A voting machine company baselessly accused by President Trump and pro-Trump conspiracy theorists of illegally tipping the 2020 presidential contest is working with one of Washington, D.C.’s most prominent public relations firms to beat back the allegations.
Shortly after the election, Dominion Voting Systems hired the firm Hamilton Place Strategies to coordinate a public relations campaign responding to the outlandish claims by the president, his legal team, and their supporters, according to Michael Steel, a HPS partner and former spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner.
Steel has given media interviews in the weeks since pushing back on the allegations against the company, including that its software “switched” votes in key states from President Donald Trump to President-elect Joe Biden. “It is not physically possible for our machines to switch votes from one candidate to the other,” Steel told Fox News in an interview last month.
Other senior HPS employees have also used their platforms to push back on those sorts of claims. “None of this is true about Dominion voting machines, not a single word. None of it,” tweeted Tony Fratto, a HPS partner and former George W. Bush spokesperson, earlier this month.
Dominion’s hiring of HPS is just one aspect of its campaign to push back on the attacks against the company, which have included false allegations of ties to late Venezeulan president Hugo Chavez and supposed efforts to rig no-bid contracts for the company in Georgia. The company says those attacks have resulted in threats to the physical safety of its employees. The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Dominion’s director of security has been in hiding for more than a month.
On Wednesday, Dominion attorneys sent a letter to former Trump attorney Sidney Powell demanding that she retract some of her more outlandish claims about the company. The tone of the letter suggested it was a precursor to potential litigation against Powell or others who have made or amplified the claims.
Another company targeted by Powell and other Trump allies, Smartmatic, sent similar letters to Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News this week demanding that those media companies retract “all false and defamatory statements” about the company.