Defamation

Dominion Seeks to Beach the Kraken, Prompts Pillow Fight (UPDATED)

Threats of defamation suits have prompted corrective statements on Fox and Newsmax, but My Pillow CEO wants to fight.

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U.S. Dominion Inc., the parent company of Dominion Voting Systems, is striking back against those who have claimed that Dominion voting systems were used to help "steal" the presidential election from Donald Trump. Beginning in December, Dominion began sending cease-and-desist and record retention letters to those who have spread anti-Dominion election fraud theories. Earlier this month, Dominion filed a defamation suit against #Kraken lawyer Sidney Powell.

The evidence supporting the various anti-Dominion claims is virtually non-existent, and Dominion is represented by one of the best defamation plaintiffs' lawyers in the country, Thomas Clare, and the threat of lawsuits has prompted many who spread disinformation about Dominion to recant. Both Fox News and Newsmax aired corrective segments on shows that had aired anti-Dominion claims, and the American Thinker blog—which has published numerous posts spreading debunked and unfounded election fraud claims—published a groveling statement confessing that the various anti-Dominion claims "are completely false and have no basis in fact."

This week, Dominion's attorneys sent a cease-and-desist and record preservation letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, demanding that he stop repeating false and unfounded allegations against Dominion and retain communications with others about such claims. Reached for comment by Axios, Lindell reportedly responded "I want Dominion to put up their lawsuit because we have 100% evidence that China and other countries used their machines to steal the election."

[Update: Lindell gave a similar statement to the New York Times: ""I would really welcome them to sue me because I have all the evidence against them. . . . They sent this letter a couple of weeks ago. They're lying, they're nervous because I have all the evidence on them."]

Time will tell whether Lindell maintains this position once he has spoken with his lawyers. If so, we may be in for more than a pillow fight. Dominion's suit against Sidney Powell seeks $1.3 billion. I doubt they would sue Lindell for anything less.

UPDATE: An NBC News report on Lindell's accusations, and how they have prompted some retailers to stop stocking My Pillow-brand pillows, includes this remarkable tidbit:

In his email to NBC News, Lindell said: "All the evidence against Dominion is before the Supreme Court. … China and others used the machines to corrupt our election! Here is one page of the proof."

The email did not include an attachment. When asked if he had mistakenly omitted it, Lindell sent another email with an empty attachment and a third with screenshots of illegible text.

 

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  1. Dominion needs to have sent that record preservation letter to the state election officials back in November. In at least GA, PA, MI, and AZ the states withheld or deliberately reset the Dominion machines to prevent forensic audits. In GA in particular, this was ordered by officials who took kickbacks from Dominion to get their states to use its equipment.

    1. Why do you believe those allegations when Fox News and Newsmax clearly don’t?

      1. Fox News has joined the other big media in lying to help Democrats. Why do you think so many of Fox’s audience has abandoned them that CNN is now beating Fox in the ratings even as Tim Pool’s podcast is beating CNN?

        Also relevant to why: if the official counts from this election are to be believed, then Biden received the most votes for President in history while winning the fewest counties, none of the bellwether counties, and losing seats in the House. And in a year when Trump drew tens of thousands at his rallies several times a week and Biden couldn’t even draw 100. All of these are red flags of accounting fraud. When the states erased those machines, as far as I’m concerned it’s an admission of guilt.

        The media have been gaslighting the public since 2008. Sooner or later you’ll have to admit you fell for it.

        1. if the official counts from this election are to be believed, then Biden received the most votes for President in history while winning the fewest counties, none of the bellwether counties, and losing seats in the House

          It’s almost as though population concentrations change over time.

          And in a year when Trump drew tens of thousands at his rallies several times a week and Biden couldn’t even draw 100
          Yeah, ignoring COVID will do that.

          The media have been gaslighting the public since 2008. Sooner or later you’ll have to admit you fell for it.
          Now, this is ironic.

    2. American Thinker: “These statements are completely false and have no basis in fact.”
      If State officials took kickbacks, that alone would be a basis for Trump’s DOJ or his appointed US Attorney to indict. Why no criminal charges, if such evidence exists? Who took the kickbacks? How much were they?
      Machines were made available for audit in Michigan and nothing was found.

      1. The machines made available in MI weren’t from the counties where the cheating happened. And “why no indictments?” The same reason Barr never indicted anyone for Spygate. Because he was an agent for the deep state and tricked Trump into appointing him.

        1. Trump must have been pretty dumb to get rolled like that, over and over again. Almost seems like the kind of guy you wouldn’t wanted vote for.

          1. Trump must have been pretty dumb to get rolled like that, over and over again. Almost seems like the kind of guy you wouldn’t wanted vote for.

