From the moment he falsely declared victory on election night more than 10 months ago, former President Donald Trump, his campaign, and his allies launched an onslaught of lies regarding the validity of the 2020 election. These lies resulted in dozens of bizarre press conferences, failed court cases, and sham hearings.
They culminated in a deadly failed insurrection against the United States Capitol, in which a mob of pro-Trump extremists who'd fallen for then-President Trump's lies shattered windows, ransacked offices, beat police officers, and called for the execution of any lawmaker perceived to be disloyal to the almighty Trump.
Even now, Trump continues to lie that the 2020 election was "stolen" from him by Democrats engaging in widespread election fraud. As recently as last week, he sent a letter pressuring Georgia's Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger to decertify Georgia's election results.
A key component of these election fantasies was the lie that election software companies Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic issued tampered voting machines designed to sway the 2020 election to Democrats. These claims were eagerly repeated in some form by conspiracy theorist lawyers like Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, as well as pro-Trump sycophants like Mike Lindell.
On November 19, the Trump campaign further amplified these conspiracy theories in a bizarre press conference, where Powell spun an absurd tale invoking long-dead Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Dominion, and Democrats.
Powell said at the time:
"The Dominion Voting Systems, the Smartmatic software and the software that goes in other computerized voting systems as well, not just Dominion, were created in Venezuela at the direction of Hugo Chavez to make sure he never lost an election after one constitutional referendum came out the way he did not want it to come out."
Powell and other Trump allies now face defamation lawsuits from both Smartmatic and Dominion, whose employees faced a barrage of threats and violence over the course of the Trumposphere's smear campaign.
Now, new court documents indicate the Trump campaign knew the claims were lies even before promoting them to the nation at the press conference.
According to the New York Times, Trump campaign deputy director Zach Parkinson asked staff to scrutinize the claims about Dominion and compile the findings in a memo.
The Times reports:
"Even though the memo was hastily assembled, it rebutted a series of allegations that Ms. Powell and others were making in public. It found:
•That Dominion did not use voting technology from the software company, Smartmatic, in the 2020 election.
•That Dominion had no direct ties to Venezuela or to Mr. Soros.
•And that there was no evidence that Dominion's leadership had connections to left-wing 'antifa' activists, as Ms. Powell and others had claimed."
Of course, it's long been established that Powell's claims were lies, but the memo confirms the Trump campaign knew they were lies before publicly smearing the companies—a key requirement for defamation convictions.
People weren't surprised that the Trump campaign proceeded to lie anyway.
is an elephant heavy? https://t.co/I3vT3nXgNl— RK Jackson | Atlanta 🛸 (@RK Jackson | Atlanta 🛸) 1632253384.0
No way. Really? I’m SHOCKED. https://t.co/DIDJXUHUJC— Spaniard from Montana (@Spaniard from Montana) 1632248147.0
They lied??? What an earth shattering scoop https://t.co/akvoMBlbKO— alex hamilton (@alex hamilton) 1632248225.0
Of course they knew. Yet, it continues. Reason number 4,385 why trump, the people in his circle, and those who st… https://t.co/jJrFxo2sAr— Gloria Bernstein G-Train (@Gloria Bernstein G-Train) 1632250028.0
sorry, was anyone under the impression that Trump's people actually believed in the conspiracy theories they were c… https://t.co/fknbj6ZNsu— Sara-Paige (@Sara-Paige) 1632248565.0
The Trump allies currently embroiled in the defamation suits, particularly Powell and Trump campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani, could be ruined by the memo.
My first impression of this article can be summed up as: Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell are f***ked. https://t.co/ujz5Bdc00W— Mark Sumner (@Mark Sumner) 1632248712.0
I hope crazy Sidney Powell, the former "America's Mayor" and others mentioned in this piece are sued into bankruptc… https://t.co/9hz7w0hYzU— wendyow (@wendyow) 1632249020.0
Dominion's billion dollar lawsuit against Trump's legal team just got a big leg up. https://t.co/mPHFcuH1Tt— Tom Brazelton (@Tom Brazelton) 1632256206.0
Trump himself told over 30 thousand lies during his time in the White House.