Rudy Giuliani says he can't hand over his files to Dominion for its defamation lawsuit because the FBI seized all his computers last year

·3 min read
  • Rudy Giuliani's lawyers said in a court filing that he couldn't provide documents for a lawsuit.

  • They said the FBI took the documents when they raided his home and office last year.

  • Dominion Voting Systems alleges Giuliani defamed it with 2020 election conspiracy theories.

Rudy Giuliani says he can't hand over documents for Dominion Voting Systems' $1.3 billion lawsuit against him because they're in the possession of the FBI.

The revelation came in a new filing for a sprawling legal case in which Dominion has sued Giuliani, the fellow pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell over an array of conspiracy theories related to the election-technology company's role in the 2020 election.

In a joint letter proposing a schedule to move those cases forward, Dominion's attorneys wrote that Giuliani couldn't provide discovery material for the lawsuit against him because the FBI seized the material when authorities raided his home in May as part of an investigation into whether he broke lobbying laws.

Rudy   Photo by MANDEL NGAN : AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN:AFP via Getty Images
Dominion has filed a lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani.Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images

Giuliani didn't make any backup copies, his lawyers said.

"Giuliani claims that he has no access to any electronic documents, files, or communications, including back-up files or files stored in the Cloud, from before April 2021 because those files have all been seized by the FBI, and Giuliani failed to maintain copies of any of them," Dominion's attorneys wrote.

In the same filing, Giuliani's lawyers corroborated that the FBI was in possession of his files.

"Giuliani's position is that given that the FBI did not offer Giuliani the opportunity to make back-up copies of the electronic devices and/or cloud data it took possession of, Giuliani objects to Plaintiffs' suggestion that he 'failed' to maintain copies of the documents," his attorneys wrote. "These electronic files/data are no longer under Giuliani's possession, custody, or control."

Dominion said it's seeking documentation surrounding the circumstances of Giuliani's media interviews in which he falsely accused Dominion of manipulating election results. Giuliani has said in court filings that his claims were "substantially true" and didn't meet the threshold for defamation.

In May, federal agents raided Giuliani's home and office in Manhattan as part of its investigation. Prosecutors are said to be examining whether he broke lobbying laws during a failed quest to find politically damaging information about now-President Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 election.

In the intervening months, prosecutors and Giuliani's attorneys have fought over whether some of the material taken by the FBI should be protected by attorney-client privilege. A special master appointed by the court said in a report Friday that three of the tens of thousands of documents should be shielded from prosecutors because of privilege and dozens of others because they were "highly personal."

Dominion's lawyers said in Monday night's joint letter that they would ask Giuliani to request copies of the relevant discovery documents from the FBI.

While Lindell has been appealing US District Judge Carl J. Nichols' decision to allow Dominion's lawsuits to proceed, lawyers for Giuliani and Powell said in Monday night's letter that they expected to win the cases Dominion brought against them in summary judgment. Dominion proposed a schedule that would bring the cases to trial in 2024.

Dominion's attorneys also said they didn't anticipate settling with Lindell, Giuliani, or Powell.

"Given the devastating harm to Plaintiffs, the lack of remorse shown by Defendants, and the fact that many of them continue to double down on their lies, Plaintiffs do not believe any realistic possibility of settlement exists," their lawyers wrote.

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