First it was Dominion, now it's Smartmatic's turn.
Voting software company Smartmatic has filed a $2.7 billion libel suit against Fox News, three Fox hosts - Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro - as well as lawyers Rudy Giulani and Sidney Powell over what the firm claims are knowingly false claims about former President Donald Trump’s election loss, CNBC reports. The lawsuit accuses the defendants of executing a coordinated disinformation campaign aimed at convincing the public of rampant election fraud.
“Without any true villain, Defendants invented one. Defendants decided to make Smartmatic the villain in their story,” says the 285-page suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The suit accuses the defendants of falsely saying or implying that Smartmatic’s election technology and software was comprised or hacked during the 2020 election, among other false claims.
Smartmatic scoffed at Trump's claims that there was widespread fraud and manipulation of voting machines that led to an undercount of Trump votes and and overcount of ballots for Biden. The company's attorneys said they have counted “dozens” of references to what they describe as the smear campaign on Fox News. That these claims were made repeatedly and echoed by the channel’s news staff is evidence that Fox News was actively plotting with Giuliani and Powell to disseminate the conspiracy, said Smartmatic’s attorney J. Erik Connolly.
The company maintains that its case is supported by its limited exposure to U.S. elections: Los Angeles County is its only current U.S. client. “That we were only used in one jurisdiction, and weren’t used in any closely contested states makes the disinformation campaign even more egregious and irresponsible,” said Connolly.
“The Earth is round,” Smartmatic’s lawyers wrote at the very beginning of the complaint.
“Two plus two equals four. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election for President and Vice President of the United States,” the suit says. “The election was not stolen, rigged, or fixed. These are facts. They are demonstrable and irrefutable.”
“Defendants have always known these facts,” the suit says.
“But they also saw an opportunity to capitalize on President Trump’s popularity by inventing a story. Defendants decided to tell people that the election was stolen from President Trump and Vice President [Mike] Pence.”
As grounds for seeking almost $3 billion in damages, Smartmatic claims that existing and potential clients around the world are getting cold feet because of the bogus claims, and in some cases have described Smartmatic as “toxic,” said Chief Executive Officer Antonio Mugica, who declined to offer examples.
In a statement responding to the lawsuit, a Fox News Media spokesperson said, “Fox News Media is committed to providing the full context of every story with in-depth reporting and clear opinion" adding that "we are proud of our 2020 election coverage and will vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit in court."
Smartmatic’s suit follows a pair of similar complaints filed by Dominion against Giuliani and Powell, accusing both of spreading bogus claims for self-promotion and a shot at salvaging a second term for Trump. The case against Giuliani alleges he promoted the election fraud conspiracy to hawk gold coins, cigars and supplements on a podcast. Powell is accused of leading the charge against Dominion by claiming foreign agents had infiltrated its voting software.
The full lawsuit is below: