Defamation

A $2.7 Billion Defamation Lawsuit Says Fox Hosts Recklessly Implicated Smartmatic in a Conspiracy To Steal the Election

Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro persistently promoted the wild claims of Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.

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The day after Smartmatic filed a $2.7 billion defamation suit against Fox News last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that Fox Business had canceled its long-running show hosted by Lou Dobbs, a conspicuous promoter of the claim that the voting technology company helped President Joe Biden steal the election. The Times says the cancellation of Lou Dobbs Tonight was in the works before the lawsuit was filed. The decision nevertheless puts some more distance between Fox and the wild conspiracy theory that motivated last month's riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Fox News reporters were skeptical of former President Donald Trump's election-fraud claims from the beginning. But several Fox hosts, including Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro—all of whom are named as defendants in Smartmatic's lawsuit—credulously amplified his complaints, repeatedly lending credibility to conspiracy mongers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani (who are also named as defendants), whom they presented as serious lawyers with plausible claims.

Until late November, Powell was working with the Trump campaign; Giuliani continues to represent Trump. Since they were apparently speaking on the president's behalf, their claims, however outlandish, were clearly newsworthy. But Smartmatic's 285-page complaint argues that Dobbs, Bartiromo, and Pirro went beyond covering these allegations by endorsing them while ignoring countervailing evidence.

Since Smartmatic's participation in the 2020 election was limited to a contract with Los Angeles County, the idea that it had helped deliver a phony victory was wildly implausible on its face. But Powell and Giuliani spun a tale that linked Smartmatic to the deceased Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, saying the company had helped him stay in power by supplying fraud-facilitating voting software. They conflated Smartmatic with Dominion Voting Systems, which had a much bigger role in last year's elections. Powell and Giuliani falsely claimed that the two companies were essentially the same and that Dominion helped Democrats cheat with a version of the software that Chavez had commissioned, which supposedly switched hundreds of thousands (or possibly millions) of Trump votes to Biden votes in battleground states.

It was clear early on that the story peddled by Powell and Giuliani had no basis in reality. Nine days after the election, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, joined a statement saying "there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."

Around the same time, 59 leading computer scientists and election security experts published an open letter that offered a similar judgment. "To our collective knowledge, no credible evidence has been put forth that supports a conclusion that the 2020 election outcome in any state has been altered through technical compromise," they said, calling such claims "unsubstantiated" or "technically incoherent."

State audits and recounts confirmed that Dominion machines, which supposedly were running Smartmatic's allegedly tricky software, had accurately tabulated the results. By late November, Attorney General William Barr was saying that "we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election." Barr specifically rejected the allegations of machine-based fraud, saying "we haven't seen anything to substantiate that." Privately, Barr reportedly told Trump such claims were "bullshit."

What were Dobbs et al. doing in the meantime? On November 12, the same day CISA said there was "no evidence" that voting machines had been compromised, Dobbs invited Giuliani to expound on his allegations. Dobbs not only was completely unskeptical; he reinforced Giuliani's story by falsely claiming that Smartmatic and Dominion had tried to avoid detection by storing voting data on servers in other countries. "As you well know now," he said, "they have no ability to audit meaningfully the votes that are cast because the servers are somewhere else and are considered proprietary and they won't touch them. It won't permit them being touched."

At the end of the interview, Dobbs endorsed Giuliani's claims: "Rudy, we're glad you're on the case and pursuing what is the truth and straightening out what is a very complicated and difficult story. And by the way, it's not only difficult; it has the feeling of a cover-up in certain places, you know, putting the servers in foreign countries, private companies. We don't have transparency with those servers….This is an election nightmare, as well as a battle."

Two days later, Pirro interviewed Powell on her Fox News show Justice With Judge Jeanine. After Powell described a "huge criminal conspiracy" involving Smartmatic, Venezuela, and maybe Cuba, Pirro expressed the hope that the alleged scheme would be investigated by the Justice Department.

On November 15—two weeks before the head of the Justice Department confirmed that it had not "seen anything to substantiate that"—Giuliani appeared on Sunday Morning Futures With Maria Bartiromo. Like Pirro, Bartiromo not only treated the conspiracy theory as plausible but reinforced it:

I want to show this graphic of the swing states…that were using Dominion and this, this software, this Smartmatic software. I mean, you just said it all. This is a Smartmatic, a Delaware entity registered in Boca Raton, Florida, activities in Caracas, Venezuela. The voting machines were used, Dominion voting machines were used in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. And I have a graphic showing the states where they stopped counting, which I thought was also strange to stop counting in the middle of election night. One source says that the key point to understand is that the Smartmatic system has a backdoor that…allows the votes to be mirrored and monitored, allowing an intervening party a real-time understanding of how many votes will be needed to gain an electoral advantage.

Bartiromo also interviewed Powell that day and was similarly helpful in lending credence to her story. "I have spoken with a few whistleblowers myself this weekend," Bartiromo said. "And one source, who is an IT specialist, told me that he knew the software and specifically advised people in Texas, officials in Texas, not to use it. And yet he was overruled. He said that there was an unusual patch that was put into the software while it was live, and it's highly unusual to put a patch in there." Despite that "unusual patch," Trump won Texas by more than 630,000 votes.

After Powell described "massive election fraud" involving "algorithms" that "modif[ied] the votes in this case to make sure Biden won," Bartiromo thanked her for bringing the nefarious plot to light. "Wow," she said, "this is explosive, and we will certainly continue to follow it. Sidney, thank you so much for your work."

When Dobbs interviewed Powell the next day, he made it clear that he accepted her allegations. "This is a nation that has just been wronged mightily," he said. "Only an
idiot would try to claim that there were no irregularities, that there were no anomalies, that there were insufficient evidence and documents suggesting fraud and inexplicable mathematical ratios that tell us very quickly, there's something terrible afoot here….This is the worst in our country's history. There is no election in our presidential history, our nation's history in which there were so many anomalies, so many irregularities, and so much clear evidence of fraud."

While interviewing Giuliani during the November 17 edition of Mornings With Maria, Bartiromo casually referred to "the software made by Smartmatic that was changing…votes from Trump to Biden." The next day, Giuliani was back on Lou Dobbs Tonight. Dobbs cited an affidavit from "an unidentified whistleblower" that supposedly blew the lid off the scheme described by Giuliani. Dobbs averred that "the circumstances and events are eerily reminiscent of what happened with Smartmatic software—electronically changing votes in the 2013 presidential election in Venezuela."

