Dominion Voting Systems sent letters to Rudy Giuliani and Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, to demand that they preserve documents in anticipation of "imminent" defamation litigation.
The election-technology company is at the center of a baseless conspiracy theory, propagated by Giuliani and other Trump lawyers, that it is responsible for rigging the November election against President Donald Trump.
It has recently gone on the offensive, sending a searing retraction demand earlier this month to the Trump ally Sidney Powell.
Lawyers working for Dominion Voting Systems, an election-technology company at the center of a right-wing conspiracy theory about election fraud, sent a letter to Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday telling him to preserve documents in anticipation of an "imminent" defamation lawsuit.
"Because you have been, and continue to be, an architect and driver of the ongoing misinformation campaign against Dominion, we write to you now to (1) demand that you cease and desist making defamatory claims against Dominion and (2) ensure that there is no confusion about your obligation to preserve and retain all documents relating to Dominion and your smear campaign against the company," said the letter, obtained by Insider.
Dominion lawyers sent a similar letter to Pat Cipollone, President Donald Trump's White House counsel, that Insider also obtained. The letters asked the recipients to preserve copies of documents and communications "referring or relating in any way to Dominion."
The existence of the letters was first reported by CNN.
Giuliani has for weeks propagated a conspiracy theory that Dominion was in cahoots with Smartmatic, a rival election-technology company, to develop software that changed votes for Trump in the November election to votes for Joe Biden. The allegations have no basis in reality, and judges overseeing election lawsuits have repeatedly dismissed them.
Dominion and Smartmatic have gone on the offense in recent weeks following dozens of failed lawsuits from Trump and his allies seeking to overturn the election results. Dominion hired Clare Locke, a firm specializing in defamation lawsuits.
The conspiracy theory - which also includes convoluted claims about China and the dead Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez - gained traction through Sidney Powell, an attorney who worked with Giuliani on the Trump campaign's legal team. Powell was kicked off the team in late November, but Giuliani has continued to make many of the same claims.
The letters told Giuliani and Cipollone to maintain copies of all correspondences with Powell, the Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis, and the conspiracy-theorizing Trump ally and attorney Lin Wood.
Tom Clare, who signed the letters, told Insider on Wednesday night that Dominion was still evaluating whether to pursue defamation lawsuits. For now, he said, he wanted to ensure that Giuliani and the White House counsel's office would preserve documents for discovery.
Earlier this month, Dominion sent a letter to Powell demanding that she retract her claims and threatening to file a defamation suit against her as well.
Smartmatic has sent retraction requests to right-wing media organizations that have propagated the conspiracy theory, including Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News. In response, Fox News aired a segment debunking the claims its anchors had made about Smartmatic. Newsmax also aired a segment in which an anchor admitted the network had "no evidence" to back up the claims about Smartmatic and Dominion.
Though Powell has recently participated in multiple White House meetings, Giuliani has sought to distance her from the White House, telling Newsmax that she "speaks for herself."
The New York Times reported last week that Trump recently considered making Powell a special counsel to investigate voter-fraud claims but that Giuliani and Cipollone opposed such a move. Trump ultimately abandoned the idea, according to The Daily Beast.
Legal-ethics experts previously told Insider that Giuliani and Powell had been "playing with fire" with their election conspiracy-theory lawsuits and were at risk of court sanctions and possibly disbarment.
Giuliani didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
This article has been updated.
Read the original article on Business Insider