Facing a billion-dollar lawsuit apparently clarifies one’s priorities, however. As Powell and her lawyers should know, there can be little question that Powell’s statements about Dominion were false, because they were and are entirely unsupported by any evidence.
Given this utter lack of evidence, Powell was wise to change course. Unfortunately, her new argument won’t fare much better; instead of claiming that her statements were actually true, Powell now argues that she did not defame Dominion because her statements were not factual in nature at all, but instead were merely her opinions.
This revisionist history not only is a transparent attempt to avoid the consequences of her actions, but as a legal matter is flat wrong. Opinions are not actionable as defamation because they are statements that are not legally provable or disprovable with evidence.
Powell was even put on notice that her statements were contrary to all available evidence and were considered by Dominion to be defamatory when Dominion sent Powell a “cease and desist” letter in December, demanding a public retraction.
There is little question about what Powell and certain of her colleagues were trying to do by spreading these lies. They were not, as Powell now claims, merely offering their own opinions about what may have happened during the 2020 election, and they were not just previewing legitimate lawsuits that had been filed. They were doing everything in their power to convince Trump’s supporters that the election was stolen from him through fraud.
They created and fed the big lie. The big lie harmed Dominion and others who were the subjects of false statements, damaged voters’ confidence in our government and electoral systems, and motivated thousands of Trump supporters to come to the Capitol on January 6 where hundreds of them engaged in a violent insurrection. This — not the mythical Kraken — is what Powell and her cohorts helped unleash. And if this latest filing is any indication, at least as far as harm to Dominion Voting Systems is concerned, it looks like Powell may actually be held accountable.
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