Interviewing Powell on November 19, Dobbs described her as a "great American" and "one of the country's leading appellate attorneys." Like Bartiromo, he expressed gratitude for her detective work: "Our election is run by companies, the ownership of which we don't know. Sidney Powell is among those trying to change all of that." Two days later, Pirro claimed "we know" that "Democrat cities were targeted by crooked Democrats who stole votes," thanks to affidavits collected by Giuliani. She said those affidavits "made clear" the truth of his allegations.

On December 10, Dobbs promised that "we're going to examine in some detail the reasons for what is apparently a broadly coordinated effort to actually bring down this President by ending his second term before it could begin." He said "we're talking about…a very large foreign intrusion and interference in…the election of 2020." Although Dobbs already had concluded that the election was stolen through massive fraud, saying "we have tremendous evidence" to support that belief, he invited Powell to "put forward your evidence that supports your claim that this was a cyber-Pearl Harbor."

Powell welcomed the opportunity but never took Dobbs up on his offer. "Mr. Dobbs never returned to the airways to display the 'tremendous evidence' showing Smartmatic had participated in a massive fraud," the lawsuit says. "None of the Defendants had ever seen such evidence. It does not exist. Defendants' story was fiction from start to finish."

By contrast, Fox News host Tucker Carlson thought the lack of evidence to support Powell's extravagant claims was striking and worth noting. On November 19, as his colleagues were continuing to promote those claims, Carlson said he had repeatedly asked Powell to back up her allegations, but "she never sent…any evidence, despite a lot of requests…not a page." After Carlson's staff pressed her for evidence, "she got angry with us and told us to stop contacting her…so we checked with others around the Trump campaign, people in positions of authority; they told us Powell has never given them any evidence either." Carlson concluded that Powell "never demonstrated that a single actual vote moved illegitimately by software from one candidate to another—not one."

During this time, Smartmatic notes, Fox News reporters also repeatedly emphasized that Powell and Giuliani's claims were unsubstantiated. After the two of them laid out their conspiracy theory at a bizarre November 19 press conference, for instance, Fox White House correspondent Kristin Fisher called it "colorful" but noted it was "light on facts," adding that "much of what [Giuliani] said was simply not true or has already been thrown out in court."

All together, Smartmatic says, Fox News aired 13 shows "stating and implying that Smartmatic had stolen the 2020 U.S. election," and "it repeated the story in articles and social media postings." After Smartmatic threatened to sue Fox on December 14, Fox News and Fox Business aired a corrective, prerecorded interview with election security expert Eddie Perez during Lou Dobbs Tonight, Justice With Judge Jeanine, and Mornings With Maria. "I have not seen any evidence that Smartmatic software was used to delete, change, alter anything related to vote tabulation," Perez said.

Perez noted that Smartmatic software was used only in Los Angeles County during the 2020 election and that the company is independent from Dominion, whose machines were used to process votes in 28 states. He rebutted the idea that U.S. votes had been tabulated in foreign countries and the charge that Smartmatic had been banned in the United States because officials concluded it was untrustworthy.

In Smartmatic's view, that was too little, too late. It says the allegations belatedly debunked by the Perez interview had already prompted death threats against Smartmatic employees, making them "fear for their safety" and prompting the company to spend money on "increased physical and cyber security." The complaint adds that "Defendants' disinformation campaign has jeopardized Smartmatic's multibillion-dollar pipeline of business" by falsely depicting the company as a participant in an unprecedented criminal conspiracy to deny Trump a second term.

Smartmatic estimates that it "will suffer more than $767.4 million in lost profits over the next five years" as a result of the damage to its reputation. It also estimates "$75.9 million in increased expenses and lost productivity due to the defamation and disparagement." It adds that "Smartmatic's enterprise value is a fraction of what it was as a result of Defendants' disinformation campaign," saying that loss amounts to "at least $2.7 billion." It is seeking "no less than $2.7 billion" in damages. Powell and Giuliani also have been sued by Dominion, which is seeking $1.3 billion in compensatory and punitive damages.

"Fox News Media is committed to providing the full context of every story with in-depth reporting and clear opinion," a spokeswoman said last week. "We are proud of our 2020 election coverage and will vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit in court."

The corrective Perez interview suggests that even Fox thought it failed to provide "the full context" in this case. And while the opinions offered by Dobbs, Bartiromo, and Pirro were indeed "clear," they included factual assertions that were blatantly false.

"Each of the Defendants knew that the statements and implications that they made
about Smartmatic were false and/or they acted with reckless disregard for whether their statements and implications were true," the lawsuit says. "Defendants did not care about making truthful statements about Smartmatic. Defendants were motivated to tell a story about how Smartmatic fixed, rigged, and stole the 2020 U.S. election for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris."

Smartmatic makes a strong case that the Fox hosts did not merely conduct softball interviews with Powell and Giuliani, which would have been bad enough. They repeatedly embraced the essence of the two lawyers' claims, telling their audience that the election had indeed been stolen through a elaborate scheme involving Smartmatic. Even if Dobbs, Bartiromo, and Pirro sincerely believed that, they came to that belief without any credible evidence to support it, as their own colleagues on other shows repeatedly pointed out.

"The Earth is round," Smartmatic's complaint says. "Two plus two equals four. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election for President and Vice President of the United States. The election was not stolen, rigged, or fixed. These are facts. They are demonstrable and irrefutable."

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  1. Still waiting for a comment on the biggest media story of the decade.

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    2. Which one is this so many things are happening it’s hard to keep track. The NYT retard shit?

      1. Trump Lawyers Argue,House Democrats are proposing to limit the next round of Covid-19 relief payments to households earning less than $200,000, after criticism that President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulusWAqs package would benefit the rich……READ MORE COMMENT

    3. But Reason’s deliberately ignored so many enormous stories, from the Taliban peace deal to the Uighur holocaust to the peace between Arabs and Jews.
      Why change now?

