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"Powell and Giuliani are open to settlement discussions once discovery is complete and Dominion realizes that its claims are without merit and that it has no damages legally attributable to Powell and Giuliani," the filing said. "Powell and Giuliani have nothing to show remorse for and dispute that they have lied about anything.

"

Attorneys for Powell and Giuliani said they will participate in the discovery process for the lawsuit. However, Business Insider reported Giuliani's lawyers said he is currently unable to turn over documents because the FBI took possession of his digital files when it raided his home in May as part of an investigation into whether he violated lobbying laws.

Lindell said he will not participate in the discovery process. He informed Insider that he intends to appeal Nichols' denial of his motion to dismiss the defamation suit all the way to the Supreme Court.

He also said he will "never settle" with Dominion and has filed a counter lawsuit for $1.6 billion against the voting machine manufacturer, Business Insider reported.

"They are prison bound! They are trying to cover up their crimes and committing more crimes in the process!"Lindell said, informing the outlet "many new charges and lawsuits" will be brought against Dominion in the "next two to three weeks."

Dominion has vigorously denied the claims made by Lindell, Powell, and Giuliani, including the allegation that Dominion machines used software manufactured in Venezuela to help Hugo Chavez fraudulently win elections, among other unproven accusations. Dominion is an American company based in Denver and Toronto and has no ownership ties to the government of Venezuela.

The company alleges that Lindell, a self-made millionaire and staunch Trump supporter, advanced false and defamatory claims about Dominion's voting machines in order to "sell more pillows." The CEO has claimed that following his public statements on the 2020 election he has lost retailers and been the victim of "cancel culture."

Dominion is also suing Fox News for $1.6 billion, accusing the network of falsely reporting election fraud claims after being shown evidence that disproved the accusations leveled against the company.

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Gov. Hogan Signs Bills To Shore Up Marylands Cybersecurity

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Gov. Larry Hogan signed measures to strengthen cybersecurity in state and local governments in Maryland on Thursday, after lawmakers approved legislation and big investments this year to protect vital systems against cyberattacks.

One of the measures aims to help local governments, school systems and health departments work with more resources and assistance from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to improve cybersecurity. The agency will support local governments in developing vulnerability assessments and response plans.

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“Today we are signing into law bipartisan legislation to continue solidifying our standing as the cyber capital of America, and further strengthen our infrastructure to protect Marylanders against cyberattacks,” the Republican governor said, in a reference to the number of cybersecurity companies in the state, as well as cyber-related federal agencies and military installations.

In a year of huge budget surplus, Maryland lawmakers approved roughly $570 million for cybersecurity and information technology upgrades in the legislative session that ended last month. That includes about $200 million for cybersecurity and nearly $334 million for information technology development projects.

State Sen. Katie Fry Hester, a Democrat who was the lead Senate sponsor of cybersecurity legislation, said it’s vital to protect the state’s basic public infrastructure.

“Now, everything is electronic: our drinking water, our transportation, our public safety, our education, our financial systems — this is the government’s responsibility to maintain,” she said. “We have to make sure that our Marylanders’ day-to-day routines are not disrupted, and I think these three bills in combination with the $570 million in the 2023 budget will get us a long ways toward achieving those goals.”

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Hogan also signed a bill to create reporting requirements for state agencies and local governments, including reporting of cybersecurity incidents. Agencies will be required to complete a cybersecurity assessment and to remediate findings. Local government entities will have to consult with the local emergency manager to create or update a cybersecurity preparedness and response plan.

Another measure expands cybersecurity requirements for state agencies and water and sewer systems. It requires public or private water or sewer systems that serve 10,000 or more users and receive financial assistance from the state to assess their vulnerability to a cyber attack.

Last year, a hacker gained entry to the system controlling the water treatment plant of a Florida city of 15,000 and tried to taint the water supply with a caustic chemical. Cybersecurity experts said the incident exposed a danger that has grown as systems become both more computerized and accessible via the internet.

A provision in the bill also requires that at least 20% of the amount spent on information technology in fiscal year 2023 to be spent in the following fiscal year.

State and local governments are ripe targets for hackers, even as President Joe Biden’s administration has announced additional steps to safeguard federal government systems from hacking. Cities also have come under cyberattack.

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Baltimore County was one of about 50 school systems across the nation attacked with ransomware in 2020, costing the county millions of dollars. In December, Maryland’s health department was hit by a ransomware attack that impeded information about health metrics relating to COVID-19.

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