            Yes, the Cult of Trump just blows my mind. I’ve asked/pointed out multiple times in many fora that surely there is *someone* who shares Donald Trump’s views, but isn’t quite such a loser (in terms of complete lack of ability to work with political opponents to achieve goals)?

            But the Cult of Trump is so strong that this does not seem to even be a consideration for his supporters. It seems like, in their minds, there apparently isn’t even one U.S. citizen over 35 years of age who can replace Donald Trump Jr.

        2. How long until it is revealed Trump was also an agent for the deep state?

          1. Pretty soon now. The Atlantic has a great article about the coming GOP amnesia.

    3. Conservatives: “Repeal Section 230! It’s destroying freedom of speech!”

      Also conservatives: Comment on an article about a defamation lawsuit by repeating the alleged defamatory statements, thereby ensuring that if Section 230 was repealed then the Volokh Conspiracy would have to remove comment sections completely or moderate heavily to censor such defamatory comments to avoid potential liability for users’ comments.

      1. I think the actual conservative opinion would be to advocate that NO comments are removed allowing a reasonable version of section 230 to protect Reason since they did not have a hand in the content of the comments. It’s only the companies that want to remove some content without being at all responsible for the content they choose not to remove that is problematic.

        1. So conservatives don’t want companies to be able to control the content in their own publications? They don’t have their own free speech rights, and they need to allow all speech they don’t like to be published using their own property and platform? Kind of like a bakery being forced to make cakes for gay couples as well as straight couples?

        2. I think the actual conservative opinion […]

          If you’d said “libertarian opinion” you might have a point. But no, “conservatives” have never had a problem with not giving a voice to folks they don’t like.

  2. Isn’t ‘debunked and unfounded’ speech protected speech? Who debunked it….not SCOTUS, who unfounded it? C’mon, these 1A ‘law professors’ are Goebbels’ ministers of propaganda. Give it up.

    1. The use of debunked and unfounded speech to destroy someone’s reputation is not protected by the First Amendment, and this is very well established.

    2. Debunked and unfounded speech is protected, so long as it not defamatory. You are free to claim the earth is flat, that you are the messiah or that 2+2=37. However, you cannot state false things about other people that are defamatory. For example, if someone writes your employer falsely stating that you are a pedophile and an embezzler, and you get fired because of it, you can sue them, 1A notwithstanding.

      1. And who has “fired” Dominion? Maybe they’ll be able to prove some trivial amount of damages, but $1.3 billion? That’s a baseless claim worthy of the Trumpster himself.

        1. The $1.3 billion includes punitive damages. I don’t know why you think the damages to a company that supplies equipment for elections being accused of fraud to steal elections would be “trivial.” (Unless nobody believes the accusations. But the evidence is clear that people who support Trump are deeply stupid and do believe them.) It’s not exactly implausible that a government official might choose to shy away from a contract with Dominion so that the official is not attacked by MAGA loons.

          1. You wouldn’t even have to be a Trump supporter to shy away from it purely being an official scared of touching anything controversial.

          2. Has Dominion actually lost sales? Real sales, directly attributable to these debunked and unfounded claims? Not just hypotheticals, or gossip, and not sales due to normal market fluctuations and business deals?

            How can they claim hundreds of millions in damages without lost sales?

            1. In some jurisdictions, proof of lost sales, lost profits, or actual damages are not needed to prevail where the defamatory statements constitute defamation, per se.

              Generally, such defamation can be categorized as (1) a false assertion of fact that one perpetrated a crime; (2) a false assertion of fact that calls into question one’s fitness or aptitude related to his business or profession; and (3) a false assertion that one has a particular communicable disease.

              In defamation per se cases, the plaintiff is presumed to have sustained damages.

              1. So you can prevail and have a successful defamation claim without proving damages, if it is defamation per se.

                But then after you have proved defamation, the question of damages remains, with respect to what remedy or award you get. Right?

                1. Yep, that’s my question. IANAL 🙂

                  1. The successful plaintiff will get something; to be sure, it might be peanuts.

            2. They claim they have, yes. They also claim loss of business goodwill.

          3. “The $1.3 billion includes punitive damages.”

            Isn’t there recentish Supreme Court precedent that punitive damages can violate the 8th amendment if they aren’t reasonably proportional to actual damages?

            1. Yes. Not very recent(ish) by this point. I think courts start to look suspiciously at punitives that are more than 7x or 8x actual damages. But I have seen exceptions–larger punitive awards upheld.

        2. The lawsuit claims the defendents intentionally tried to totally destroy their business, including all future income.

          Forbes estimates their annual sales at $36.5 milion. Multiply that by 20 years, and you get $730 milion. Then there’s pain and suffering for each of the employees, and damage to their ability to obtain future employment. Multiply that out by 20 years.