      1. Ten articles talking about the Uighurs last year, but, sure “ignored”.

        1. Ten articles? Not a chance, there were probably not even ten mentions of the twenty-first century equivalent of Auschwitz, you mendacious fuck.
          I’d like to see links to all ten articles on the matter.

          Isn’t it disgusting how this fascist mouthpiece calling himself “White Knight, keeps downplaying the Uighur slave camps because it fucks with his narrative.

          1. Here’s 8 posts from the last twelve months:

            China’s Dark Turn – 9/9/20
            “Life is far worse for religious minorities such as the Muslim Uighurs. The government is waging cultural genocide against them. ”

            Disney Thanks Chinese Labor Camp Authorities… – 9/8/20
            “Xinjiang is where China has been holding Uighurs in concentration camps and subjecting them and other Muslim minorities to horrible human rights abuses.”

            Chen Guangcheng Fled China to America… – 8/27/20
            “The CCP is responsible for the brutal internment of the Uighur minority group, forced sterilizations and abortions, and crackdowns on speech and academic freedom in Hong Kong.”

            Let Hongkongers Immigrate to the West… – 5/29/20
            “For example, China has detained some 1 million members of the Uighur minority in concentration camps and inflicted severe repression even on those members of the group who remain “free.””

            How Injustice at Home Damages the US Position in the World – 6/6/20
            “Zhao, whose government has put more than 1 million Muslim-minority Uighur people in detention camps, urged the U.S. to “safeguard and guarantee the legal rights of ethnic minorities…””

            John Bolton is Still Mad… – 6/18/20
            “Elsewhere in the Journal excerpt, Bolton accuses Trump of giving Chinese President Xi Jinping his blessing to build concentration camps in Xinjiang, a province where the Chinese government has brutally repressed the Uighurs, a Muslim minority population.”

            The Case for Boycotting the 2021 Winter Olympics in China – 2/6/21
            “As the Washington Post recently reported, human rights activists and others are advocating a boycott of the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, because of the Chinese government’s many egregious atrocities, including its detention of hundreds of thousands of Uighurs in concentration camps, brutal repression in Hong Kong, and much else.”

            Brickbat: The Fabric of Uighur’s Lives – 12/25/20
            “The Center for Global Policy reports more than 570,000 Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic minority in China, are being forced to pick cotton.”

            Some are Volokh pieces, one’s a brickbat, many make mention of the camps while not making it the central point of the article. Maybe it’s not as frequent as you’d like, maybe the tone doesn’t match what you would have written. But to say that Reason has deliberately ignored what’s happening to the Uighurs is false.

            Also, you should realize that not everyone who disagrees with you is pro-genocide, but I’m probably hoping for too much on that subject.

            1. No response I see. Figures. Make wild claims but be nowhere around when they are debunked.

              1. I’m right here fucking shithead, I don’t live on Reason. And since you’re here I want you to explain the following:

                Reason has written over eighty articles and twice that many mentions on Trump challenging election results. Sullum alone has over sixty articles specifically and solely on that subject in just three and a half months.

                Meanwhile, we are watching a modern day holocaust every bit as despicable as the Nazi genocide or the Cambodian killing fields. Actual slaves straight out of an antebellum nightmare are building iPhones and Nike sneakers. Women are forced to abort Uighur babies and are sold as sex slaves to party officials and Han businessmen.

                Meanwhile you crow about eight mentions of the libertarian travesty of the century like it means something.

                Let’s look at them:

                China’s Dark Turn – Stossel video syndicated by creators.com and available on Reason, but not produced by it.

                Disney Thanks Chinese Labor Camp Authorities in Mulan Credits – Opening blurb about a Guardian article in the daily Reason Roundup.

                Chen Guangcheng Fled China to America – A short article dumping on a GOP candidate for not helping Hong Kongers. The Uighur bit is utterly incidental.

                Let Hongkongers Immigrate to the West – Volokh Conspiracy piece which is hosted by Reason but independent. Somin banging on about open borders with Hong Kong. The Uighur bit is utterly incidental.

                How Injustice at Home Damages the US Position in the World – Volokh Conspiracy piece which is hosted by Reason but independent. Somin criticizing the US. The Uighur bit is utterly incidental.

                John Bolton Is Mad – Boehm criticizing Trump and Bolton. The Uighur bit doesn’t even rank as a mention. It’s part of a fucking anecdote on something else.

                The Case for Boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics in China – Volokh Conspiracy piece which is hosted by Reason but independent. Somin makes an incidental mention of the Uighurs.

                Brickbat: The Fabric of Uighur’s Lives – One paragraph, forty six words.

                Most of these don’t even rank as mentions.

                Bignose, do you stand by your statement that “But to say that Reason has deliberately ignored what’s happening to the Uighurs is false”? Because that seems pretty dishonest to me.

                Brandyfuck, explain to me again how what I said was a “Wild claim”, you fucking CCP genocidal apologist.

                1. Thank you for taking the time for a detailed fisking of this. I too await Brandyfuck’s response.

                2. Your wild claim was that Reason did not have ten mentions of Uighurs. You yourself list nine. So it’s one short. Nitpick much?

                  1. There wasn’t even eight mentions let alone ten, you dishonest fuck.
                    Only three mention the Uighur Auschwitz and only one was a Reason article (paragraph) on it.

                    You didn’t even actually read my post before your sulky little reply, did you.

                3. Bignose, do you stand by your statement that “But to say that Reason has deliberately ignored what’s happening to the Uighurs is false”?

                  Yep. I wish they wrote more about it, but to say that they’ve deliberately ignored it while explicitly mentioning it in several pieces is nonsensical.

                  1. If this were Popular Mechanics you could give them a pass. However, for a purported libertarian political magazine to write 80+ articles on Trump’s legal action in three months, but not even one proper one on the biggest international story concerning liberty and human rights in an entire year, is ignoring by any metric.

                    Kind of disgusting how you’re making excuses for Reason on this, IMO.

              2. 22 minutes with no response.
                Totes got him!

                Lol

            2. So definitely not 10 articles specifically, and probably not 10 mentions.

              You know 8 is less than 10 right? Or are you one of those 2+2=5 fellas?

              1. The Brickbat (Oliver is a treasure) is really the only one of those that could possibly qualify as a Reason article on the subject, and it was literally only two sentences.

