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Photo: Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems sent a letter to former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell on Wednesday night demanding that she retract her “wild, knowingly baseless and false accusations” about the company’s voting machines.

Why it matters: The letter is the first step in possible legal action against Powell, who has made several public appearances claiming, without evidence, that Dominion's machines were involved in an international communist conspiracy to commit voter fraud and rig the election against President Trump.

  • Specifically, Powell has claimed that the company worked with Hugo Chávez, the late Venezuelan dictator, and employed machines with a "vote flipping" algorithm.
  • The Trump campaign announced in November that Powell was no longer working with President Trump or the campaign after a wild press conference in which she said President-elect Biden won the 2020 election thanks to "communist money" from the Venezuelan regime.

What they're saying: "While you are entitled to your own opinions, Ms. Powell, you are not entitled to your own facts," Dominion's attorneys wrote in the letter.

  • "Defamatory falsehoods are actionable in court and the U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that ‘there is no constitutional value in false statements of fact.’ Dominion welcomes transparency and a full investigation of the relevant facts in a court of law, where it is confident the truth will prevail."
  • "Despite repeatedly touting the overwhelming 'evidence' of your assertions during your media campaign, every court to which you submitted that so-called 'evidence' has dismissed each of your sham litigations," the letter continued.

The big picture: Smartmatic, another electronic voting system company that has been the target of baseless conspiracy theories by Trump allies, demanded retractions from Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News on Monday for making similar "false and defamatory statements" related to alleged election fraud.

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."

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
5 mins ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.

Mike Allen, author of AM
37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden-Harris, Day 1: What mattered most

President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden arrive at the North Portico of the White House. Photo: Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images

The Axios experts help you sort significance from symbolism. Here are the six Day 1 actions by President Biden that matter most.

Driving the news: Today, on his first full day, Biden translates his promise of a stronger federal response to the pandemic into action — starting with 10 executive orders and other directives, Caitlin Owens writes.