Dominion Keeps Up Defamation Lawsuits, Filing Against OANN, Newsmax and Patrick Byrne

Patrick Byrne holds a $100 he says was given to him by a plumber. (Screenshot/ Rumble,PatrickByrne)
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August 10, 2021 12:16 p.m.

Dominion Voting Systems has filed yet more defamation lawsuits over false statements about the 2020 elections, requesting $1.6 billion in damages each from Newsmax, One America News Network, and ex-Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne.

The suits add to a growing list for the voting machine manufacturer, which has separately sued former Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and Fox News.

The complaints spend dozens of pages walking through the ragtag cast of characters that’s fueled lies about the 2020 election. Both Byrne and OANN, for example, promoted Edward Solomon, who they characterized as an expert mathematician who had evidence that Dominion machines manipulated votes.

In fact, Dominion’s OANN suit alleged, Solomon was no “expert mathematician” but rather “a convicted drug dealer who never graduated college and whose current job was setting up swing sets in Long Island, New York.”

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“OAN manufactured, endorsed, repeated, and broadcast a series of verifiably false yet devastating lies about Dominion,” the suit against that network, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., alleged. The same claim was made in a Delaware court against Newsmax. The complaint against Byrne was also filed in federal court in D.C.

In a statement to TPM, Byrne doubled down.

“Between the imminent release of the Maricopa Audit, and Mike Lindell’s current activities in South Dakota, Dominion Voting is about to have a very difficult week.  They are simply doing this as a distraction,” he said.

A spokesperson for Newsmax told TPM that while the network had not reviewed the Dominion filing, “in its coverage of the 2020 Presidential elections, Newsmax simply reported on allegations made by well-known public figures, including the President, his advisors and members of Congress — Dominion’s action today is a clear attempt to squelch such reporting and undermine a free press.” Neither Byrne nor OANN responded to TPM’s requests for comment on the suit.

For Byrne, Dominion alleged that despite being repeatedly corrected on his falsehoods about the election — including by senior Trump advisors and Dominion itself — “Byrne continues to stick to his manufactured, inherently improbable, profitable, and demonstrable lies. In televised appearances, a blog series, a book, and a film, Byrne continues pushing the election fraud myth about Dominion to this day.”

The three suits drove home the point that, months after Election Day 2020, lies about the last election continue to flourish. The complaint cited the sham “audit” in Maricopa County, Arizona as the prime example.

Byrne, for example, runs the group that has supplied more than half of the audit’s funding, to the tune of $3.25 million, according to auditors. The suit also noted that two OANN anchors named as defendants, Chanel Rion and Christina Bobb, run their own group that paid the auditors $605,000. That group, Voices and Votes, has paid for legislators to visit the audit site in hopes of bringing that template back to their own states.

“At some point between November 2020 and January 2021, OAN, Bobb, and Rion began raising money to fund movements aimed at hiring sham ‘auditors’ to attack and harm Dominion’s business,” the suit alleged. “These efforts resulted in a sham ‘audit’ of the 2020 Presidential Election in Maricopa County, Arizona, generating additional fodder for OANN to use in its defamatory campaign against Dominion—with OANN given the exclusive right to broadcast the proceedings.”

Dominion punctuated the suit against OANN with quotes from a former producer at the network, Marty Golingan.

In an interview with The New York Times in April that directly preceded his firing from OANN, Golingan said employees at the network didn’t believe what they were presenting to their audience.

“The majority of people did not believe the voter fraud claims being run on the air,” Golingan told the Times, adding that some OANN employees hoped Dominion would sue the network.

“A lot of people said, ‘This is insane, and maybe if they sue us, we’ll stop putting stories like this out.'”

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