                Here’s the entire “article”:
                “The Center for Global Policy reports more than 570,000 Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic minority in China, are being forced to pick cotton. The forced labor farms are in Xinjiang, the homeland of the Uighurs. Xinjiang produces about a fifth of the cotton used in the United States.”

                That’s it. The whole article.

                And the huge import of this story makes White Knight and Brandyfuck’s disingenuous excuses all the more disgusting.

              2. I never claimed there were ten articles, only that it’s incorrect to say that Reason has ignored the issue.

                1. For a libertarian political magazine to write 80+ articles on Trump’s legal action in three months, but not even one proper one on the biggest international story concerning liberty and human rights in an entire year, is ignoring by any metric.

    4. And you’ll keep waiting. The party doesn’t allow discussion on that.

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    6. That Dominion Voting Systems rigged the Super Bowl?!

      1. Hey Grima Wormtongue, I see you’re working for PolitiFact now: https://twitter.com/PolitiFact/status/1358810121183330304

    7. This story seems like dreadful legal analysis to me. You can’t cite the OPINIONS of various government officials for the proposition that something is FALSE. (Not so long ago, every government official would have sworn that Blacks were inferior.). Government can’t declare truths. At best, these opinions are evidence, but you still need to PROVE falsity. Since much of the evidence has been destroyed, I doubt you can prove falsity. Also, audits are not sufficient (forensic audits are different than these “audits” which merely show #’s were counted correctly, not that the #s were real). Plus, you need actual malice here. I doubt these allegations cut it. It sounds more like simple carelessness, which isn’t likely to be sufficient. Obviously, discovery etc. needs to happen, but this isn’t a great case from what I’ve read here.

    8. I’m impressed how Sullum is OK with his, given how upset he was over the Hulk Hogan/Gawker lawsuit. He called THAT suit an attack on freedom of the press. I guess these lawsuits are peachy if he likes the plaintiff.

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  2. The overwhelming evidence will finally be put before the court, and the election will be overturned!

    1. fuck off SWRLSY

    2. The walls are closing in on the stolen election!

      1. I don’t even read any posts from GG, ML, or RM. Just flag, flag, flag, F5. Flag, flag, flag F5. You should do the same. Don’t wrestle with pigs. You get dirty and they enjoy it.

        1. Notice you didn’t mention SQRSLY in that list LOL

        2. You are a pig. And usually the dirtiest one lol. Dumbest one too.

          1. He doesn’t read our posts, he just cries about them.

  3. The Smartmatic lawsuit brought forward by one of Soros’ own law firms is another example of trying to wear down the enemy through attrition. They don’t have a hope in hell of winning no matter what Sullum tries to say (unless the judge is crooked which is a definite possibility), but that’s not the point.
    The point is to occupy and keep the other side distracted, wear down the challengers spirit, and propagandize. The last relying on media dogsbodies like Sullum to run with the lawsuit like it’s valid.

    1. Dominion’s threatened lawsuits have resulted in several retractions. Smartmatic has an even stronger case, since they were only involved in counting votes in Los Angeles County, so they couldn’t have possibly rigged the Presidential election.

      1. All of the writers threatened by Soros and Dominion stood by their stories, you lying fuck. Only the magazine backed down, and all they did was publish the statement written by Dominions lawyers, they didn’t agree with it.

        You’re always so continuously dishonest. How can you even stomach yourself?

        1. Whether they “stood by their stories” doesn’t change the fact that their stories are false. The utter nonsense about Dominion voting machines rigging the election against Trump simply has no basis in reality.

  4. So far the overwhelming evidence has not been brought to light because corrupt courts refused to take the cases based on bogus claims of standing.

    Now the court will have no choice but to see the overwhelming evidence, and Trump will be vindicated!

    Justice shall prevail!

    MAGA 2021!

    1. Oh good, you weren’t being a total douchebag earlier, so I left you alone, but now I don’t have to anymore.

      1. Hey now, no pointing out that he starts this crap every morning then cries that he is an innocent poster in the afternoon.

        1. He’s such a little victim.

          1. Playing the victim is something he learned from conservatives.

            1. Yeah, conservaturds are a bunch of snowflakes!!!

              BUTT… At LAST… They will be vindicated!!!!

              https://www.businessinsider.com/trumps-dc-hotel-hiking-rates-qanon-think-sworn-march-4-2021-2

              Trump’s DC hotel is hiking prices for March 4, the day QAnon followers think the former president will be sworn in

              1. And, right on cure, sarcfaggot jumps in with his syphilitic sock.

                1. Hey Goldilicks Girlshit!

                  https://reason.com/2021/02/07/scotus-blocks-californias-covid-19-ban-on-indoor-religious-services/#comment-8748192

                  Yew bin promulgated too the 2nd grate yeti? Have they’re bin any itchings two-wards that them their kinda hipwards social premonitions fur yew yeti?

                  If’n nut yeti… Their, they’re, Italy bee OK! Yew’ll git smarter win the thyme is ripe!

                2. Your gist two smart fur the wrist of U.S.A.!

            2. “No U!!!”

              The children’s internet is over there, White Knight. ===>
              Go play with sarc, and take his Sqrlsy sock with you.

            3. Day stow dee ewekshun! Waaaaah!

              1. This is a post that was intended for your SQRSLY sock, wasn’t it? Forgot to switch, again?

                1. SQRLSY One
                  February.8.2021 at 5:59 pm
                  Your gist two smart fur the wrist of U.S.A.!

                  sarcasmic
                  February.8.2021 at 4:46 pm
                  Day stow dee ewekshun! Waaaaah!

                2. This is what posting while shitfaced does to you, sarc.

            4. Playing the victim is something he learned from conservatives.

              lol – sure thing – safe places and what not started at GOP meetings, not liberal universities…

              Idiot.

    2. You just posted this 15 minutes before sarc. A bit early in the day to be so drunk you forgot what you posted 15 minutes ago, no?

    3. Sure. The evidence so “overwhelming” that it doesn’t actually exist.

  5. It’s great that we live in a society where you can get sued for expressing an opinion. Reason is so fucking WOKE!!! Who the fuck else can we cancel? Still waiting for Sullum to eat cancel culture crow.

