According to deposition transcripts acquired, former President Donald Trump’s allies said under oath that they did nothing to check rejected accusations of fraud in the 2020 election before spreading them on the national stage.
The new video of sworn evidence from Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell animates the two’s behind-the-scenes maneuverings to cast doubt on the integrity of the presidential election results. The video shows Trump supporters responding to inquiries about their charges from a lawyer representing former Dominion Voting Systems CEO Eric Coomer in his defamation action against them.
Dominion has frequently denied that its vote-counting services enabled for fraud, and state and federal officials have identified no widespread fraud in the 2020 election.
“We had a report that the heads of Dominion and Smartmatic, somewhere in the mid-tweens, you know 2013, 2014, whatever, went down to Venezuela for a get-to-know meeting with (President Nicolás) Maduro so they could demonstrate to Maduro the kind of vote fixing they did for (former President Hugo) Chavez,” Giuliani said during his deposition.
“You say the heads of Dominion and Smartmatic,” Coomer’s lawyer starts, before Giuliani intervenes.
“Yes, that’s what I was told. … Before the press conference I was told about it,” he said. “Sometimes I go and look myself — when stuff comes up. This time I didn’t have the time to do it.”
He continues: “It’s not my job, in a fast-moving case, to go out and investigate every piece of evidence that was given to me. Otherwise, you’re never going to write a story. You’ll never come to a conclusion.”
Powell, for her part, says in the deposition film that getting to the truth was not one of her goals.
“You had the ear of a number of conservative media outlets. Why did you not ask to provide a statement correcting the misstatements that you had reported?” Coomer’s attorney asks.
“That didn’t seem to be the material part of the inquiry,” Powell replied.
Coomer, the former security director of Colorado-based Dominion, sued the Trump campaign and numerous conservative media outlets late last year for pointing to him – and particularly anti-Trump social media postings he had made – while making their vote-rigging charges.
The defendants in the case have filed a petition to dismiss, which the court is now considering.
According to court papers, Giuliani spent less than an hour researching charges that Coomer was involved in a scheme to rig the election before announcing those assertions publicly during a November press conference.
When Powell was deposed by Coomer’s lawyer, she admitted that she didn’t have “a lot of detailed information about what Mr. Coomer personally did” in the alleged election-stealing operation.
Coomer said in court records presented with the depositions in September that Trump campaign members and right-wing media outlets such as One America News Network continued to propagate disinformation while knowing it was false. In addition to Powell and Giuliani’s testimonies, a study of over 2,000 pages of records revealed how some election-rigging charges spread across conservative media with little regard for the veracity of the allegations.
Here are the deposition videos obtained by CNN.
In its $1.6 billion defamation case against Fox News, voting-machine maker Dominion Voting Systems subpoenaed Giuliani, Powell, and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.
They had to provide over records relating to their work with the news organization.
Dominion has sued each of the three for $1.3 billion for propagating the unproven conspiracy theory that its voting machines “flipped” votes from President Donald Trump to Vice President Joe Biden during the 2020 election.
On March 26, Dominion filed a lawsuit against Fox News, alleging that the network used the election-fraud conspiracy theory to boost its ratings. Fox News has constantly refuted this charge, stating that it is “proud of our coverage of the 2020 election.”
Dominion subpoenaed Giuliani, Powell, and Lindell as part of that case, according to a filing in Delaware state court.
The subpoena demanded that Giuliani, a former New York mayor who also served as Trump’s personal lawyer, provide overall records pertaining to his appearances on Fox since 2016 as well as all discussions with the network regarding the 2020 presidential race and Dominion.
The subpoena also demanded papers about Giuliani’s contact with the network, “whether formal or informal, compensated or uncompensated,” according to the report.
Lindell and Powell, a pro-Trump attorney, received similar subpoenas from Dominion.
In January, Dominion filed defamation claims against Powell and Giuliani, as well as Lindell, for a total of $1.3 billion.
