- Dominion has sued One America News, saying it defamed the company by airing Mike Lindell’s videos.
- The MyPillow CEO made four “docu-movies” that purport to show Dominion rigged 2020 election results.
- While OAN put a disclaimer on one of the videos, Dominion says it doesn’t make any sense.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
On Tuesday, Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against One America News, a right-wing media organization that has pushed conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.
The lawsuit takes special aim at MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, whose “docu-movies” purporting to prove election fraud have been broadcast on OAN’s platforms.
“Mike Lindell has used at least 30 hours of OAN airtime to broadcast lies about Dominion through his ‘documentaries’ Absolute Proof, Scientific Truth, Absolute Interference, and Absolutely 9-0,” the lawsuit says. “OAN knowingly broadcast lies about Dominion to a global audience by inviting Lindell on the air, where it knew he would repeat those lies.”
Dominion already had sued Lindell, a staunch supporter of former president Donald Trump, in February. Lindell has falsely claimed that Dominion, in collaboration with a host of shadowy international hackers, rigged its election machines against Trump in favor of now-President Joe Biden.
The pillow mogul has continued to push his conspiracy theories, recently saying that Trump would be “reinstated” as president in August and, just this week, hosting a “cyber symposium” about the election.
Dominion said in Tuesday’s lawsuit that OAN, too, ignored warnings, and “knowingly lied to its audience” in broadcasting Lindell’s videos.
“OAN was fully aware that Lindell’s ‘docu-movie’ was full of lies and recklessly disregarded the truth about the 2020 election but deceived its viewers nonetheless,” the lawsuit says. “Why? At least in part to please Lindell, who was (and remains) one of OAN’s biggest advertisers. And it also allowed OAN to curry favor with President Trump.”
OAN played a disclaimer suggesting it knew Lindell’s claims were false
The media organization first aired Lindell’s three-hour video “Absolute Proof” in February.
It slapped a disclaimer on the video saying that Lindell was “exclusively responsible” for the content, and that its contents “are presented at this time as opinions only and are not intended to be taken or interpreted by the viewer as established facts.”
Dominion said in its lawsuit that the disclaimer was incoherent and wholly insufficient, and that it was functionally an extension of the network’s prior “reporting.” The lawsuit includes numerous screenshots of social media posts from OAN promoting the video as showing evidence of election fraud.
The disclaimer was “nothing more than a ploy – a hollow attempt to try to avoid liability for what it knew to be a film about the very same false and utterly baseless allegations OAN itself had created, endorsed, and spread for almost four months,” the lawsuit says.
Dominion’s attorneys also said that the disclaimer amounted to evidence that OAN “knew or recklessly disregarded” the truth – a legal threshold for defamation lawsuits.
The network broadcast “Absolute Proof” 13 times over four days, the lawsuit notes.
Following “Absolute Proof,” Lindell made more videos pushing false conspiracy theories about Dominion’s role in the election. OAN aired “Scientific Truth” and “Absolute Interference” in April. It also aired “Absolutely 9-0” – which purported to show how the Supreme Court would overturn the 2020 election results – in June.
OAN did not include a disclaimer when airing any of those sequels, according to the lawsuit.
Lindell has stood by his false claims and asked the judge to dismiss Dominion’s February lawsuit against him. He has also filed a counter-suit against Dominion.
Attorneys for OAN did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.