    1. Only if your opinion is the “Wrong” one.

      Suggesting that the protests/riots/whatever at the Capital almost destroyed democracy in the U.S., for example, is apparently okay, despite the fact that it couldn’t be destroyed like that, even if the building had been.

      1. Breaking into Congress while they are in the middle of counting the electoral votes, perhaps killing the Vice President and several legislators — that couldn’t destroy American democracy?

        Why not?

        1. “perhaps killing the Vice President and several legislators …”

          LOL

          Okay.

          1. You’re talking to someone who thinks water is HO2, so it’s always hard to tell if she’s being dishonest, or just stupid.

          2. Whatifisms. Mock outrage and the expression of trauma for a scenario that did not actually occur.
            See #AOCSmollet

        2. “killing the Vice President and several legislators”

          Lol, with what? Gadsden flags and MAGA toques? They were unarmed.
          The 2000 Hill cops who watched them however, had guns.

          1. No they weren’t unarmed. Several of the Capitol rioters were arrested with guns and explosives.

    2. So defamation, slander and libel are merely “expressing one’s opinion”?

      1. They are expressing an opinion you fucking moron.

        1. So if you have a business, and I spend countless hours on the news claiming that you are deliberately sabotaging your products to the detriment of your customers, am I merely expressing an opinion?

          1. If you are part of the “opinion” section of the news, yes.

            Now if those fucking Russians hadn’t rigged the election in 2016, we wouldn’t have to deal with Trump being president.

            1. So Russia is a business with standing to sue for defamation? That’s a new one.

              1. God, you’re fucking stupid. What about those people accused by legislators and CNN clowns that they were all involved in this vast conspiracy? What about the asshat who wrote a fictional dossier that was jam packed full of lies about a whole bunch of people?

                1. You think that was stupid, read his definition of law and legislation:
                  https://reason.com/2021/02/07/the-mushroom-moment-manifesto/#comment-8747992

          2. Depends if your business gets involved with federal elections or not.

          3. The anti-gun groups literally do this daily claiming weapons are defective because they can be used to kill on accident.

            Do you even think through your ignorance?

      2. They are a public company, there is very narrow leeway for the things you cry about here. In fact, in general they would have to provide for actual harm from the statements. And in this case, since they are public, it would require “knowingly” lying about the companies… who refuse to release their source code. So you’d not be able to knowingly know you were wrong.

        But you know, facts don’t matter to you when you are going after your perceived enemies.

        1. They did knowingly lie about Smartmatic.

          1. Prove it.

          2. The election was stolen, and these guys are going to be crying about it until the day they die. Just like their leftist counterparts who will by crying about Russia electing Trump until the day they die. They should get together and have a pity party.

            1. Fuck off, SQRSLY.

            2. Sarc calling out others for self pity is awesome.

            3. You didn’t respond to the argument shit for brains.

            4. It’s funny watching you lick the boots with such enthusiasm

          3. Citation needed.

          4. They did knowingly lie about Smartmatic.

            lol – the vast majority of the public never heard of Smartmatic before this lawsuit. They heard of Dominion, but not Smartmatic.

      3. Defamation is, by definition, not an opinion. Your entire statement is the logical equivalent of “not expressing one’s opinion is expressing one’s opinion.”

        If you really wanted to make a point rather than clog up the comments with your inanity, you would have actually addressed the purportedly false assertions of fact being made and, if you could read, would have seen that they were opinions and commentary about a variety of legal claims. But that would have required reading and understanding the pleadings, and I am certain that is something you are not capable of doing.

        Okay, SQRSLY?

        1. No, defamation is not an opinion. The legal crime of defamation requires the allegation of facts that are a) untrue and b) harmful to the person being defamed. Saying things that are mere opinions, even if they are very mean opinions, is an explicit defense against a defamation charge.

          1. Oops, apology. I misread your comment.

    3. Hey, can I sue the Democrat party for the whole Russia thing? Maybe the Ukraine thing too. Didn’t they 100% have convincing evidence that these crimes were committed yet none was ever revealed. And still to this day fucktards at CNN are still saying shit about Russians.

    4. So, Fox are at fault for repeating a false claim that the company screwed with the election – not at all like CNN repeating the false claim that Trump colluded with Russia to screw with the election.

      1. Sarcasmic doesn’t care for rational thought anymore. He has enemies. They have to go.

    5. Defamation and outright lying is not “expressing an opinion”.

      1. Maybe so, but Lou Dobbs et al. were telling the truth, Wormtongue.

      2. Still doesn’t amaze me that autboritarians are against the 1a as you are.

    6. Slander and libel are not “opinions”.

  6. I member when libel and defamation lawsuits were bad.

    1. Only if you have a (D) after your name.

  7. Has anyone actually looked at the machines in question to show either a fix was in or no fix was possible? Or is the CISA much like the 17 intelligence agencies that . . . Oh hell. Mid terms will crush the democrats again.

    1. Crank up the naturalizations!

      “Don’t forget to vote Democratic.”

    2. “Mid terms will crush the democrats again”

      2018 was the last midterms America will ever have.

    3. People keep tryig to look at teh machines but they won’t let them and in some cases even when subpeoned they are refusing to turn them over. I wonder why?? enquiring minds may start to thing there is a conspiracy afoote

      1. The Lindell documentary shows a record of IP-communications to election facilities during the election — 60% of the IP connections were from China. I didn’t take the time to look into it’s actual source but one would think non-corrupt officials would.

        1. The Lindell “documentary” contains no actual facts.

    4. You can if you like, but since Smartmatic only counted the votes in Los Angeles County, and nowhere else in the entire country, they could not have rigged the Presidential election.

      1. So it’s not enough fraud to effect the election today?

        1. There’s no evidence of any fraud by Smartmatic AT ALL. Literally not a single shred of evidence.

          So falsely claiming they participated in some grand scheme of election fraud is OBVIOUSLY libelous.

      2. You’re assuming that we’ve been conditioned to believe LA County is fully Democratic. When it just might be more likely that elections have been slightly fraud-ed and more so every election over the years. Remember the bank robber that was stealing pennies off interest payments and got away with it UN-noticed for 30+ years?

        1. No, that’s not even remotely plausible.

  8. The Earth is roundish. Tides change its degree of roundishness continually, but even without that, it would not be round absolutely.