          When a tort is intentional, you can hold people liable for what they intended to do.

          1. Sure, that makes total sense, that all their employees will be so tarred by this defamation that they will be unemployable for 20 years.

            Bankruptcies are interesting affairs. The investors lose money, the assets are sold, most employees keep working, at the post-bankruptcy company, or the business which bought the assets. If Dominion goes out of business, someone will buy up their assets and hire most of their employees … wash, rinse, repeat.

            Absent any actual lost sales, where do all those hundreds of millions in damages come from?

            1. Bankruptcies are interesting affairs. The investors lose money, the assets are sold, most employees keep working, at the post-bankruptcy company, or the business which bought the assets. If Dominion goes out of business, someone will buy up their assets and hire most of their employees … wash, rinse, repeat.

              This is not true if the product itself becomes unattractive. What you are talking about is a reorganization where the underlying operation can still be profitable, but won’t support the financial structure. If the underlying operation is kaput you can’t reorganize.

              And even if you can, the investors still are damaged. suppose you lose enough business that you have to reorganize, but still can operate, so the defamation only cost you some business. The investors, and probably some employees are certainly damaged.

              And none of that takes into account death threats and the like.

              Absent any actual lost sales, where do all those hundreds of millions in damages come from?

              Why are you assuming there aren’t any lost sales? Maybe we could wait to hear what Dominion says rather than just talking with no information.

              1. Oh right, all governments are going to stop using voting machines and go back to pencil and paper.

              2. I asked about the lost sales. Are you a parrot in an echo chamber?

        3. Maybe they’ll be able to prove some trivial amount of damages, but $1.3 billion?

          You think egregiously false and defamatory statements about voting equipment and software regarding a company whose only business is making voting equipment and software is “trivial?”

          1. If it doesn’t actually result in lost sales, if the claims are so thoroughly debunked and unfounded, then what damage has been done? Does it factor in increased sales from the publicity, and from progressive jurisdictions which want to support Dominion and stick it in Trumpista faces?

            1. Some of the comments attempting to salvage the position of Dominion’s litigation targets remind me of the work of Trump Election Litigation–Elite Strike Force.

          2. Dominion will need to prove actual damages like any other plaintiff. If no business has been actually lost, actual damages may be small or even non-existent. It is the damages, not the defamatory statements, which would be “trivial”.

            1. Actually, in most states imputing dishonesty or incompetence in one’s business or profession is defamation per se, and damages are presumed. General damages for harm to reputation and, of course, punitive damages are then allowed.

            2. Dominion will need to prove actual damages like any other plaintiff. If no business has been actually lost, actual damages may be small or even non-existent.

              I’m not a lawyer (and I assume you’re not either), but I would assume that projected *future* business losses are part of the equation…not just actual losses to the minute the lawsuit is settled. For example, from an NPR article on the lawsuit:

              Dominion says it expects to lose $200 million in profits over the coming five years as a result of Powell’s post-election claims.

              https://www.npr.org/2021/01/08/954836971/dominion-voting-sues-former-trump-lawyer-seeking-1-3-billion-in-damages

              If $200 million is even close to an accurate analysis of their likely lost profits over the next 5 years as a result of the false and defamatory claims, it would be ridiculous to claim that is “trivial.” (And that is just lost profits for the next 5 years.)

        4. And who has “fired” Dominion?

          We don’t know yet.

          But it wouldn’t be at all surprising if they were hearing, informally, from election officials, that they were going to lose some customers.

  3. “[E]vidence supporting the various anti-Dominion claims is virtually non-existent,” as once was evidence against eugenic sterilization, DDT, and leaded gasoline additives. Dominion is in it now and cannot settle: the consequences of Dominion’s failure to prevail _at trial_ in a manner acceptable to 150 million Americans are dire.

    1. Hope springs eternal. Lindell is toast if he doesn’t retract. He made it worse by stating, “I have all the evidence against them.” So much for claiming that he was just repeating what he had heard. He is reportedly worth about $300 million, so a suit against him is well worth bringing. And, Dominion will definitely not settle without a full, detailed and abject retraction. I don’t expect you to change your mind in that event, inasmuch as you frankly admit that your belief is currently based no evidence, but merely the hope that it will magically appear.

      1. I was curious about how 100% (or all) of the evidence is obtained. The pillow guy explained it to Brian Glenn (of the Right Side Broadcasting Network) a few days ago:
        “It’s not like I’m some guy going out there and going, ‘oh, you know what, I read something on the internet’. No. I have spent millions of dollars my time [sic] from November 4th, every single day, going out and supporting experts to go dig up evidence. supporting lawyers that are out there”.
        The pillow guy also described how deflated he was when he presented all (100%) of the evidence at the white house, and they still sent him packing.
        https://twitter.com/RSBNetwork/status/1350559453343490048
        Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl’s have dropped the pillows. I guess that means more ad buys on tucker carlson tonight, which is half pillow ads already.
        But the lawsuit at least gives the pillow guy a forum to present all of his evidence again.

