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Trump pushed vote-rigging claims for weeks after his campaign found that they were nonsense, report says

Grace Panetta   

Trump pushed vote-rigging claims for weeks after his campaign found that they were nonsense, report says
  • Trump pushed false vote-rigging claims for weeks after his campaign had internally discredited them.
  • A November 13 memo on the claims was revealed as part of a lawsuit from a former Dominion employee.
  • The campaign couldn't substantiate claims that the company was part of a global election-rigging conspiracy.

Former President Donald Trump continued to push baseless conspiracy theories about Dominion Voting Systems machines for weeks after his campaign internally found they were nonsense, new reporting from The New York Times shows.

Lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood spread baseless claims that not only were Dominion's voting machines rigged and changing votes from Trump to President Joe Biden, but that the entire company was part of a vast global conspiracy involving Venezuela, China, Cuba, billionaire financier George Soros, and the late Hugo Chavez, to rig elections for left-leaning politicians.

On November 12 and 13 alone, Trump posted or retweeted six tweets accusing Dominion of switching votes.

"Must see @seanhannity takedown of the horrible, inaccurate and anything but secure Dominion Voting System which is used in States where tens of thousands of votes were stolen from us and given to Biden," Trump wrote on the 12th. "Likewise, the Great @LouDobbs has a confirming and powerful piece!

At that time, the Trump campaign's then-deputy communications director Zach Parkinson asked his staff to "substantiate or debunk" many of the claims about Dominion being lodged by Powell and others, according to The Times.

The November 13 memo concluded that Dominion did not use any equipment or technology from Smartmatic, another election technology company that Trump allies attacked in the wake of the election, and had no affiliation with Soros or causes like antifa, contrary to Powell's claims.

The memo was revealed in a Monday court filing as part of a defamation lawsuit pursued by Eric Coomer, Dominion's former product and security director, who left the company and went into hiding in the wake of relentless online harassment over the 2020 election.

Coomer's suit, filed in Colorado, names as defendants individuals affiliated with the Trump campaign, including Powell, conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, Colorado-based activist and online personality Joseph Otlman, the website Gateway pundit, and One America News. Coomer initially also sued conservative network Newsmax, but withdrew his claim after the network apologized.

While Powell's claims and theories eventually became too much for Trump's own legal team, the Trump campaign didn't formally cut official ties with her until 10 days after Parkinson's staff's memo on November 23, 2020.

"Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own. She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity," then-Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis said in a statement from that day.

Still, Trump went on to post or share 14 tweets baselessly attacking Dominion and spreading conspiracy theories that originated with Powell between that time and January 5, shortly before Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter.

Dominion itself is also suing Powell, Wood, and numerous other Trump allies and conservative media figures like Rudy Giuliani and Mike Lindell for defamation, seeking billions of dollars in damages.


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