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Smartmatic accuses Rudy Giuliani of ‘dog ate my homework’-style excuses to avoid turning over documents in defamation suit


By Marshall Cohen, CNN

(CNN) — The voting technology company Smartmatic blasted Rudy Giuliani in court filings Monday night, accusing him of fabricating “excuse after excuse” to avoid turning over documents in its massive defamation suit against him, Fox News and others who spread lies about the 2020 election.

Smartmatic claimed Giuliani “half-heartedly” performed manual searches of his devices that led to “absurd” and deficient results after he said he “lost” his iPhone. Smartmatic claims Giuliani only produced two public tweets in response to their sweeping requests for documents about his activities in 2020 and his appearances on Fox News, where he repeatedly claimed the voting company rigged the presidential election results.

“‘The dog ate my homework.’ ‘I have to wash my hair.’ ‘I can’t go out, I’m sick.’ Since the dawn of time, people have made up excuses to avoid doing things they do not want to do. This is exactly what Giuliani has done here,” Smartmatic wrote. “For months, Giuliani has made up excuses to get out of his discovery obligations. …To date, Giuliani has not produced a single non-public document responsive to the discovery requests Smartmatic issued 14 months ago.”

To resolve the matter, Smartmatic is asking a New York state judge to force Giuliani to turn over the materials and to submit a financial declaration backing up his claims that he can’t afford an outside vendor to handle the mammoth discovery request. Smartmatic also wants Giuliani to face sanctions and pay some of the company’s legal fees.

The approach by Smartmatic mimics what Giuliani has faced in another defamation lawsuit related to the 2020 election. That case, brought by two Georgia election workers, derailed when Giuliani struggled to conduct thorough searches on his records to comply with subpoenas. The judge in that case ordered Giuliani to pay more than $90,000 in legal fees; the case is still ongoing and he may have to pay even more.

In a sworn affidavit in the Smartmatic case, Giuliani said he “lost” the iPhone he used between November 2020 and April 2021, but was able to search for documents by looking on his cloud-based backups. He also said he “did a manual search” of his current iPhone and iPad but “was not able to find” any text messages with the keywords that Smartmatic is seeking as part of the discovery process.

He also said in the affidavit, on June 23, that he had “sorted out my financial differences” with the discovery vendor and promised to start turning over documents to Smartmatic on a “rolling” basis in July. Smartmatic said in court filings Monday that Giuliani later “backtracked” from that commitment.

CNN has reached out to Giuliani’s attorney seeking comment.

After the 2020 election, Smartmatic sued Fox News, its parent corporation, several of its on-air hosts, Giuliani, and other pro-Trump entities and figures. The Florida-based company is seeking $2.7 billion in damages. Fox News and the other defendants vehemently deny wrongdoing.

The right-wing network paid $787 million to settle a similar lawsuit earlier this year from another electronic voting company, Dominion Voting Systems. The deal came after internal Fox emails revealed that many corporate executives, board members, TV personalities, producers and editors privately didn’t believe the claims being peddled on-air that Dominion rigged the 2020 election against Trump.

The Smartmatic case is one of several fronts where Giuliani is facing intense legal scrutiny.

He was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in special counsel Jack Smith’s landmark indictment against former President Donald Trump, which accused them of scheming to “defraud the United States” by trying to subvert the transfer of power after the 2020 election.

State prosecutors in Georgia are also investigating his attempts to interfere with the election in that state, and charging decisions are expected soon.

The former New York City mayor is also facing a defamation suit from Georgia election workers, who he recently conceded he had defamed by falsely tying them to voter fraud, but maintains there weren’t any damages. The judge in that case has previously warned Giuliani that he might face severe sanctions for discovery-related issues that are similar to his alleged stonewalling in the Smartmatic case.

– CNN’s Katelyn Polantz contributed to this report.

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