        1. I wonder if he had the same crew that Donald Trump sent to Hawaii to look into Barrack Obama’s birth certificate. If Lindell spent a half million looking into this I like to see the receipts. That would be my first question at discovery.

          1. My guess about his possible defense for “I have spent millions of dollars my time [sic] from November 4th…”

            …is that he values his time very highly!

            But my guess would be that, if investigated, he’s spent nowhere near full time on this since November 4th, so even if he values his time at a two million dollars a month, he’d have trouble justifying how he spent “…millions of dollars my time[sic]”.

            1. If I were an investor in My Pillow I’d be raising some pretty serious questions as to why Lindell is spending all that time on the election. Not only is he supposed to be working for the company, but his activities appear to have damaged the company’s business.

              Of course, it may be that the company has no outside investors, just Lindell, maybe some family members and friends, so that’s not a danger.

              1. If I were an investor in My Pillow I’d be raising some pretty serious questions as to why Lindell is spending all that time on the election. Not only is he supposed to be working for the company, but his activities appear to have damaged the company’s business.

                Yes, it appears My Pillow is headed down the toilet. (Which will likely cause clogging and subsequently multiple lawsuits. :-))

                I think it’s a private company, with only a handful of investors.

                https://finance.yahoo.com/news/mypillow-loses-accreditation-rated-f-215335499.html –> In 2017, the Better Business Bureau demoted My Pillow to “F.” (Not good!)

                https://bringmethenews.com/minnesota-news/under-fire-mike-lindell-claims-major-retailers-have-dropped-mypillow –> Many retailers are dropping My Pillow because of Lindell’s post-election statements/actions. Lindell responded:

                “I just got off the phone with Bed Bath & Beyond. They’re dropping My Pillow. Just got off the phone not five minutes ago. Kohl’s, all these different places,” Lindell said. “These [companies], they’re scared, like a Bed Bath & Beyond, they’re scared. They were good partners. In fact, I told them, ‘You guys come back anytime you want.’”

                1. Note: My comments went to moderation because of the links. So just add the https:// yourself if your want to check out the links:

                  If I were an investor in My Pillow I’d be raising some pretty serious questions as to why Lindell is spending all that time on the election. Not only is he supposed to be working for the company, but his activities appear to have damaged the company’s business.

                  Yes, it appears My Pillow is headed down the toilet. (Which will likely cause clogging and subsequently multiple lawsuits. :-))

                  I think it’s a private company, with only a handful of investors.

                  finance.yahoo.com/news/mypillow-loses-accreditation-rated-f-215335499.html –> In 2017, the Better Business Bureau demoted My Pillow to “F.” (Not good!)

                  bringmethenews.com/minnesota-news/under-fire-mike-lindell-claims-major-retailers-have-dropped-mypillow –> Many retailers are dropping My Pillow because of Lindell’s post-election statements/actions. Lindell responded, per that website:

                  “I just got off the phone with Bed Bath & Beyond. They’re dropping My Pillow. Just got off the phone not five minutes ago. Kohl’s, all these different places,” Lindell said. “These [companies], they’re scared, like a Bed Bath & Beyond, they’re scared. They were good partners. In fact, I told them, ‘You guys come back anytime you want.’”

      2. Discovery could be interesting.

        1. Agreed. I expect that Lindell’s deposition will read something like this:
          “Ah… but the strawberries, that’s where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes. But I proved beyond the shadow of the doubt with geometric logic that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox did exist.”
          But it seems more likely to me that there will be a retraction and settlement. Conspiracy theories do not hold up well under cross-examination.

      3. Perhaps he’s hoping that more evidence will come out during deposition … I hope it gets that far (I, for one, have nothing to lose).

  4. Hope springs eternal. Lindell is toast if he doesn’t retract. He made it worse by stating, “I have all the evidence against them.” So much for claiming that he was just repeating what he had heard. He is reportedly worth about $300 million, so a suit against him is well worth bringing. And, Dominion will definitely not settle without a full, detailed and abject retraction. I don’t expect you to change your mind in that event, inasmuch as you frankly admit that your belief is currently based no evidence, but merely the hope that it will magically appear.

    1. Sorry for dupe.

      1. Lindell needs to give it a rest

  5. I hate retractions in these defamation cases by the scumbag defendants. Lindell is just a stupid ass with the money to make his crackpot right-wing nuttery heard. More consequential scumbags like Fox’s Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs have settled suits like that brought against them by the parents of the murdered Seth Rich to cut off discovery. Waiting with great anticipation fotr he libel suts against Trump to take off.

