Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor and current attorney for Donald Trump, continued to insist the sitting president’s legal team has “evidence” to overturn results of the general election on Thursday.
Giuliani delivered emphatic remarks about alleged voter fraud and manipulated ballots during an afternoon press conference, which saw him target electronic tabulation software and, in turn, companies Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems.
The vocal Trump ally appeared at the conference alongside others representing the Trump campaign’s remaining election lawsuits, seeking to challenge Joe Biden’s projected presidential victory through a number of varied accusations. After two separate legal teams withdrew from Trump’s legal proceedings on Friday and Monday, Giuliani stepped in to help represent the campaign.
On Thursday, the attorney focused heavily on claims that electronic tabulation machines owned by Dominion Voting Systems, which were used in 28 U.S. states to count ballots this year, “rigged” the election’s results in favor of Biden. Echoing disputed statements shared on social media and reiterated during interviews over the weekend, Giuliani attempted to draw connections between Dominion Voting Systems, Venezuelan government officials, and George Soros, a billionaire investor who donated to Biden’s presidential campaign. Dominion is a U.S.-Canadian company, with headquarters in Toronto and Denver.
“The company counting our vote, with control over our vote, is owned by two Venezuelans who were allies of Chávez, are present allies of Maduro, with a company whose chairman is a close associate and business partner of George Soros, the biggest donor to the Democratic Party, the biggest donor to Antifa and the biggest donor to Black Lives Matter,” Giuliani said during Thursday’s press conference. He referenced Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s late former president and current president, respectively.
“Our country has had its ballots counted calculated and manipulated in a foreign country, with a company controlled by friends of an enemy of the United States,” he added later. “What do we have to do to get the FBI to wake up?”
It was not the first time Trump’s team voiced these claims, which concurrently accuse Smartmatic, another company that builds electronic voting systems, of contributing to Democrats’ “plot” to remove Trump from office. The Trump campaign’s latest claims about Venezuela seem to stem from Smartmatic’s involvement in the South American country’s 2004 recall election.
Speculation about an alleged connection between Soros and Smartmatic first surfaced ahead of the 2016 election. At the time, conservative bloggers published reports claiming the Hungarian-American businessman and philanthropist owned the company. Those claims were debunked, as Soros’ only known link to Smartmatic is through its chairman, Mark Malloch-Brown, who is also a board member of Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
Earlier this fall, rumors that Soros created or owned Antifa, a loosely organized movement against fascism, and Black Lives Matter circulated on social media. They suggested he paid for protesters to participate in demonstrations as part of an objective to “destroy” the United States. Open Society Foundations denied those claims in September, telling Reuters they are “false” and “do a disservice to the very bedrock of our democracy, as enshrined in the First Amendment.”
Smartmatic recently released a statement confirming it is not associated with Dominion Voting Systems, and Dominion has denied the campaign’s allegations in full. The latter company addressed accusations about its connection to the Venezuelan government, as well as others from the campaign regarding a partisan affiliation to major Democratic political figures.
“Dominion has no company ownership relationships with any member of the Pelosi family, the Feinstein family, or the Clinton Global Initiative, Smartmatic, Scytl, or any ties to Venezuela,” the company said in a Tuesday statement. “Dominion works with all political parties; our customer base and our government outreach practices reflect this nonpartisan approach.”
More than one week after Election Day, claims that prominent Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Senator Dianne Feinstein and the Clinton Foundation had ties to Dominion Voting Systems surfaced online. The claims are unsubstantiated. Dominion gave a donation to the Clinton Foundation during a Global Initiative meeting in 2014, and one of Pelosi’s former aides served as a lobbyist for the company. The Clinton Foundation confirmed the absence of any relationship to Dominion in comments to the Associated Press.
Major news outlets called the presidential race for Biden on November 7, after he was named the projected winner of Pennsylvania, a key battleground state with enough electoral votes to push him past the required 270-vote threshold.
Newsweek reached out to the Trump campaign and Biden-Harris transition team for comments but did not receive replies in time for publication.