More than 150 people — including Kelli Ward, the staunchly pro-Trump chair of the Arizona GOP — were sent cease-and-desist notices and warnings to preserve documents in a recent wave of letters to those who provided affidavits in election lawsuits, according to Hamilton Place Strategies, a communications firm representing Dominion that shared copies of letters and a list of recipients Monday. Dominion also sent a follow-up retraction demand to Rudolph W. Giuliani, the Trump lawyer at the forefront of the president’s fruitless efforts to overturn the election in court.
Lindell, a major Republican donor who has touted his relationship with the president, has made frequent appearances on right-wing media to promote baseless claims — rejected by court after court — of a rigged election. Last week, The Washington Post’s Jabin Botsford photographed parts of notes Lindell carried as he went to meet with Trump, capturing phrases such as “election issues” and “martial law if necessary.” He told The Post that the notes were written by a lawyer that he refused to identify.
Lindell said on Monday that he welcomes a lawsuit. “Could they do it tomorrow? Could they do it today?” he told a reporter. Almost shouting over the phone, he suggested a lawsuit would help him show “the American people” the evidence supporting his claims, but shared only a copy of a post alleging foreign hacking that appears to no longer be online.
Ward did not immediately respond to an inquiry.
In a Jan. 8 letter to Lindell shared with The Post, lawyers for Dominion wrote to emphasize their December demand for the retraction of falsehoods, accusing Lindell of conducting a “smear campaign” and “leverag[ing] your significant social media following to inflict the maximum amount of damage to Dominion’s good name and business operations.”
“Despite your repeated promises — not to mention your considerable and costly efforts to bankroll a so-called investigation into Dominion — you have failed to identify a scintilla of credible evidence that even suggests that Dominion is somehow involved in a global conspiracy to harvest millions of votes in favor of President-elect Biden,” the letter states. “Of course, this is because no such evidence exists.”
The letter noted Dominion’s newly filed defamation lawsuit against lawyer Sidney Powell seeking more than $1.3 billion in damages for spreading “wild” allegations of a fantastical scheme to steal the 2020 election from Trump. For weeks, Powell claimed that Dominion was established with communist money in Venezuela to enable ballot-stuffing and other vote manipulation, and that those abilities were harnessed to rig the election for President-elect Joe Biden.
“We are sending you hardcopies of the complaint and exhibits under separate cover so that there is absolutely no doubt at a future date about what was known to you at this juncture,” Dominion’s counsel wrote in their recent letter to Lindell, after referencing the Powell lawsuit. “Conduct yourself accordingly.”
Voting companies’ legal pushback and demands for retractions have forced mea culpas from some purveyors of the election fraud claims fanned for months by Trump and his allies.
Last month, for instance, Fox News aired a striking segment debunking misinformation about election software company Smartmatic, after the firm sent a 20-page legal demand letter. And Giuliani and Powell disappeared from Fox cable news shows where they were once frequent guests, The Post’s Jeremy Barr found.
The conservative blog American Thinker published a retraction of accusations against Dominion last week, apologizing for a “grave error” and for “abandoning” journalistic principles.
“These statements are completely false and have no basis in fact,” the retraction stated. “Industry experts and public officials alike have confirmed that Dominion conducted itself appropriately and that there is simply no evidence to support these claims.”