MyPillow and its founder Mike Lindell lost their bid Wednesday to dismiss the $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit they face in the District of Columbia.
U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols said in a written decision the lawsuits against three allies of former President Donald Trump — Lindell, Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani — can proceed.
Dominion Voting Systems sued each defendant separately for false claims they made of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Judge Nichols denied the defendants' motion to dismiss the cases on several grounds.
"There is no blanket immunity for statements that are 'political' in nature," wrote Nichols, a Trump-appointed judge. "It is true that courts recognize the value in some level of 'imaginative expression' or 'rhetorical hyperbole' in our public debate... But it is simply not the law that provably false statements cannot be actionable if made in the context of an election."
The judge also denied a request by Lindell and Chaska-based MyPillow that the case be moved to the U.S. District of Minnesota. The decision also keeps open the possibility that MyPillow could be financial liable for its founder's actions.
"A corporation may be liable for an executive's conduct when the executive was acting within the scope of his employment and in furtherance of the company's business," Nichols wrote in a footnote.
Denver-based Dominion says it has suffered reputational and financial damage as a result of this trio, and others, who have repeatedly claimed the company's voting machines were used to steal the election from Trump.
"We are pleased to see this process moving forward to hold Mike Lindell, MyPillow, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell ... accountable," Dominion said in a statement.
The judge's decision comes a day after Dominion filed additional lawsuits against right-wing television broadcasters Newsmax and One America News Network for their role in spreading election misinformation.