Voting machine maker Smartmatic filed a lawsuit against Fox News on Thursday, alleging that the network defamed the company by making false claims about the security of its products.
Smartmatic’s machines were used only in Los Angeles County during the 2020 elections. However, in its 285-page complaint, Smartmatic alleges that lawyers for former President Trump “created a story about Smartmatic” to back Trump’s claims that the election was stolen by Democrats. Smartmatic seeks $2.7 billion in damages.
“Fox joined the conspiracy to defame and disparage Smartmatic and its election technology and software,” the suit alleges. “The story turned neighbor against neighbor” and “led a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol.”
The suit singles out Fox anchors Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro, for allegedly defaming Smartmatic machines on air. In particular, Smartmatic alleges that Dobbs endorsed the view that its machines are easily hacked and that voting records can be sent overseas.
“They have no ability to audit meaningfully the votes that are cast because the servers are somewhere else,” Dobbs allegedly said on a December 12 airing of his show. Dobbs’s guest, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, added “They have a terrible record, and they are extremely hackable.”
Responding to the suit, Fox News said it “is committed to providing the full context of every story with in-depth reporting and clear opinion,” and “will vigorously defend [against] this meritless lawsuit in court.”
Trump refused to publicly acknowledge defeat to President Biden for weeks after the election. On January 6, Trump urged a mob of his supporters to amass at the Capitol while Congress was certifying the election results. The mob breached the building and forced lawmakers to evacuate, and five people were killed in the riot and its aftermath.
In addition to Smartmatic, Trump and allies also cast doubt on the reliability of Dominion voting machines, which were used in various parts of the country. Dominion filed a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Trump lawyer Sidney Powell over her claims that the company’s machines were used to swing the election for Biden.