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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

Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

Off the Rails

A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

President Trump was almost shouting. He directed his son-in-law and his senior strategist from his private quarters at the White House late on election night. He barked out the names of top Fox News executives and talent he expected to answer to him.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.