Smartmatic will go forward with their defamation lawsuit against Fox News, after a judge declined their motion for dismissal.
Smartmatic is a voting technology company that, among other things, builds and maintains electronic voting systems. During the 2020 presidential election, Smartmatic machines and software were in use only in California’s Los Angeles County.
It was no surprise to anyone that Los Angeles County voted overwhelmingly for Democrat and now-President Joe Biden. But according to the filings of the case, Fox News, three of its hosts, and Donald Trump’s now-disbarred lawyer Rudy Giuliani intentionally spread a narrative of Smartmatic as being a foreign company involved in multiple state elections and committing fraud to register votes for Donald Trump as votes for Biden instead.
In fact, Smartmatic is currently based entirely in Florida, though it does sell its products worldwide, and no investigation or authority found any evidence of wide-scale voter fraud, outside of a few Republicans trying and failing to stuff ballot boxes or illegally register themselves in districts they didn’t live in.
Despite this, Rudy Giuliani went on television to claim that the company was only “formed in order to fix elections,” and Fox aired an interview with Trump lawyer Sidney Powell claiming it was all a “huge criminal conspiracy.” Both asserted they have proof.
Smartmatic immediately demanded a retraction, and Fox did air an interview with an election technology expert saying there was no proof there had been any fraud. But Smartmatic says that’s not enough.
“Fox News, its news anchors and guests knowingly and falsely published lies,” Smartmatic lawyer J. Erik Connolly said in a statement Tuesday. The company maintains that the network can’t claim free speech protections for its conduct, and wants $2.7 billion in restitution.
Claiming they have the duty to report anything a public figure claims, Fox says this lawsuit is an attack on freedom of the press, and tried to get judges to dismiss the defamation case, but were denied.