Three prominent allies of former US President Donald Trump -Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Mike Lindell - on Wednesday lost a bid to dismiss multibillion dollar lawsuits saying their false claims about the 2020 presidential election defamed the Dominion voting equipment company.
US District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington D.C. said in a written decision that lawsuits brought against the trio by Dominion Voting Systems should move forward. The company had said it was defamed because Trump and his supporters spread false claims that it rigged the election against him.
Nichols held that the First Amendment, which protects the right to free speech, offers "no blanket immunity" to Powell and Lindell in the lawsuits. Powell is a lawyer who later left the Trump campaign. Lindell is a conspiracy theorist who founded a pillow and bedding company.
The judge also rejected an argument by Giuliani, a former US prosecutor and mayor of New York, that Dominion had not explained its request for money damages with enough specificity.
A Dominion spokesperson said: "We are pleased to see this process moving forward to hold (the defendants) accountable."