    I’ll give them 2 + 2 = 4. But even if you accept their roundish Earth, those two are far more facts than who win this election. The very fact that it is disputed proves that. The only people disputing 2 + 2 is dorks using base three. The only people disputing Earth’s roundness are quibblers like me.

    1. And the only people disputing the election results are traitorous losers.

      1. You going to apologize for lying about a cop being murdered with a fire extinguisher?

        1. It is not a lie. It is a fact. Fuck off.

          1. “It is a fact” despite there being no credible evidence? Well, well. How can you believe something like that?

            1. So you’re denying that Officer Brian Sicknick died? Really?

          2. Looking more and more like a lie everyday, WK. It’s going to be hilarious forcing you to eat crow on that one.

            1. He’s just going to pretend it never happened and wipe it from his memory. These motherfuckers are professional doublethinkers.

          3. Lol. Missed the CNN pull back huh? Wasn’t even a bruise on him retarded fuck.

      2. “traitorous losers”

        You mean the 200 unarmed protesters who took selfies and got shot, or the DNC who sailed into power on ballot fraud and tech company censorship?

        1. “Ballot fraud” that was so pervasive that literally no evidence of it exists?

  9. Time to finish off section 230, remove all protections against posting false information, make the internet companies responsible for publishing, and end this nonsense once and for all.

    That would fortunately remove social media and comments sections and other forums permanently.

    1. I’m starting to think that anything that destroys social media is a good thing.

    2. I’m just about there. My understanding is that §230 was meant to correct some Supreme Court ruling, and meant to allow platforms to remove spam or family-unfriendly comments without being considered publishers. They have gone far beyond that, I am just about out of sympathizer fluid, and progressive tears are a poor substitute.

  10. Nine days after the election, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, joined a statement saying “there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

    Solar Winds….

    1. And we should trust CISA? only fools let foxes monitor the chicken coop.

    2. Nice, a fragment of an argument, a fragment of thought from JesseAz.

      1. You don’t know what he’s talking about and didn’t bother to Google it, I’m guessing.

        1. Dee’s just squawking. It’s all she’s got.

        2. Lol. So true. They are just so fucking stupid.

        3. “You don’t know what he’s talking about and didn’t bother to Google it, I’m guessing.”

          If I have to use Google to understand what someone is talking about, then I wonder if it is worth trying to understand. Why can’t a person just be clear with what they write the first time?

          1. He was.
            You have to be amazingly ignorant not to know what Jesse was referring to on a political forum.
            If someone posts “May the force be with you” on a cinema forum, should they have to be clearer for the one idiot who doesn’t get the reference?

            1. What does the Solar Winds hack have to do with election security? So, yes, that is a fragment of a thought that needs more explanation that I will not just Google for myself.

              1. “I’m ignorant of a topic and it’s not my responsibility to learn about it.”

      2. Did you die from a fire extinguisher?

  11. It would be nice if Fox News (and OAN and the rest of the propaganda networks) would pay a price for their lies. Not bias- LIES.

    1. NARRATOR: “But in the end the actual liar was raspberrydinners”.

      1. Says the lunatic who persistently makes false claims of election fraud, because you can’t comprehend that your beloved Donald Trump is actually very unpopular and lost the election in a landslide.

  12. The lawsuit will be dismissed on grounds of privilege. If a person is reiterating the claims in a lawsuit they are pursuing, or a legal action, those claims cannot be the basis for a defamation suit. It is called the litigation privilege.

    A lot of noise for a defamation claim that will go nowhere. This is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Pure lawfare.

    1. yes but it ties up resources and cost lots of money. Even if it fails it whens and people know that. What I’d like to know is how do they prove they lost contracts based on that since most contracts of that type wind down after an election anyway.

      1. They are not going to prove a damn thing. The point is to get partisan hacks like Sullum to cream their pants over the mere announcement of the lawsuit and then never follow up again.

        By the time this ridiculous case is dismissed (and, it will be dismissed), it will be years down the line and nobody will remember, or care. They’ll simply know that a lawsuit was filed, that the election was an unimpeachable exercise of democracy, that people raising questions are “crazy wing-nuts.”

        Nobody ever writes articles about bombastic lawsuits getting dismissed.

  13. “Even if Dobbs, Bartiromo, and Pirro sincerely believed that, they came to that belief without any credible evidence to support it, as their own colleagues on other shows repeatedly pointed out.”

    Would it kill Sullum to even do some basic legal research? People are allowed to believe things “without any credible evidence.” The very notion of “credible” evidence is itself an absurd notion since “credibility” is a popularity contest, of sorts, whereas facts are not.

    Further, if an opinion is being expressed, or a belief about things that will be proven, there is no actionable assertion of fact.

    This lawsuit is complete garbage.

    1. By their logic, every preacher in the country ought to be locked up. There’s no credible evidence for anything they talk about, and yet they just get to go out there and say it anyways? What kind of country is this?

      1. “By their logic, every preacher in the country ought to be locked up.”

        The Soviets did exactly that and their progressive American counterparts will do the exact same thing.

    2. Credible came up a lot with Kavanaugh accuser.

  14. For anyone who’s not aware, Time Magazine ran an article a few days ago boasting about how the election was rigged:

    https://time.com/5936036/secret-2020-election-campaign/

    1. Please direct us to the passages in this lengthy article that provide the smoking gun statement where they “[boast] about how the election was rigged”.

      1. Pretty much every single paragraph, you pedantic retard.
        You’re not going to get away with your usual “cite a specific instance that I can misrepresent” distraction with that article. It was one giant gloat.

        1. “The handshake between business and labor was just one component of a vast, cross-partisan campaign to protect the election–an extraordinary shadow effort dedicated not to winning the vote but to ensuring it would be free and fair, credible and uncorrupted.”

          Yes, it was a conspiracy to steal the election from Trump by preventing him from stealing the election. The Time article shows that it was rigged, just like nobody 2 said!

          1. With that sort of ridiculous misrepresentation that absolutely nobody remotely honest could make, I’m guessing you’re White Knight’s new sockpuppet for samefagging his posts. His latest Pierre Delecto.

            Fine WK. I’m feeling sparky and enjoy making you cry, so let’s get into it.

