Rudy Giuliani, and Sidney Powell (Team Kraken) and various “reporters/analysts” in the right-wing media pushed wild, unfounded theories about Dominion Voting System and Smartmatic voting machines. They claimed, among other things, that their machines cancelled Trump votes or switched Trump votes to Biden, and that they used software originally developed under Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez to help him steal Venezuela’s election.
Here is the short version of Team Kraken's claims.
Here was Sidney Powell in Nov 2020, explaining how she was going to “release the kraken” and put everyone in jail with her new evidence of how Hugo Chavez stole the election from Trump. Sidney was just indicted. pic.twitter.com/3oI0qR7LjQ
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) August 15, 2023
And for those of you who are real masochists, I present their November 19, 2020 press conference in all its Krakeny glory.
These lies became a centerpiece of Trump’s claims that millions of votes for him went to Biden.
“REPORT: DOMINION DELETED 2.7 MILLION TRUMP VOTES NATIONWIDE. DATA ANALYSIS FINDS 221,000 PENNSYLVANIA VOTES SWITCHED FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP TO BIDEN. 941,000 TRUMP VOTES DELETED. STATES USING DOMINION VOTING SYSTEMS SWITCHED 435,000 VOTES FROM TRUMP TO BIDEN.” @ChanelRion @OANN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2020
These defamatory claims hurt Dominion and Smartmatic's business and subjected their employees to an avalanche of death threats. So Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems fought back by suing Giuliani, Powell, Fox News, and others. Fox was embarrassed when Dominion revealed that it learned Fox hosts and executives didn't believe the whoppers being spun by Powell and Giuliani on their shows. Here are a few quotes from Dominion's Brief In Support For Its Motion For Summary Judgment. I will provide two numbers for each of these quotes. The first number refers to the page number of the PDF where the quote is found. The second number refers to the number at the bottom of the page.
“Sidney Powell is a bit nuts. Sorry but she is.” Laura Ingraham to Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity
November 15, 2020; 14, 1.
“[T]hat whole narrative that Sidney was pushing. I did not believe it for one second.”
From Sean Hannity's November 30 broadcast; 154, 141
[Tucker' Carlson told his producer Alex Pfeiffer that night [November 16, 2020]: “Sidney Powell is lying. Fucking bitch.”
November 16, 2020; 47, 34
[Tucker] Carlson told [Laura] Ingraham "Sidney Powell is lying by the way. I caught her. It’s insane."
November 18, 2020; 48, 35
59 election security and computer science experts, including Fox’s expert in this case Dan Wallach, jointly announced: “We are aware of alarming assertions being made that the 2020 election was ‘rigged’ by exploiting technical vulnerabilities. However, in every case of which we are aware, these claims either have been unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent. To our collective knowledge, no credible evidence has been put forth that supports a conclusion that the 2020 election outcome in any state has been altered through technical compromise.
November 15, 2020; 71, 58
Beyond opening up its books, answering dozens of interrogatories, and producing millions of pages of its business records, Dominion provided its source code to Fox’s expert Dr. Seth Nielson . . .
In response, no Fox expert has identified any vote-manipulating algorithm in the source code or any other Dominion document because none exists . Though unsurprising,Dominion's source code corroborates the falsity of Fox's claims.
It turns out, the folks at Fox News had good reason to be skeptical of what Sidney Powell was saying. Hell, even Sidney Powell had good reason to be skeptical of what Sidney Powell was saying. We learned from Dominion's lawsuit against Fox that Powell based most of her claims on just one source: an email from someone who, shall we say, had a slightly different outlook on reality. Oh, hell. Who are we kidding? Marlene Bourne, the woman who sent Powell the email, is an out-and-out loon who is 52 cards short of a full deck. Let's look at some passages from her email.
SCOTUS Justice Scalia wasn’t accidentally shot during a hunting trip on John Poindexter’s Texas ranch. He was purposefully killed at the annual Bohemian Grove camp. . . a club for members of the Mega Group, during a weeklong human hunting expedition.
It gets crazier.
Stranger still, I was in a car accident in 1992; and something took place that I’ve never been able to explain. For all intents and purposes, I was internally decapitated, and yet, I live, I breathe, I shop,, I get old, I walk the earth.
The Wind tells me I’m a ghost, but I don’t believe it. Although it appears that I was shot in the back shortly after submitting a tip to the FBI two years ago. . . at the time, I thought I just tripped and fell during a walk and bruised my ribs. . . but I had a vision about a year later in which I stood in the same spot and felt my soul leave my body. It was like having a band aid being ripped off your skin. And yet, I continue to walk the earth.
Despite that, the wind tells me that no one can harm me; it protects me and keeps me safe. Anyway, I’ve gotten a little off track, and I’ll be the first to admt that while the last bit is pretty wackadoodle, it’s relevant.
Click on the snapshots attached to this tweet by Justin Baragona to read more of Bourne's email.
Here's the batshit email sent to Sidney Powell that she forwarded to Maria Bartiromo as proof that Dominion voting machines were flipping votes.
The writer talks about being "internally decapitated" and how "The Wind tells me I'm a ghost." pic.twitter.com/rU5cOwZPYf
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) March 7, 2023
The evidence that Fox News had knowingly helped Team Kraken spread lies was so overwhelming that Fox was eager to settle the lawsuit out of court. Unfortunately, Dominion didn't force Fox to make a full-throated admission that it had spread dirty, stinkin' lies that helped incite a riot and nearly brought down our democracy. Instead, all they had to do was publish the following mealy-mouthed press release.
NEW YORK – April 18, 2023 — FOX News Media announced today that a settlement was reached in the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit.
In making the announcement, the network said, “We are pleased to have reached a settlement of our dispute with Dominion Voting Systems. We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false. This settlement reflects FOX’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards. We are hopeful that our decision to resolve this dispute with Dominion amicably, instead of the acrimony of a divisive trial, allows the country to move forward from these issues.”
Oh, yes, there was one more teensy, tiny thing Fox had to do to settle the lawsuit. They had to pay Dominion $787.5 million. This is, as CNN reports, "the largest publicly known defamation settlement in US history involving a media company." CNN probably should have added the words "so far". I bet Smartmatic will be able to squeeze even more money out of Fox in their lawsuit.