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Photo: Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Friday filed a defamation lawsuit seeking $1.3 billion in damages against Sidney Powell, a pro-Trump lawyer who has pushed unfounded conspiracy theories alleging that the company was involved in an international communist plot to rig the election against President Trump.

The big picture: Dominion alleges that Powell acted "in concert with allies and media outlets determined to promote a false preconceived narrative about the 2020 election—caused unprecedented harm." In an interview with the Axios Re:Cap podcast last week, Dominion CEO John Poulos did not rule out suing Trump himself.

What they're saying: "As a result of the defamatory falsehoods peddled by Powell ... Dominion’s founder, Dominion’s employees, Georgia’s governor, and Georgia’s secretary of state have been harassed and have received death threats, and Dominion has suffered enormous harm," the lawsuit reads.

  • "After Dominion sent Powell a letter putting her on formal notice of the facts and the death threats and asking her to retract her false claims, Powell doubled down, tweeting to her 1.2 million Twitter followers that she heard that “#Dominion” had written to her and that, although she had not even seen Dominion’s letter yet, she was “retracting nothing” because “[w]e have #evidence” and “They are #fraud masters!""
  • "Dominion brings this action to set the record straight, to vindicate the company’s rights under civil law, to recover compensatory and punitive damages, to seek a narrowly tailored injunction, and to stand up for itself and its employees."

The other side: Powell wrote on Twitter Friday, "Dominion’s suit against me & DefendingTheRepublic.org is baseless & filed to harass, intimidate, & to drain our resources as we seek the truth of Dominion's role in this fraudulent election. We will not be cowed in exercising our 1st Amendment rights or seeking truth."

Read the full lawsuit.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 3: Descent into madness ... Trump: "Sometimes you need a little crazy"

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."

34 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Stalemate over filibuster freezes Congress

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell's inability to quickly strike a deal on a power-sharing agreement in the new 50-50 Congress is slowing down everything from the confirmation of President Biden's nominees to Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Why it matters: Whatever final stance Schumer takes on the stalemate, which largely comes down to Democrats wanting to use the legislative filibuster as leverage over Republicans, will be a signal of the level of hardball we should expect Democrats to play with Republicans in the new Senate.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Biden opts for five-year extension of New START nuclear treaty with Russia

Putin at a military parade. Photo: Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto via Getty

President Biden will seek a five-year extension of the New START nuclear arms control pact with Russia before it expires on Feb. 5, senior officials told the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The 2010 treaty is the last remaining constraint on the arsenals of the world's two nuclear superpowers, limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads and the bombers, missiles and submarines which can deliver them.