Smartmatic is suing Fox News and pro-Trump attorneys over 2020 election fraud allegations directed at the voting technology company.
The firm filed the lawsuit in New York State Court in Manhattan on Thursday, seeking $2.7 billion for defamation and disparagement. Smartmatic accuses Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, as well as Fox hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro, of waging a widespread “disinformation campaign” against the company.
Fox News plans to fight the lawsuit, calling it “meritless.”
In the lawsuit, Smartmatic argues the defendants “invented” new facts because the real ones “would not do for the defendants. In their story, Smartmatic was a Venezuelan company under the control of corrupt dictators from socialist countries. In their story, Smartmatic’s election technology and software were used in many of the states with close outcomes. And, in their story, Smartmatic was responsible for stealing the 2020 election by switching and altering votes to rig the election for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”
A spokesperson for the network told the Washington Examiner: “FOX News Media is committed to providing the full context of every story with in-depth reporting and clear opinion. We are proud of our 2020 election coverage and will vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit in court.”
In the aftermath of the presidential election, Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems, both of which are companies that provide election technology in the United States, faced allegations that their software secretly flipped votes that were cast for then-President Donald Trump to then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
The companies, as well as election officials rejected these claims, as did the courts. Smartmatic also says Los Angeles County, California, is the only location in the United States where its software was used in the 2020 election.
Giuliani, who is Trump’s personal lawyer, and Powell promoted both of those theories on a number of occasions, including on Fox News. Powell, who worked adjacent to the president’s campaign, alleged in her so-called “Kraken” lawsuits and in television appearances that the voting machines are the same kind used in Venezuela during the Hugo Chavez regime, have the capability of switching votes secretly, and that there is an illicit vote-changing scheme in U.S. politics involving members of both parties.
Prior to the lawsuit, Fox aired fact-checking segments about election fraud allegations surrounding Smartmatic on Dobbs, Pirro, and Bartiromo’s shows, respectively. The segment, which they did not conduct personally, was an interview with Eddie Perez, the global director of technology development and open standards for the Open Source Election Technology Institute, who answered questions about Smartmatic, an elections technology firm that has been subject to claims of election meddling by them. This segment came after the threat of a lawsuit from Smartmatic.
“One of the biggest challenges in the Information Age is disinformation,” said Antonio Mugica, CEO of Smartmatic. “Fox is responsible for this disinformation campaign, which has damaged democracy worldwide and irreparably harmed Smartmatic and other stakeholders who contribute to modern elections.”
The lawsuit also claims that the conspiracy theories about Smartmatic contributed to the deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan 6.
“The story, of course, did more than just make Defendants’ money and jeopardize Smarmatic’s survival. The story undermined people’s belief in democracy. The story turned neighbor against neighbor. The story led a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol.”
Smartmatic has also threatened litigation against Newsmax and One America News Network, both are smaller far-right television networks that promoted similar theories. The company said in a statement, “We are continuing to analyze our claims against OANN and Newsmax. We are taking a measured approach to pursuing our claims.”
Dominion has filed two defamation lawsuits against Trump-adjacent lawyers who promoted such theories — Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani — seeking $1.3 billion each and the company has issued similar threats among more than 150 others whom the company alleges has promoted the unverified theory.
Neither Powell or Giuliani responded immediately to requests for comment.
Original Author: Mike Brest