position in general terms while avoiding the more outlandish allegations that the president frequently floats on Twitter and in his few post-election public remarks. Pence has repeatedly demanded that “every legal vote” be counted and that alleged voter fraud be rooted out.
      But he has studiously avoided backing Trump’s more conspiratorial allegations about election malfeasance, and declined to answer questions about his views on specific Trump statements. For example, a pool report from a Nov. 20 rally in Georgia, where Pence campaigned on behalf of Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, noted that the vice president “did not echo the president’s rhetoric on the election being ‘rigged.’”
      The disconnect is also evident on Pence’s Twitter feed. While the president has fervently tweeted about the supposed conspiracy against him, Pence’s tweets on the matter have been far fewer and more muted. He’s devoted far more social-media space to the White House’s efforts to get a coronavirus vaccine out the door and to last month’s NASA rocket launch, which sent U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station.
      Since Nov. 15, Pence has tweeted just three times about supposed election irregularities. Two of those tweets were links to news stories, shared without comment, about recount and vote audit efforts in Georgia, and one simply retweeted a reporter’s quotation of Pence’s comments at that Nov. 20 rally, where Pence declared that Trump would “keep fighting until every legal vote is counted” and “every illegal vote is thrown out.”
      Pence made other similarly anodyne comments in his remarks that tiptoed around the president’s allegations of widespread voter fraud. But he also repeatedly called on Georgia Republicans to “defend the majority” in the U.S. Senate—a tacit acknowledgement that, if Democrats win both Georgia Senate seats, a Vice President Kamala Harris would break the upper chamber’s 50-50 split and give her party a majority.
      That unspoken premise is a reality that Republican operatives and the party’s top donors have acknowledged even as the president remains obstinate.
      “I have not seen any evidence yet that would convince me that [the Trump legal team] will be successful in getting this to the Supreme Court or even anything to an appeals court,” Ed Rollins, a veteran GOP strategist who chairs the pro-Trump group Great America PAC, said on Wednesday. “I’m disappointed in the effort, as someone who has been around the game for a long time. I’ve seen a lot of ranting and raving from them, but not any really good legal challenges. Neither Rudy nor Sidney [Powell] nor anybody else on the team is considered a first-rate election lawyer and I don’t see any on this team.”
      On Wednesday, Pence went to Capitol Hill to participate in the swearing-in of Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ)—an act that implicitly conceded the validity of the elections in Arizona. Hours later, Trump put out a 46-minute-long speech in which he called for the results in six battleground states, including Arizona, to be overturned and for him to remain president. Pence was not by his side.
       
      https://news.yahoo.com/mike-pence-backs-away-trump-010049218.html
       
      GO RV, then BV
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