  6. A recurring feature of the ‘steal’ narrative has been not just its lack of evidence but its facial ludicrousness. Trump started this when he initially lodged his argument that the election must be rigged because he was leading in early returns and then ‘suddenly’ votes ‘dropped’ later that broke against him. This is as silly as complaining that because winning goals were scored in extra time in pro soccer the game was ‘stolen.’ Extra time is a regular feature of pro soccer and any one who pays much attention to election nights in America knows it’s a truism that 1. cities tend to report later than non-urban centers and 2. they tend to break heavily Democrat. Trump’s insistence that there’s something anomalous and nefarious about that, an insistence he maintained even through the Georgia run-offs, marked his complaints as either massively ignorant or desperate excuse seeking. That so many of his followers charged so faithfully up that same stupid hill is, as he would have said, SAD!

    1. If the state Republican legislators in the upper mid-West had not been such morons, and blocked all attempts to do the rational thing (ie, count the early ballots, well early–like Florida did!!!), then there would have been no issue at all. Biden would have had a huge early lead once the polls closed (due to his huge advantage in early voting), and then each same-day-voter update would have brought Trump closer and closer. Trump would have won the same states and lost the same states. But with no chance for the mentally ill crowd to whine and bitch and moan about illegal late ballots.

      It’s like those same Republican politicians all got together and said, “How can we ensure that Trump comes off looking like a paranoid and delusional asshole? Best way is to make sure that early votes are counted last. Are we all agreed? So resolved!!!”

      Now my party has lost the Senate (a bad thing) and lost the presidency (usually a very bad thing . . . but more-liberal Biden will be a million times better for the country than batshit-crazy and criminal Trump). And we did get much much closer in the House (also a good thing). So, the elections were a mixed bag. But mostly good, from my perspective.

      1. Good comments. I suspect that early voting will be a feature of future elections and that legislature need to fix the way these are counted to avoid problems in the future.

        By the way in Madison, WI we count early and mail in voting on the election day. It is an easy process. Your envelope is sent to your polling places where election staff (a lot this year) process the ballots and take them to the tabulators. It was a lot of work, but was done quickly.

        1. hey fellow Madisonista! I’d say we should meet up, but the for the covids … I volunteered at a voting precinct on the East Side; the process is indeed easy, transparent, and verifiable. The couple of election observers (fellow lawyers) were fun to talk to, but pretty bored with our precinct.

      2. If the state Republican legislators in the upper mid-West had not been such morons,…

        What is most disturbing to me is the vast number of Republican legislators (state and federal) and Republican party leaders (state and federal) who seem totally divorced from reality.

        I’m too lazy to look up the specifics, but I think it was the Republican Party Chairwoman in Arizona who said something like a day before the certification in Arizona, words to the effect of, “we can deliver Arizona for Donald Trump and get him re-elected.”

        So not only was she totally divorced from the fact that all lawsuits in Arizona had failed and Arizona was clearly going to certify for Biden, she actually even seemed to have some fantasy that flipping Arizona from Biden to Trump would somehow flip the entire nation from Biden to Trump. And that was the *Chair* of the Arizona Republican Party.

        1. P.S. Oh, here’s an entire NY Times article today about what a Cult of Trump mess the Arizona Republican Party is:

          https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/19/us/politics/arizona-republicans-trump.html

      3. I agree. Although, as I understand it, those Republicans would have been fine with counting the votes in a rational manner (i.e. early), but Dems wouldn’t allow that without also getting other, stupider, objectionable things (along the same lines as always, minimizing election security and maximizing potential for fraud).

        1. ML
          Do you have a cite/cites for this? What you’re saying might be true (I’ve heard different reporting, but have not checked it out, so I dunno.), but I’d like to verify it. My understanding is that the Republicans did not need Democrat support in those states…at least, not in several of them, to get early voting passed, if R’s had really wanted it to happen.

  7. False, unfounded and debunked – ok. Defamatory – ok. But like I’ve had to repeatedly remind clients, unless you can prove you actually suffered $1.3 billion in damages as a result of the defamatory statement, you’re not going to recover anything near $1.3 billion in damages. It’s not the size of the lie, it’s the size of the economic harm you actually suffered. If nobody believed the lie, no matter how false or insulting or humiliating or malicious it may have been, you get nothing more than nominal damages. If you suffered no economic harm, no matter how false or insulting or humiliating or malicious the lie may have been, you get nothing more than nominal damages.

    Let’s see Dominion prove that it suffered $1.3 billion in damages. Let’s see if it’s damage claim is as false as the allegations that were made against it.

