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Former Attorney General Bill Barr subpoenaed in Dominion 2020 election lawsuit

ABC News logo ABC News 7/12/2022
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Former Attorney General William Barr has been subpoenaed as part of an ongoing 2020 election defamation lawsuit against Fox News brought by voting machine company Dominion Voting Systems, according to the court docket in the case.

Dominion filed to subpoena Donald Trump's former AG last week, according to the docket -- the latest sign that the company's lawsuits against those who pushed false claims of election fraud may be gathering steam.

As part of the Fox News suit, Dominion recently issued an additional string of subpoenas to officials including Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who Trump famously called after the 2020 election asking to help him "find" the exact number of votes he needed to win the state of Georgia.

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In its $1.6 billion defamation suit filed against Fox News last March, Dominion alleges that the network pushed false accusations that the voting company had rigged the 2020 election in order to make a profit and boost ratings.

"Fox sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process," Dominion said in its complaint.

In a statement on Tuesday, a Fox News spokesperson said, "We are confident we will prevail as freedom of the press is foundational to our democracy and must be protected, in addition to the damages claims being outrageous, unsupported and not rooted in sound financial analysis, serving as nothing more than a flagrant attempt to deter our journalists from doing their jobs."

At the first public hearing of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, Barr said in a clip played by the committee that the baseless allegations that Dominion machines switched votes from Joe Biden to Trump were "complete nonsense" and "amongst the most disturbing."

Attorney General Bill Barr holds a news conference at the Department of Justice December 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. © Michael Reynolds/Getty Images, FILE Attorney General Bill Barr holds a news conference at the Department of Justice December 21, 2020 in Washington, DC.

"I told them it was crazy stuff and they were wasting their time on it, and they were doing a great disservice to the country," Barr said of the Dominion conspiracy theories, which were consistently pushed by Trump and his allies. "I saw absolutely zero basis for the allegations, but they were made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people."

In addition to Raffensperger, subpoenas in the Dominion case were issued last week to Christopher Krebbs, the former director of the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency who was fired by Trump in November 2020 after he stated there was no fraud in the election, and Benjamin Hovland, the former chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Dominion has filed a string of lawsuits against those it says helped pushed false accusations that it helped rig the 2020 election, including attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.

MORE: Sidney Powell, MyPillow CEO appear in court over election lawsuits

Motions by Giuliani and Powell to have the lawsuits against them thrown out were denied by a judge last summer.

In her filing, Powell wrote that "no reasonable person" would have believed her theories were "truly statements of fact."

After Dominion's suit against Giuliani was filed last January, he called it "another act of intimidation by the hate-filled left-wing to wipe out and censor the exercise of free speech, as well as the ability of lawyers to defend their clients vigorously."

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