Smartmatic, the election systems company, filed defamation lawsuits on Wednesday against two other news outlets, Newsmax and One America News Network, over false claims about the 2020 presidential election.
Smartmatic is alleging that Newsmax and OAN “victimized Smartmatic by spreading false information about the company following last year’s election, all in their efforts to increase viewership and revenue,” the company’s attorney, J. Eric Connolly, said in a statement.
The lawsuit against Newsmax (read it here) was filed in Delaware Superior Court. The lawsuit against OANN (read it here) was filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia. Both lawsuits seek unspecified damages.
Smartmatic claims that Newsmax “could not capture more viewers after the 2020 U.S. election (or lure them from Fox News) by publishing these facts so it decided to participate in disseminating another story. Newsmax’s story had three features: (a) tell its audience that it was the only source for fact-based news, (b) tell its audience that the 2020 U.S. election had been rigged and stolen from President Trump, and (c) tell its audience that anyone denying that the 2020 U.S. election had been rigged and stolen was not telling the truth.”
The company said that Newsmax published dozens of reports indicating that Smartmatic was in a “criminal conspiracy” to rig the results of the election, “and that its technology and software were used to switch votes from former President Trump to now President Biden.” The result of the conspiratorial claims was that viewership jumped, with its audience growing by 900%, according to the Smartmatic lawsuit.
Smartmatic fired off a retraction letter to Newsmax in December, which led to the outlet to run a fact check of claims of that Smartimatic was involved in election rigging.
Smartmatic said in its lawsuit that Newsmax “admitted it had no evidence for what it had been publishing about Smartmatic for over one month. Newsmax had no evidence to support what its anchors had been saying.” It called the retraction “too little, too late.”
In the OANN lawsuit, Smartmatic said that “as other news organization publicly acknowledged that they had seen no evidence to support claims of election fraud or of voting machines switching votes, OANN mocked those news organizations and doubled down on its attacks on voting machines. OANN knew its assertions about Smartmatic were not true. OANN had seen no evidence to support the assertions. But OANN chose to spread disinformation.”
Smartmatic provided election technology and services to Los Angeles County during the 2020 U.S. election, but not anywhere else in the country. In the lawsuit, the company said that “OANN published report after report naming Smartmatic as one of the voting machine companies that had conspired to steal the election by switching votes from former President Trump to current President Biden. It was all a lie. And OANN knew it.”
Smartmatic is awaiting a New York judge’s decision on whether its defamation lawsuit against Fox News and some of the network’s personalities and guests can proceed.
Dominion Voting Systems also is suing Fox News, Newsmax and OANN over election claims made in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential race. Fox News has filed a motion to dismiss the case.
A Newsmax spokesperson said in a statement, “While Newsmax has yet to receive or review the Smartmatic filing, Newsmax reported accurately on allegations made by well-known public figures, including the President, his advisors and members of Congress, as well as reporting on Smartmatic’s claims in its defense. Smartmatic’s action against Newsmax today is a clear attempt to squelch the rights of a free press.”
A spokesperson for OANN did not immediately return a request for comment.
More to come.
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