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New York Times: Trump campaign was aware attorneys’ voting conspiracy theories were baseless, court documents show

<i>Drew Angerer/Getty Images</i><br/>Attorney Sidney Powell speaks to the press about various lawsuits related to the 2020 election
Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Attorney Sidney Powell speaks to the press about various lawsuits related to the 2020 election

By Paul LeBlanc, CNN

Officials working for then-President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign were aware that the voting machine claims being pushed by pro-Trump attorneys were baseless, court documents obtained by The New York Times show.

The documents — which were filed last week as part of a defamation lawsuit from a former employee of Dominion Voting Systems — reveal that the Trump campaign’s then-deputy director of communications, Zach Parkinson, had reached out to campaign staffers on November 13 asking them to “substantiate or debunk” claims related to Dominion, the Times reported Tuesday.

The following day, the newspaper reported, Parkinson received a memo compiled by campaign staff that cited news articles and fact-checking outlets to refute the conspiracy theories related to unsubstantiated widespread voter fraud being trumpeted by Rudy Giuliani, then Trump’s personal attorney, and attorney Sidney Powell, who was working for the campaign. At the time, many of their claims had been refuted by federal election security experts and a wide, bipartisan array of election administrators across the country.

The memo found that there was no evidence Dominion’s leadership had connections to “antifa,” that Dominion did not have direct ties to George Soros or Venezuela and that the company did not utilize technology from Smartmatic software in the election, the Times reported.

The memo had been prepared by the time Giuliani held a wild, tangent-filled news briefing on November 19 wherein Trump’s legal team laid out the case for widespread voter fraud in the election.

At no point did the right-wing attorneys offer any proof for their allegations of widespread fraud. Powell made extreme, baseless claims about communist Venezuela and Soros supposedly interfering in the US election. Giuliani on multiple occasions made allegations citing individuals he said couldn’t be revealed for their own safety and well-being.

The court documents obtained by the Times show for the first time that the baseless nature of those claims was apparently known to Trump campaign officials early on and, the paper noted, suggest that they did not raise the findings as Powell and others attacked Dominion.

It is not clear how widely the memo was shared among campaign staff or whether Trump knew about it or saw it, according to the Times. Giuliani said in a deposition that he had not seen it before his conspiracy theory-fueled news conference and questioned what had motivated it.

“They wanted Trump to lose because they could raise more money,” Giuliani is quoted as saying in the deposition in reference to those who had prepared the memo, according to court documents cited by the Times.

Beyond Giuliani and Powell, Dominion has filed lawsuits against MyPillow Chief Executive Mike Lindell, Fox News, Newsmax and One America News.

The company is seeking billions of dollars in damages, claiming it was harmed by the unfounded claims of election fraud made by the confidants of Trump. Dominion provides election equipment used by more than 40% of US voters and has repeatedly denied all allegations of election fraud.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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