One of the electronics companies that helped supply voting machines to the 2020 election, Smartmatic, filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News, several of its popular personalities, as well as Rudy Giuliani and several other prominent Donald Trump associates.
The suit names "Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro; and Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell" as defendants who have harmed Smartmatic's image with conspiracy theories.
The opening to the lawsuit has gained significant online attention.
"The Earth is round. Two plus two equals four. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election for President and Vice President of the United States. The election was not stolen, rigged, or fixed. These are facts."
OMG 🔥🔥 Smartmatic has sued Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Fox News and Fox hosts Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, and Je… https://t.co/w8AWmB25aY— Jake Lobin (@Jake Lobin)1612463743.0
Here is the 285-page, $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit that election tech company Smartmatic filed today in state co… https://t.co/ZchGSvAl0r— Zoe Tillman (@Zoe Tillman)1612462504.0
I hope those voting machine companies sue Lou Dobbs into the ground.— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@Molly Jong-Fast🏡)1612496755.0
Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica issued a statement online, writing:
"Fox is responsible for this disinformation campaign, which has damaged democracy worldwide and irreparably harmed Smartmatic and other stakeholders who contribute to modern elections."
WHOA!!! Fox News is being sued for $2.7B by oting company Smartmatic for their election lies! Also named are Rudy… https://t.co/1MVGQ4oYco— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@BrooklynDad_Defiant!)1612462658.0
On this lawsuit, remember that we saw in the Seth Rich case, Fox will settle to make sure its personalities (inclu… https://t.co/V8p1NRVbW8— emptywheel (@emptywheel)1612465361.0
After Smartmatic's lawsuit is over I expect to see a moving TV ad set to Sarah McLachlan's In the Arms of an Angel… https://t.co/CYdfayWxMr— Jeremy Newberger (@Jeremy Newberger)1612529438.0
Most of Smartmatic's business comes from Europe, and the only U.S. area to consistently use the company's services is Los Angeles, California.
Despite this, the company became embroiled in countless far-right conspiracy theories that claimed Smartmatic machines were part of a plot to steal the election, often with the help of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
@JakeLobin Somebody sober up Jeanine Pirro and tell her she’s being sued— shane (@shane)1612483921.0
@JakeLobin @CoralovesherBC Rudy’s has also been named as a defendant in the Dominion Voting Machines lawsuit for 1.… https://t.co/9tqGkzaE1i— Madi Clark (@Madi Clark)1612465293.0
@ZoeTillman This lawsuit is just *chef's kiss*. I never thought a lawsuit would be a satisfying read but here we ar… https://t.co/qXUgYgpaUj— Stacey Abrams Stan Account (@Stacey Abrams Stan Account)1612465282.0
Fox issued a statement defending themselves, saying:
"FOX News Media is committed to providing the full context of every story with in-depth reporting and clear opinion. We are proud of our 2020 election coverage and will vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit in court."
@ZoeTillman I worked in law for 18 years. Never have I ever seen a suit start out with “the Earth is round”. Ever.… https://t.co/SIknMqT2ss— ChefA (@ChefA)1612463271.0
@ZoeTillman @Popehat I don't want to give away a brilliant line of defense, but... Earth most closely approximates an oblate spheroid.— MJ Knoester (@MJ Knoester)1612463825.0
@JakeLobin In reality the earth is slightly ellipsoid with a minimal flattening at either pole due to a natural dis… https://t.co/dsDhZymENh— Graham Hurley (@Graham Hurley)1612478756.0
Smartmatic's lawsuit identifies 13 instances when the defendants claimed Smartmatic machines were used to "rig" the vote.
This lie was spread despite Trump's own cybersecurity officials describing the election as "the most secure in American history."
@ZoeTillman Hannity & Carlson not named? Bummer. They have enriched themselves with lies for over 20 years.— Johny_BlueWave 🌊😷❄️ Persisting in #PA 🗽🇺🇸 (@Johny_BlueWave 🌊😷❄️ Persisting in #PA 🗽🇺🇸)1612465077.0
@ZoeTillman Not against Hannity? Disappointing.— Ken Cox BAA, SFA 🇨🇦 (@Ken Cox BAA, SFA 🇨🇦)1612463516.0
The Smartmatic lawsuit goes on to say:
"Without any true villain, Defendants invented one. In their story, Smartmatic was a Venezuelan company under the control of corrupt dictators from socialist countries."
@ZoeTillman @BuzzFeedNews I lol'd way too hard just now 😂😂 When you have to start off with " the earth is round" to conspiracy theorists.— Slygrammy5 💝😎😳 😷🎉 (@Slygrammy5 💝😎😳 😷🎉)1612469023.0
If Fox News hosts and Rudy Giuliani don't feel obligated to tell the truth, perhaps this threat to their pocketbooks might encourage them to take facts a little more seriously in the future.