    1. Good luck being a Republican election official deciding to do future business with Dominion after these embarrassingly silly charges (and, of course, this means bad luck for Dominion).

      1. You can have reservations and objections about outsourcing your vote counting to a private company such as Dominion, without regard to any of the fraud/corruption claims.

    2. Number 2, are you sure you’re a lawyer? If you are, I don’t have to explain why I asked.

      1. Even when it’s “per se”, like here, don’t you eventually have to prove actual damages? Otherwise it’s $1.

        1. They’re also seeking punitive damages (though I agree $1.3 billion seems ambitious).

          1. Okay, but isn’t there recent Supreme Court precedent that punitive damages that are too far out of proportion with actual damages can violate the 8th amendment?

            They aren’t going to get $1.3B in punitive damages on nominal actual damages.

            1. I forget the case, it was an auto case from 2004, but a ratio of more than 7:1 was ruled unconstitutional. (I know this because shortly afterward my adversary at a punitive damages trial asked for 7 times what they awarded for punitive. They awarded only 6 times. Yay.

              1. Sorry, what the jury had awarded for compensatory. It was a traumatic experience. Not many trial attorneys have had to defend a punitive damages trial.

            2. Dominion is suing for approximately $650 million in compensatory damages and an equal amount of punitive damages.

              https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/08/politics/dominion-voting-defamation-lawsuit/index.html

              Dominion, founded in Canada, says the company projects at least $650 million in lost profit and revenue and in out-of-pocket costs and that its reputation has faced “catastrophic” harm.

              A separate website to which I’ve linked somewhere (I’m too lazy to point anyone to it) contains Dominion’s estimate that the false and defamatory statements will cost Dominion $200 million in lost profit over the next 5 years.

    3. I’d be surprised if Dominion couldn’t demonstrate loss of business, loss of enterprise value.

      It’s privately held, so its value is not clear, but its machines are very widely used.

      A significant ongoing loss of business is going to add up to a big loss of value.

      1. Correct.

        The calculation is presumably based upon an ebitda multiple compared to other companies that have been sold or went public.

        Right now I would speculate that Dominion would have to underprice an IPO.

  8. How is this not a SLAPP suit?

    1. Good question. In addition, the $1.3 billion claim is a misrepresentation to the court in the absence of a valid economic analysis of loss of business, or the value of reputation. Then, discovery works both ways. It will allow the defendant to access analysis of error rates, relationships with state officials buying the machines, political affiliations and biases.

      1. See my comment above. It is not loss of business per se. Rather it is the value of the organization measured by a multiple of ebitda.

    2. Easy answer is that Lindell is from Minnesota, which I think does not have an anti-SLAPP statute.

      1. In the absence of a statute. SLAPP should be an intentional tort, and the misuse of a civil procedure. These justify sanctions against the lawyers.

      2. Arizona has a slightly narrow anti-slapp. Since dominion has also sent the cease-and-desist/imminent litigation notice to kelli ward, she’ll probably have to pay less of the 1.3 billion than either the pillow guy or the kraken lady. The pillow guy seems to have the most exposure because of his net worth and strident posture.

        The way out of this cheaply for all of them is do an american-thinker-style capitulation. It probably won’t happen, because that would result in excommunication from the trump church.

        If any of the cases settle, expect them to involve capitulation. Dominion likely won’t be interested in any settlement that includes non-disclosure.

      3. Minnesota does have an anti-SLAPP statute, but in 2017 it was found to violate the state constitution as applied to tort claims at law. See Leiendecker v. Asian Women United of Minn.

        1. Thanks. I just did a quick search that showed which states allowed anti-SLAPP motions, and Minnesota was shown as a no.

    3. Don’t anti-SLAPP provisions only apply if the suit is intended to suppress 1A protected speech? Libel is not protected 1A speech.

  9. People were squawking about how Diebold supposedly helped Republicans for years. It was such a common meme the Simpsons ran a sketch about it and I don’t remember anyone including Adler, who are now acting like the concept of alleging voting fraud were invented in 2020, having a cow about it.

    1. On this side many, many, people in right wing media and some in politics.

      On this side, a comedy show making a joke.

      1. The Simpsons joke was pretty funny. Homer goes in to vote for Gore, but it registers a vote for Bush. He panicks and hits the Gore button over and over, registering more Bush votes. He realizes he must do the right thing, so plans to warn President Bush about it.

    2. It’s not for nought that people don’t trust voting machines … they are notoriously insecure: https://www.defcon.org/images/defcon-25/DEF%20CON%2025%20voting%20village%20report.pdf

    3. There were two reasons for people to distrust the Diebold machines. One is that in August 2003, the CEO of Diebold wrote, “I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.” Perhaps Diebold should have hired a CEO who was committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the choice of Ohio voters by ensuring an accurate vote count.

