The Trump campaign knew claims that Dominion used its voting machines to rig the 2020 presidential election were baseless within days of the election, before lawsuits were filed to that effect and lawyers touted the claims as fact in a Nov. 19 televised press conference, the New York Times reports. Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell accused Dominion of scheming with election software company Smartmatic, financier George Soros, and Venezuela to steal the election from then-President Trump. They also suggested it had ties to antifa.
But a Nov. 14 memo from the Trump campaign, filed in Dominion employee Eric Coomer's defamation lawsuit and obtained by the Times, notes Dominion didn't use Smartmatic voting technology, had no direct ties to Soros or Venezuela, and had no known connection to antifa. It shows "at least internally, the Trump campaign found there was no evidence to support the conspiracy theories regarding Dominion," but "continued to allow its agents ... to advance debunked conspiracy theories and defame" Coomer, his attorneys write in court filings, per the Times.
It's unclear whether Trump was aware of the memo, which appeared to be based on news articles and public fact-checking services, the Times notes. In a deposition, Giuliani said he wasn't aware of it before the press conference and suggested the staffers who prepared it at the request of the campaign's deputy director of communications "wanted Trump to lose because they could raise more money." In a court filing last month, Giuliani's lawyer said at least some of his election fraud claims were "substantially true."
Powell, dismissed from the campaign days after the presser, has also kept up the baseless claims, telling ABC Australia last month that the election was "essentially a bloodless coup where they took over the presidency of the United States without a single shot being fired," per Forbes. Dominion has filed defamation lawsuits against Powell, Giuliani, Fox News, One America News, Newsmax, and others. Coomer has already settled with Newsmax, which put out an apology and retraction. (Read more Dominion Voting Systems stories.)