A series of defamation lawsuits have been filed in the past month by voting machine companies against Trump backers who alleged electoral fraud. The largest was filed by Smartmatic, which is seeking $2.7 billion in damages from three Fox hosts, as well as Team Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.
The suit accused Fox of running “a disinformation campaign against Smartmatic.” It alleged “over 100 false statements and implications.”
Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica said, “Fox is responsible for this disinformation campaign, which has damaged democracy worldwide and irreparably harmed Smartmatic and other stakeholders who contribute to modern elections.”
In a 20-page letter sent in December, Smartmatic asked for “a full and complete retraction of all false and defamatory statements and reports published by Fox News,” to be done on air, publicly.
Sidney Powell was included after threatening in December to “release the kraken,” in reference to supposed bombshell evidence of electoral fraud. In the end, her argument boiled down to unsubstantiated connection with the Venezuelan government.
For his partner, Giuliani stumbled through an accusation live on Fox that Smartmatic “is a company that was founded in 2005 in Venezuela for the specific purpose of fixing elections. That’s their expertise: how to fix elections.”
Dominion Voting Systems is joining Smartmatic in suing these figures, but is also targeting conservative CEO and pillow salesman Mike Lindell. Lindell, who promotes his brand at Trump rallies, claimed Trump received so many votes that he “broke the algorithm” used by Dominion’s machines. His account has been suspended on Twitter and his tweets repeatedly fact-checked.
“Mike Lindell is begging to be sued, and at some point we may well oblige him,” a Dominion spokesperson told CNN.
The Fox hosts, at least, may however have one defence up their sleeve. In a previous defamation suit, Fox claimed its show was not “stating actual facts” but engaging in “exaggeration” and “non-literal commentary.” Let’s see how far it gets them.