Former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne could be the target of a lawsuit for his embrace of post-election conspiracy theories about rigged voting machines stealing the election from former President Donald Trump.
New York Times media reporter Ben Smith reported Thursday afternoon that Dominion Voting Systems sent letters to various social platforms, including YouTube, asking them to preserve posts ahead of potential litigation. Byrne is on the list of accounts Dominion is targeting.
Dominion became a key part of a sweeping far-right conspiracy theory that vote totals had been changed to deny Trump another term in the White House. The accusations included false claims that Dominion had rigged voting machines as part of a plot involving deceased Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
The move comes the same day that election technology company Smartmatic filed a $2.7 billion libel lawsuit against Fox News and several Trump allies, saying they spread lies about the company playing a role in the fictional election fraud.
Previously, Dominion filed separate $1.3 billion defamation lawsuits against Trump’s lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell for claiming, without evidence, their equipment was part of a scheme to steal the election for now Joe Biden.
In December, right-wing media outlets Fox News and Newsmax aired statements disavowing claims made on their networks that vote counts were manipulated in several states following the threat of legal action from Dominion.
In the immediate aftermath of Trump’s election loss, Byrne claimed to have an army of “hackers and cybersleuths” who would be able to prove Trump won the election instead of Biden. He claimed Democrats had cheated by manipulating and stealing votes. There is absolutely no evidence to support that claim.
Byrne was part of a group that met with Trump in the Oval Office in December as part of an effort to overturn the 2020 election. Byrne told The Salt Lake Tribune earlier this week that he joined former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Powell, who bluffed their way past White House security to meet with Trump as they did not have an appointment. Reporting from inside the meeting described a chaotic scene, with Byrne telling Trump that White House staffers were disloyal and had abandoned him.
In 2019, Byrne went public with his apparent role in investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He revealed his relationship with an alleged Russian spy, but claimed he was romantically involved with her at the behest of “Men in Black” and businessman Warren Buffett.
Byrne did not immediately respond to a request for comment.