            Let’s start with this key explanatory paragraph from the article:

            “This is the inside story of the conspiracy to save the 2020 election, based on access to the group’s inner workings, never-before-seen documents and interviews with dozens of those involved from across the political spectrum. It is the story of an unprecedented, creative and determined campaign whose success also reveals how close the nation came to disaster. ‘Every attempt to interfere with the proper outcome of the election was defeated,’ says Ian Bassin, co-founder of Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan rule-of-law advocacy group. ‘But it’s massively important for the country to understand that it didn’t happen accidentally. The system didn’t work magically. Democracy is not self-executing.’

            Note the two most important phrases: The participants in the “conspiracy to save the 2020 election” presumed to know what was the “proper outcome of the election” and they had to do what they did because “Democracy is not self-executing,” that is, it cannot be trusted to produce the “proper outcome.”

            Now before we move on, I’ll let you try to explain that away and then we’ll continue.

            1. What do I need to “explain away”? I wasn’t misrepresenting anything when I quoted from the article, where they explicitly say that the “conspiracy” was to be sure that the election was “free and fair, credible and uncorrupted.” Why is it so hard to understand the “proper outcome of the election” is that every eligible voter is able to vote if they want to and that every legal vote is accurately counted and that political pressure to prevent this is the problem? Or that the statement “Democracy is not self-executing” means that people have to be vigilant that such political pressure does not affect the outcome and that the election results are in the hands of the voters, where they belong?

              Practically all of the Trump lawsuits aimed to toss out hundreds of thousands of votes in cities in the swing states with lots of Democrats (and lots of Black voters, which is supposed to be coincidental), while not challenging the procedures in rural areas. Trump’s campaign paid for recounts in the Milwaukee and Madison areas in Wisconsin, I believe, but not the suburbs and rural parts of the state. (And Biden gained a few votes from the recount, at that.)

              How the right can be so convinced that politicians are only manipulative and corrupt on the left is practically delusion. I do see Democrats pointing fingers at the right with hypocrisy all the time, but it just doesn’t have the same conviction that only the other side is corrupt that exists among the most partisan Republicans.

              Texas Gov. Greg Abbott decides on Oct. 1 that each county can only have one location to drop off absentee ballots, regardless of the geographic size or population of the county, and that is supposed to be about ballot security? (It was quite obviously targeted at Harris County (Houston) and Travis County (Austin), which are heavily Democratic within the otherwise Red state, and they had already had multiple sites open to accept ballots when Abbott issued the order.) Texas state representatives also sued to discard over 100,000 ballots cast at locations in Harris County where drivers were able to pull into a temporary structure to vote without having to leave their cars. Their argument was that voting needed to take place in a permanent building (the law just referred to ‘structures’ or something like that). That sounds plausible, but the plan had been announced in June. Yet they waited until after 100,000+ ballots had been cast this way to challenge it and argue that the ballots had to be thrown out.

              This kind of thing has been in the GOP playbook for years. They don’t want everyone eligible to vote to actually show up. They fear that they will lose if that happens, and they’d probably be right, since their base skews towards those that already turn out to vote more reliably. Expanding turnout among younger voters and minorities hurts them. But rather than try and broaden their appeal to include more of those voters, they just look for ways to discourage them from voting and concentrating them into gerrymandered districts.

              1. Ok goebbels.

                1. Funny that you’re making the Nazi comparison against me, when the Big Lie is the whole election fraud conspiracy “Bullshit” (AG Barr’s words to Trump).

                  1. Ok goebbels

            2. “I’m guessing you’re White Knight’s new sockpuppet for samefagging his posts.”

              Yeah, no. I’m no one’s sockpuppet. Just more misdirection.

            3. The “proper outcome” is that the winner gets chosen by the voters and NOT by Donald Trump personally.

      2. So, some Russian trolls buying Facebook ads is a huge scnadal, but large parts of the media of the country collude to make sure people don’t get any information they don’t want them to have about an election and that’s no big deal?

        1. Election interference is not the problem, per se. Our government simply wants a monopoly on election interference. If anybody is going to brainwash the American people, god damn it, it sure as hell better be us!!

      3. And it’s not so much rigging the election as coordinating propaganda.

        1. Which in 2016 was unanimously deemed by Democrats to be “election interference.”

      4. You mean the part where they admit that it was literally a cabal that did it?

        1. sounds like a conspiracy theory, so off to the camps with you

    2. Hallelujah! They saved me from myself!!!!!!!!

    3. Reason has been conspicuously quiet about this.

    4. I like how they admitted to absolutely everything that was claimed, except for anything that a court would have no choice but to take up as a crime (everything but ballot stuffing). After all, now that they’ve admitted to this conspiracy, there’s absolutely no way they did that, right? That’d be CRAZY!

      I was trying to figure out a reason they’d admit to this, and the best I could come up with is this is a “we’ve always been at war with East-Asia (but it’s a just war)” thing. They knew even 20% of Democrats realized something like this was happening, and wrote this in an attempt to control the narrative of it so it seemed legitimate. After all, they only made this conspiracy to “fortify democracy” against that other guy who was trying to save it! (I also like the part where they imply it’s really hard to fraudulently vote absentee! Signatures are so very hard to scribble, after all!)

      This is the biggest news since the breakup of the Soviet Union, and almost everyone is ignoring it.

      Sadly, I see lots of dead Americans in the not-too-distant future. I wish it were not so.

      -An An-Cap who wouldn’t have voted for Trump with a gun to his head

      1. That’s what I don’t get. I have seen these same facts, posed in a negative light, be labeled as horrific conspiracy theories, absolute nonsense, and worthy of being banned from every social media. People in power have actually uttered the phrase “re-education camps”. Then, they come out and admit it, but phrased in a positive light, and it’s not only allowable, but golden, clever work.

        Compare this to 2016. There is no question this is a far bigger interference than anything the Russians did, but this is golden while 2016 was the basis for a multi-year investigation.

        It’s just like how in the first Trump impeachment, multiple people pointed out how at worst, Trump did exactly what Biden did. How was Biden ignored while Trump impeached?

        Does no one have principles anymore? If you don’t uphold justice for someone you hate, there is no justice at all.

