A key “Stop the Steal” attorney who tried, on Donald Trump’s behalf, to convince former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to help execute a coup and overturn the 2020 election is helping a group of Michigan poll challengers sue voting machine company Dominion Voting Systems.
And according to newly filed court documents, that Trumpist attorney, Kurt Olsen, is teaming up with celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz, a longtime Democrat who served on former President Trump’s legal defense for the 2020 impeachment trial. Dershowitz said in a brief interview on Friday afternoon that though he is not the lead attorney on this new class-action lawsuit, he described himself as an “adviser and consultant on the First Amendment issues of this case.”
“I consider this a part of the bigger-picture efforts, that includes my consulting on Mike Lindell and MyPillow’s cases,” he added. “I believe the election was absolutely fair, I believe President Biden is the legitimately elected president. But I think the issue should be debated and should not be censored. I believe Dominion is trying to suppress free speech.”
Dershowitz also said he has had “no contact with Mr. Olsen at all,” and that “I disagree with him fundamentally on many of the substantive issues, but that’s always true with the First Amendment.”
“I certainly would never support any kind of coup d'état,” he said when asked about Olsen’s efforts with then-President Trump.
In a complaint reviewed on Friday, eight poll challengers allege that cease and desist letters sent to them by Dominion as part of the company’s defamation lawsuit harmed and damaged the recipients. They allege that Dominion is violating the civil provision of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, engaged in a civil conspiracy, and deprived the litigants of their constitutional rights under the First Amendment and the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
Olsen, one of the attorneys representing the poll challengers, is a Maryland attorney who rose from relative obscurity to brief Trump on a long-shot maneuver to get the Justice Department to try to overturn the 2020 election at the Supreme Court. Olsen, according to The New York Times, urged both Trump and the Justice Department to file a Supreme Court suit similar to the one filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in order to resolve the standing issues which had doomed the Texas suit. Rosen reportedly ignored Olsen’s attempts to brief him on the effort and the Justice Department never took up the effort.
Since then, Olsen has left his previous firm and reportedly taken on MyPillow magnate Mike Lindell as a client.
The suit also draws on a legal theory—that Dominion is a government actor by virtue of its role in providing technology for elections—first put forward by Dershowitz for Lindell’s February lawsuit against Dominion.
Lindell, whose name is referenced in the complaint as a purported victim of Dominion but is not a party to the case, first sent The Daily Beast a copy of the document on Friday morning. A Dominion spokesman did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on Friday afternoon.
The plaintiffs in the case worked as poll challengers in Michigan during the 2020 election. Under Michigan state law, political parties and interest groups are allowed to appoint Michigan residents as “challengers” to question the eligibility of voters and ballots in elections.
Each of the plaintiffs says they filled out affidavits with concerns about the voting process in November 2020 and that none of them mentioned Dominion. Nonetheless, the challengers say they still received cease and desist letters.
The letters, according to a sample copy attached to the complaint, demanded that the recipients "cease and desist taking part in defaming Dominion" and preserve any documents or communications with the Trump campaign, its attorneys, the media, and anyone who assisted in filling out an affidavit.
Dominion has not sued any of the eight plaintiffs in the case and has thus far only initiated legal actions against high-profile election conspiracy theorists like Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, and pro-Trump news channels like OANN and Newsmax.
The poll challengers argue they were nonetheless “clearly damaged” by the letters and describe themselves as “consumed with a sense of fear” and, as litigant Kathleen Daavettila claimed, “in fear of her life and that of her unborn child” as a result of receiving one.