WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday asked a judge to throw out a voting machine company’s $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit relating to his false claims about the November 2020 presidential election being rigged.
Giuliani’s lawyer said in a court filing that Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, and because the company has not adequately justified its request for money damages.
The filing said Giuliani denies defaming Dominion, adding that the former New York City mayor would present a more forceful defense on the merits if his jurisdictional arguments are rejected by the judge in the District of Columbia assigned to the case.
“Should this matter reach legal or factual adjudication on the merits, Giuliani will provide a vigorous and complete response,” the court filing stated.
Trump and his allies spent two months denying his election defeat, and claiming without evidence that it was the result of widespread voter fraud, before his supporters launched a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Denver-based Dominion alleged in its Jan. 25 lawsuit that Giuliani “manufactured and disseminated the ‘Big Lie,’ which foreseeably went viral and deceived millions of people into believing that Dominion had stolen their votes and fixed the election.”
Dominion said it filed the lawsuit “to set the record straight” and to “stand up for itself, its employees, and the electoral process.”
Founded in 2002, Dominion is a major U.S. manufacturer of voting machines, and various Dominion machines were used in more than two dozen states during the 2020 election.
Giuliani has said Dominion’s lawsuit was intended to intimidate him from exercising his free speech rights.
Dominion has similar defamation lawsuits pending against Sidney Powell, another former Trump campaign lawyer, and pro-Trump businessman Mike Lindell of My Pillow Inc. Like Giuliani, they have denied defaming Dominion.
Powell said in a March 22 court filing that her claims about Dominion were meant to be hyperbolic, and 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.”
(Reporting by Jan Wolfe Editing by Bill Berkrot)