Dominion provided multiple examples of Powell and Giuliani expressing their election-fraud charges on right-wing media, including Fox News, with no resistance from hosts in their cases against them.
The $1.6 billion lawsuits it brought against Fox News in March was the company’s most expensive to date.
“Fox News Media is proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism.” The media outlet said it would defend itself against the lawsuits in court.
In February, the voting-machine manufacturer Smartmatic sued Fox News for $2.7 billion.
In February, a Fox News representative told Insider that “prior to any litigation discussion,” the network had run multiple “fact-check” programs.
Giuliani, Powell, and Lindell requested that the lawsuit be dismissed, and it was denied.
Giuliani is drowning in legal issues.
A New York State appeal court suspended Rudy Giuliani’s legal license at the end of June in a well-reasoned and evidence-based ruling. The court determined that Giuliani participated in so many blatantly improper conduct while attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election results on behalf of his client Donald Trump that immediate action was required to protect the public.
While the court’s Attorney Grievance Committee investigates allegations of wrongdoing against the former US Attorney and New York Mayor, the order suspends his right to practice law. Within 20 days of the order, Giuliani might request a court hearing on the temporary suspension.
Suspending an attorney while he is under investigation is extremely exceptional, and it is usually reserved for the most egregious cases of professional misconduct. However, the court has presented a persuasive case that Giuliani’s actions were a knowing and purposeful attempt by a court officer to disrupt and hinder America’s 2020 presidential election, in violation of the legal profession’s code of professional duty.
The decision details a staggering amount of allegedly fraudulent assertions and actions of open dishonesty. Giuliani’s career looks set for ruination while Donald Trump heads for the golf course.
Giuliani’s punishment could include disbarment or a forced resignation when the proceedings conclude. Giuliani has repeatedly called the charges “political.” On Thursday his attorneys released a statement saying: “we believe that our client does not pose a present danger to the public interest. We believe that once the issues are fully explored at a hearing Mr. Giuliani will be reinstated as a valued member of the legal profession that he has served so well in his many capacities for so many years.”
What exactly are the charges? They have to do with Trump’s lavish and plainly false charges of election fraud that he filed on Trump’s behalf in various courts and public forums. The court’s withering 33-page judgment was notable for relying not only on Giuliani’s allegedly fraudulent claims made in court and legislative processes, but also on statements he made in podcasts, on television, and in other public but non-legal forums.
The court stated unequivocally that the First Amendment does not allow attorneys to lie or commit detrimental acts of fraud in the course of representing a client in any venue. The decision should serve as a stark reminder to attorneys running for public office that flagrant lying and false claims that cause public harm can result in disbarment or other disciplinary punishments, even in political campaigns.
Attorneys are often suspended without pay only when they engage in egregious misconduct that harms clients or jeopardizes the integrity of the legal system. Attorneys with substance abuse issues, major criminal records, or who steal money from clients are frequently subjected to instant bans.
The Giuliani judgment serves as a reminder to the bar that a lawyer’s duty of integrity and honesty goes beyond the courtroom to any situation in which a “third person” could be influenced or hurt. The courts made it clear that if Giuliani, as the President’s personal lawyer, committed fraud and deception to sabotage the election, he would face severe consequences.
“The seriousness of respondent’s uncontroverted misconduct cannot be overstated,” the court wrote. “Where, as here, the false statements are being made by the respondent, acting with the authority of being an attorney, and using his large megaphone, the harm is magnified… One only has to look at the ongoing present public discord over the 2020 election, which erupted into violence, insurrection, and death on January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol, to understand the extent of the damage that can be done when the public is misled by false information about the elections. The AGC [Attorney Grievance Committee] contends that respondent’s misconduct directly inflamed tensions that bubbled over into the events of January 6, 2021, in this nation’s Capitol.”
The conclusion is also an encyclopedic description of what the disciplinary committee described as Giuliani’s blatant dishonesty and fraud in not only those public appearances and podcasts in New York, but also in lawsuits and other actions in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona.