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Dominion Voting Systems files $1.3B defamation lawsuit against pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell

Dominion Voting Systems on Friday filed a defamation lawsuit against pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for claiming without evidence that the voting machine company rigged the 2020 presidential election for President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenAzar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments House Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE by manipulating votes.

Dominion is seeking $1.3 billion in damages and an order from the court for Powell to cease making false statements about it.

"The recent attacks on the democratic process are not singular or isolated events," Dominion CEO John Poulos said on a call with reporters Friday morning. "They are the result of a deliberate and malicious campaign of lies over many months. Sidney Powell and others created and disseminated these lies, assisted and amplified by a range of media platforms.

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"Lies were told about government election officials, election workers and dominion voting systems," Poulos continued. "Those lies have consequences. They have served to diminish the credibility of U.S. elections. They have subjected officials and Dominion employees to harassment and death threats. They have severely damaged the reputation of our company. Today is just the first step to restore our good name, and faith in elections by holding those responsible to account."

The 124-page complaint filed in a Washington, D.C., federal court alleges Powell “promote[d] a false preconceived narrative” about the 2020 vote, which included unsubstantiated claims that the company was established in Venezuela as part of a vote-rigging operation in favor of the late socialist leader Hugo Chávez and that Dominion bribed state officials in Georgia to secure its contract.

“As a result of the defamatory falsehoods peddled by Powell — in concert with like-minded allies and media outlets who were determined to promote a false preconceived narrative — Dominion’s founder, Dominion’s employees, Georgia’s governor, and Georgia’s secretary of state have been harassed and have received death threats, and Dominion has suffered enormous harm,” the complaint states.

Powell did not respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The lawsuit seeks to undermine the unfounded narrative pushed by President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE and his allies over the past two months that the election was stolen from him due to widespread election tampering and voter fraud.

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Trump's allegations have not been able to withstand scrutiny in the courts, but they have stirred outrage among his supporters, a mob of which stormed the Capitol this week in a violent riot that left five people dead.

Dominion blamed Powell for helping to incite the riot, writing in its complaint that the demonstrators were "fueled by the disinformation campaign launched and sustained by Powell in concert with her allies and like-minded media outlets."

The complaint lays out and refutes numerous claims Powell and others made about Dominion and its vote-counting machines, defending the accuracy of the tallies in states such as Georgia, which Biden narrowly won.

Powell has been a close ally of Trump, though the president's campaign legal team distanced itself from her following some of her more outlandish claims about Dominion and widespread voter fraud.

She has spearheaded numerous lawsuits challenging the election results, none of which have had any impact on the outcome, and represented Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser who Trump pardoned last year over charges that he had lied to the FBI in the early days of the administration.

—Updated at 12:19 p.m.