Sidney Powell, the conservative legal firebrand who helped spearhead President Trump‘s court challenges to his 2020 defeat, is seeking to throw out a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against her from the election technology company Dominion Voting Systems.
In a motion submitted in federal district court in D.C. on Monday, Powell argued through her attorneys that the case should be dismissed because it was filed in the wrong jurisdiction and that the claims she made about Dominion were protected under the First Amendment.
Her attorneys argued that “reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact but view them only as claims that await testing by the courts through the adversary process.”
“All the allegedly defamatory statements attributed to Defendants were made as part of the normal process of litigating issues of momentous significance and immense public interest,” the motion reads.
A spokesperson for Dominion did not immediately respond when asked for comment.
The company filed its lawsuit in January, just days after a mob of angry Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to block the certification of the Electoral College vote, arguing that Powell’s spreading of unfounded claims of election fraud helped foment that riot.
“The recent attacks on the democratic process are not singular or isolated events,” Dominion CEO John Poulos told reporters at the time. “They are the result of a deliberate and malicious campaign of lies over many months. Sidney Powell and others created and disseminated these lies, assisted and amplified by a range of media platforms.”
Dominion has also filed $1.3 billion defamation lawsuits against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, arguing that they, like Powell, damaged its reputation with baseless claims against its voting machines.
Powell was a close ally to Trump and, in addition to mounting the legal effort to try to overturn the results of the November election, represented his former national security adviser Michael Flynn in his criminal case over charges that he lied to the FBI. Trump ultimately pardoned Flynn last year.
The dozens of lawsuits across the country to overturn President Biden‘s victory failed to gain any traction in court, but Trump’s effort to undermine faith in the election culminated with his supporters storming the Capitol.
Dominion was one of the targets for Trump and his allies, and in its defamation lawsuit is aimed at refuting the outlandish claims of election fraud and defending the accuracy of the results.
“Dominion brings this action to set the record straight, to vindicate the company’s rights under civil law, to recover compensatory and punitive damages, to seek a narrowly tailored injunction, and to stand up for itself and its employees,” the company wrote in its complaint.
Via The Hill