      The bigger reason to distrust the Diebold machines is that there was no way to verify the results. That’s why states have been moving to paper ballots. With paper ballots, you can do a recount; you don’t have to trust that the ballots were counted correctly the first time.

  10. I don’t doubt that Thomas Clare is “one of the best plaintiff’s defamation lawyers in the country”, but a defamation pleading is almost by definition easy to draft and a cease and desist letter should take about 0.2 hours of billable time.

    1. Ok, maybe 0.4. But if I saw a greater amount in the prebills I’d cut it down.

    2. On the one hand, yes. And yet, we routinely see incompetent C&D letters in defamation cases.

      1. Quote the defamatory statement, where it was published, and stay stop or we’ll sue. Three sentences. Anything further is just padding the billing.

        1. Popehat has blogged (and now tweeted) the issue over the years, pointing out often such C&D letters never bother to actually identify specific defamatory statements. They’ll just claim that a particular article or speech or whatever is defamatory in gross, even though it’s an obvious mixture of opinion and fact.

          1. No one else can get away with such basic professional incompetence. But lawyers do.

          2. Well yeah, it gets a lot harder when there isn’t actually any arguably defamatory material.

  11. https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/mar/26/kill-chain-hbo-election-hacking-documentary

    An interesting article on the vulnerability of voting machines made by Diebold and Dominion. From March 2020 before it was verboten to mention election fraud.

    1. Burglary is theoretically possible, but if you accuse someone of burglary you still need evidence.

      1. The thing to remember is that the biggest threat to election integrity has always been the people running the elections. You don’t need to break in if you’ve got the key.

        1. You’re accusing someone of stealing your stuff and your only evidence is that by law he has the key. Don’t you agree that’s a weak case?

          1. I’m not accusing anyone of anything. I’m just making a general observation that ruling out burglary doesn’t prove the absence of insurance fraud.

            You can’t settle for just protecting elections against outside attack, you need to protect them against inside attack, too. ‘Embezzlement’, not ‘robbery’.

            Unfortunately, in the US election system, local administration tends to be handled by locals, and in areas where one party dominates, that party is very well positioned to commit fraud. So the need for guarding against inside attack is pretty high.

            In my dream system, we’d have a sort of national “election corps” people could volunteer for, they’d be trained, and then randomly assigned to administer elections far from where they lived.

            1. States rights and subsidiarity be damned, I want my side to win right now!

        2. I agree.

          The greatest threat to election integrity in the US is the action of political officials – insiders running the elections – aimed at making it as difficult as possible for their opponents’ supporters to vote.

        3. The US election system is very dispersed making it very hard to cheat in a significant way. You would need a conspiracy with large number of people and it is unlikely you would be able to get agreement from a large group.

          Most people working elections take the job very seriously. Just look at the large number of Republican officials who under heavy pressure refused to throw out votes they knew to be good.

          1. The fallacy there is that successful cheating does not require any coordination or communication between the corrupt local officials in different places. They each know what to do to make it work unassisted. No conspiracy, no conspiracy theory.

            1. Your suggestion is what? That 100s of little conspiracies spring up independently. No one talks to each other they just all do the same thing for the same result. Sorry but that is unbelievable.

              1. In the abstract, it’s about as unbelievable as 100s of people cheating on their taxes independently. Which is to say, not unbelievable at all. Then I see that we have millions of people in this country that are so deranged they compare Trump to a Nazi and a dictator, and they actually believe it.

                1. In the abstract, it’s about as unbelievable as 100s of people cheating on their taxes independently. Which is to say, not unbelievable at all.

                  These things are not remotely comparable.

                  If I decide to cheat on my taxes and get away with it I benefit directly and measurably. It doesn’t matter if anyone else cheats or not. If I decide to pull some funny business as an election official the benefit small and indirect – a slightly increased chance my candidate will win.

                  On top of that, no one is observing me as I do my taxes. The IRS might check, but very likely won’t. With the election, OTOH, there are lots of workers who might figure out what’s up, lots of verification steps. And if the IRS catches me, unless I really go nuts, the worst that will happen is I’ll have to pay up, with some interest and penalties. If I get caught fooling with the votes I’m likely to go to prison.

                  So no. The comparison is silly.

                  Finally, if all the little conspiracies are independent, then why wouldn’t there be some each way? So maybe they don’t have much effect.

                  1. Great response. Thanks

    2. If by “verboten” you mean “discussed endlessly for months on end”.

      And it’s not like Dominion counts have been verified by hand recounts or anything.

