“In order to win a libel case, the plaintiffs have to show a reckless disregard for the truth. That deposition, to me, looks like the definition for reckless disregard for the truth,” legal analyst Jeff Toobin said.
November 5, 2021

As you probably know, the Smartmatic voting machine company has filed a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro, as well as Rudy Giuliani and Sydney Powell. Dominion Voting Systems has sued Fox News for $1.6 billion, saying they claimed Dominion rigged the 2020 election.

CNN looks at Rudy Giuliani's deposition, and it ain't pretty.

John Berman introduced the recorded deposition. "The former mayor of New York City, the former president's lawyer, deposed in a defamation case with Dominion voting systems and other voting systems. I want to play the former mayor here. Let's see it," he said.

GIULIANI: We had a report that the heads of Dominion and Smartmatic, somewhere in the mid-teens, 20, 13, 14, after, went down to Venezuela for a get to know meeting with Maduro so they could demonstrate to Maduro the kind of vote fixing they did for -- for Chavez.

ATTORNEY: You said the heads of Dominion and Smartmatic.

GIULIANI: Yes. That's what I was told. Before the press conference, I was told about it. Sometimes I go and look myself when stuff comes up. This time I didn't have the time to do it. It's not my job in a fast-moving case to go out and investigate every piece of evidence that's given to me. Otherwise, you're never going to write a story and you're never going to come to a conclusion.

"So we have known some of that content had been reported before but we hadn't seen it before. Giuliani saying he basically repeated things at a press conference but never bothered to check at all," Berman said.

"In order to win a libel suit, the plaintiffs have to show reckless disregard for the truth. That, to me, looks like the very definition for reckless disregard for the truth," legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said.

"The idea that you will go out and damage the reputation of a company for any concern with whether what you're saying is true, seems to me clearly libelous. And I think Giuliani will be on the hook for millions of dollars, because the libel is supposed to address harm to reputation. These company's reputations were horribly damaged by these total falsehoods that he put out there with, it seems to me reckless disregard for the truth. I think these will be disastrous for him. And they may well be disastrous for the media outlooks like Fox News that put it on uncritically."

Berman asked if Rudy's demeanor makes a difference.

"If ultimately it goes to a jury, it could mean a great deal," Toobin said.

"Jurors look at how they look and feel and sound. And him failing to recognize the seriousness of what he was doing and the impact of what he was doing and his complete lack of interest and lack of curiosity and lack of work in determining whether what he was saying was true, or even had any factual basis at all, other than something someone told him, it's just outrageous."

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.