Trump allies Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell admitted they spent very little time verifying voter fraud claims made about the 2020 election before publicizing them in the national media, according to tapes of deposition videos obtained by CNN.
It’s “not my job [to] … investigate every piece of evidence,” Giuliani testified in a defamation suit brought by Dominion Voting Systems executive Eric Coomer. Coomer is suing Giuliani, Powell, Trump’s presidential campaign, and conservative media outlets and personalities for spreading what he claims are unfounded lies about him and the company. In the suit, Coomer alleged that the defendants made him “the face of their false [election] claims.”
Giuliani discussed those baseless claims during his testimony, including the allegation that Dominion and the head of another voting machine company had rigged an election in Venezuela. “We had a report that the heads of Dominion and Smartmatic, somewhere in the mid-teens, 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.
But he acknowledged that he spent very little time vetting the election fraud accusations he then spread to a national audience. “Sometimes I go and look myself online when stuff comes up,” said Giuliani, who has also claimed that Trump made him work for free after the election. “This time, I didn’t have the time to do it.”
“It’s not my job in a fast-moving case to go out and investigate every piece of evidence that’s given to me,” Giuliani added. “Otherwise, you’re never going to write a story. You’re never going to come to a conclusion.”
In a separate deposition in the case, Sidney Powell, a former federal prosecutor who launched numerous lawsuits on Trump’s behalf in an attempt to overturn the election results, admitted she did not have “a lot of specific knowledge about what Mr. Coomer personally did” to rig the election. Nor did she try to attempt the record when she knew statements she had made were false.
“You had the ear of a number of conservative media outlets,” Coomer’s attorney asked her. “Why did you not ask to provide a statement correcting the misstatements that you had reported?”
“That didn’t seem to be the material part of the inquiry,” she responded, admitting the obvious: Trump and many of the people who worked for him or on his behalf don’t think the truth is relevant.
There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. An internal Trump campaign memo from last November included in court documents revealed that even the campaign was aware that the conspiracy theories about Dominion and another voting machine company, Smartmatic, were false. On Wednesday, Smartmatic filed suit against One America News Network and Newsmax Media Inc., accusing them of slander for airing false election claims.