  12. When it comes to grovelling statements, American Thinker’s was good, but the best is still this one by lawyer Archie Leach: https://youtu.be/FU6kfGH3hZc

  13. Yea sure thing, having the very people who ran the election recount it and say no problem is not very convincing.

    Same folks bought the Dominion machines so same thing. So why in the world would the election records be destroyed, shred ballots, erase machines including the activity logs and then say see, no fraud. SURE

    The machines absolutely 100% provide the capability to switch votes, upload and download elections and weight votes. But if you erase them oops.

    Like oops all our hard drives failed/Lois Lerner(IRS) and the Hillary bleach bit and hammer incident no evidence to see here

    1. You’re a nut, beware squirrels

    2. Bingo.

      And in the interest of disclosure I add: Now would be a great time for the agency that raided Dominion’s facility in Frankfurt to disclose the evidence it gathered there.

      1. In the interest of disclosure of what? That you are mentally ill and/or very gullible? Thanks, but we figured that out all on our own. (Though the Frankfurt thing was icing on the cake.)

  14. If Dominion does not have a corporate logo, it should be a coiled snake with the words, “Don’t tread on me.”

    🙂

  15. Oh that headline — BRAVO!!!!!!!!

  16. As I understand it, Dominion is a private company that provides vote counting machines and software.

    And, nobody is permitted to review the computer code that counts our votes. It is secret and proprietary to Dominion.

    That’s ludicrous and should not be allowed.

    1. You do not understand it correctly.

      Also, what difference does it make, if there’s a paper trail against which the count can be checked? Which there is, and which confirmed the accuracy of the computer count.

      1. Explain then. I read that Dominion refused to disclose the computer code that counts votes, claiming it’s proprietary.

        1. They don’t release it to the public. They do to the EAC, which certifies election hardware and software.

  17. Since Adler says the evidence of some problem or wrongdoing with Dominion is “virtually” nonexistent, I’m curious to know what the evidence is that does exist. Aside from the highly circumstantial general facts regarding the election results and irregularities that appear off and suspicious on their face, all I remember seeing was that politicians in the Philippines publicly claimed that Dominion was selling election wins to the highest bidder some years ago.

    With regard to the election fraud claims generally, as I understand it there hasn’t been any investigation of it, and nothing that happened in the courts involved any evaluation on the merits. Also as I understand it, there wasn’t any very compelling, hard non-circumstantial evidence of these claims presented to begin with, so the court decisions were perhaps apt. At the same time, if you assume arguendo that some election fraud claims are true, there is no reason to believe that evidence proving them would have been uncovered when there hasn’t been any investigation.

    1. There actually is some evidence of accuracy. Recounts in Georgia and parts of Wisconsin closely correlate to the machine total. Differences are likely to be voters who cannot fill in a circle properly creating a mechanical ambiguity that resolves with a hand recount.

      1. Agreed, that is some evidence. Although it doesn’t seem to help much since very few theories of fraud would be detected by simply recounting the same ballots.

        1. It takes off and nukes from orbit the conspiracy theories regarding Dominion machines mis-reporting the vote totals.

          You are of course correct that “the machines are honest” (i.e., no “counting fraud”) doesn’t eliminate theories related to fake voters (i.e., actual “voter fraud”).

          But of course, GA also looked into that, and so far has found two, yep two, instances of people trying to cast a ballot for a dead relative – to vote for Trump. It’s demonstrably non-zero, but stochastic … and hardly election altering, however much Q-morons want to scream and whine about it.

    2. all I remember seeing was that politicians in the Philippines publicly claimed that Dominion was selling election wins to the highest bidder some years ago.

      Dominion didn’t operate in the Philippines! That was the separate company Smartmatic.

  18. You know, it’s not mutually exclusive that people may not want to fight a giant corporation in court, and still believe the Dominion is guilty of corrupt practices.

    Innocent people plead guilty in courts of law every single friggin day, because they take the easier route.

    Also, it took about 20 years before historians and political scientists were willing to admit that the 1960 election was stolen by JFK and that Nixon should have been president. I suspect it will take as long as well, academics are not note for their courage.

    1. So the multiple entities all apologizing hat in hand in the wake of the letters from Dominion are all just scared of their legal team?

      Seems kinda…convenient. Perhaps the explanation is actually something that will require you to challenge your deeply held, but shallowly evidenced beliefs?

    2. The comparison of a poor person forced to plead guilty because they can not afford a lawyer good enough to argue their case is a world apart from the people backing down from their claims against Dominion.

      These people can afford the kind of lawyers they need and in this case that is a lawyer or team that tells them to shut up.

    3. MyPillow guy has all the resources he needs to fight. But I suspect once he talks to a competent lawyer … he’ll cave and grovel too.

      And if not, I’ll make some popcorn and enjoy the show.

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