Protect Democracy sues makers of 2020 election conspiracy film over false statements, voter intimidation

October 26 – Today, Protect Democracy and its partners filed suit against the makers and promoters of the election lie-hyping film 2000 Mules on behalf of a private citizen in Georgia who was falsely accused of breaking the law in the movie and subsequent promotional efforts. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants engaged in both defamation and voter intimidation.

Without evidence, Dinesh D’Souza and True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips (along with D’Souza Media, True the Vote, Salem Media, and others) manufactured a reputation-injuring lie about our client Mark Andrews, who legally placed his own ballot and those of his family into a ballot dropbox ahead of the 2020 election. Their lies suggested that Andrews, recorded on surveillance footage depositing the ballots, was a so-called “ballot mule” working to illegally cast votes in an effort to steal the election away from then-President Donald Trump.

In addition to the defendants featuring Mr. Andrews’ image and lies about Mr. Andrews in their so-called documentary that falsely claims fraud in the 2020 presidential election (and the advertisement for the film), defendants repeated these lies many times over in media appearances and posts on social media. These lies are textbook defamation, false light, and appropriation of likeness. They also violate the Klan Act and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, passed by Congress in the wake of Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement to prohibit the kind of intimidation that Defendants are now engaged in. 

Plaintiff sent Defendants D’Souza, Engelbrecht, Phillips, D’Souza Media and True the Vote, along with Salem Media which helped amplify their lies, a letter seeking a retraction before we filed suit on behalf of Mr. Andrews. They did not retract their false statements and inaccurate portrayal of Mr. Andrews, leaving Mr. Andrews no choice but to litigate in an effort to clear his name. This suit seeks to impose consequences on those who profit from election lies that harm private individuals and our democracy writ large.

In this litigation Law for Truth, a project of Protect Democracy, represents Mr. Andrews in partnership with the law firm DuBose Miller LLC and other pro bono counsel.

To read the complaint, click here.

For more information about Protect Democracy’s efforts fighting disinformation in court, click here.

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