    5. Stopping Trump from stealing the election is the opposite of “rigging” it.

  15. I don’t watch Fox News (or any news, life is much happier that way), but did the hosts in question actually “promote” the conspiracy theory, or just give air time to people who promote it to allow them to voice their concerns, and neglect to call it “unfounded” or “wrong” or “without proof” as the responsible media outlets do?

    1. The latter.

      Silence is violence.

      1. No, it was very much the former. Those particular Fox hosts relentlessly peddled the conspiracy theory themselves. They did not merely give air time to peddlers of a conspiracy theory, they also repeated the claims themselves and asserted it was fact.

    2. Read the article above. It covers in detail what they said.

      1. “It covers in detail ….”

        Do you understand what the word “detail” means?

        1. He’s here to shitpost and run cover for Sullum. He doesn’t actually even care.

      2. Read the article?
        Why start now, after all these years?

  16. “Pirro expressed the hope that the alleged scheme would be investigated by the Justice Department.”

    Wishing that the Justice Dept would investigate something (besides, say, MAGA protesters) is LITERALLY CONSPIRING TO STEAL THE ELECTION

    Breaking the law and blocking attempts at anything resembling transparency or due process is the most noblest kind of democracy, however

    1. Just like protesting in a public building to demand an election be audited is literally committing insurrection and threatening democracy.

      1. It’s not a “public building”. Breaking down the doors and beating up police while building a gallows to “hang Mike Pence” is not a “protest”.

  17. Fuck you Jacob. You’ve crossed over into a full blown obsession. Seek help you pitiful little man.

    1. OMG OMG OMG!!!!! Why don’t Trump and Giuliani have this proof. Is the media hiding it from them? Oh wait, I forgot. They already have it and have used it. Of course they didn’t use it as evidence in court because they knew it is fake info. But guiliani and powell are both being sued for spouting it publicly to anyone who would listen. We’ll see how that works for them. 😀

      1. Cancel Culture Justice System at your service. Why debate the proof? Just Cancel it!

  18. >>that motivated last month’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.

    you suck. Grimsrud is correct if you’re not gonna seek help at least stop writing for money

  19. I love watching Jake patiently write what is, basically, the same article over and over again, trying to talk some sense into the heads of what I guess we should call “Trumpatarians”, or, “idiots”. At least you’ll never lack for employment, Jake.

    1. Lol at the people who think this article has any sense of logic and validity. You fell for it. Hilarious.

  20. The lawyers who filed this complaint need to be slapped upside the head. The earth is round – which has been repeatedly and easily proven. Two plus two equals four – is a tautology based on the definitions of two and four. As a matter of definition, it neither can nor needs to be proven or disproven. The winner of any election, however, is a complex, single-occurrence event which a) has not been proven and b) likely cannot be ever proven. Certainly not proven to the degree that we know the earth is round.

    But even if you assume all their factual allegations are correct, the claim for $2.7 billion is absurd to the point of frivolous. There’s no way they can plausibly allege damages anywhere close to that. I doubt they can allege damages that credibly total over $200,000. Maybe with some really creative accounting they could convince a court of $2 million. But that’s still three zeros short of their claims. It’s ridiculous.

    1. Lawsuits like this serve two primary objectives:

      1. Force defendants to bleed cash;

      2. Generate press coverage knowing full well that nobody in the media will follow up once the case is dismissed.

      1. Their drones need talking points

    2. I’m curious to see how a court handles the lawsuit against Fox news for allowing certain of it commentators to repeat a “false allegation” while other commentators and Reporters, by the plaintiff’s own admission, are refuting that very same allegation. Why does the allegedly “false” statement outweigh the allegedly truthful ones?

    3. Of course the damage done to society is incalculably higher.

  21. Cool. All parrots can now be sued for portraying a journalist.

    1. But I’ve heard some types of parrots are very intelligent.

  22. “what I’ve read in their filings, when Trump campaign lawyers have stood before courts under oath, they have repeatedly refused to actually allege grand fraud — because there are legal consequences for lying to judges.” — Sen. Ben Sasse

    1. “…because there are legal consequences for lying to judges.” — Sen. Ben Sasse

      Unless it’s the FBI lying to Judges for a FISA warrant – then there are no legal consequences.

      And that’s just one example.

      1. One example that didn’t actually happen.

  23. People have lost jobs just for being in DC on the 6th.
    Seeing as NBC, CBS, CNN, all major media outlets, and commenters here have defamed them as insurrectionists/traitors/white supremacists, I expect all of you are now subject to defamation suits that will run into the tens of trillions of dollars.
    Your best move would be to kill yourselves now, before justice comes.

    1. By definition, the truth cannot be defamation.

  24. Things that make you go hmmmmm.
    What’s worse. Being deplatformed or being sued, or both. Probably both. But I’m no expert at those because I’ve never spewed lies, deception and conspiracy theories like some who’ve gotten deplatformed and or sued. But I’m dying to see how it all turns out. Some of those guilty of making the false claims they’ve made might be screaming oppression soon. Now that would be very entertaining. Can you just imagine someone who claims to be a millionaire or billionaire screaming oppression? That’s hot. 😀 😀

    1. But I’m no expert at those because I’ve never spewed lies, deception and conspiracy theories like some who’ve gotten deplatformed and or sued.

      Citation needed.

  25. STilllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll Waitinggggggggggggggggggggg for Election Authentication… Maybe they better let the ‘banks’ handle this; at least my soda-pop at the store gets authenticated in a few seconds and having them tell me someone-else already charged my card to it’s max will instantly start a criminal investigation.

    Only politicians can make this kind of a mess…. Cancel voter ID laws, cancel actual person-appearance, cancel ballot security (just do massive mail-outs of credit cards), and for craps sake Never Ever Ever invite some 3rd party in like PayPal to resolve disputes…

    1. What is this “Election Authentication” you’re demanding? The election results have already been authenticated. You just don’t like them and want to pretend they’re fake.

  26. its useful. i also think like this.

  27. I can’t wait to see the results of discovery in this lawsuit — especially if the CIA can be made to cough up what they got when they raided the Smartmatic/Dominion server farm in Frankfurt. Somebody’s going to look like a total scumbag, and it’s not anyone on Trump’s side.

    1. You mean the “server farm in Frankfurt” that doesn’t actually exist and was a complete fabrication of some rando on Twitter?

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