Mar 17, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Fox News sues voting company in counter to defamation claim

Photo of a phone screen showing the Fox News website and a picture of Donald Trump

The Fox News Channel website as displayed on a smartphone. Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Fox News is suing the voting machine company Smartmatic in a bid to counter the latter's defamation suit against the network.

Background: Smartmatic brought a $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox and several Trump allies last year, accusing Fox of knowingly airing conspiracy theories to convince the public that Smartmatic rigged the 2020 election against former President Trump.

  • State of play: Fox now alleges Smartmatic exaggerated the financial damage caused by the reports, an alleged violation of a New York statute that deters lawsuits aiming to discourage free speech.

What they're saying: Smartmatic stands "to make nearly $2 billion in annual revenue in 2025," over four times its highest reported revenues in the last nine years, Fox argued in the complaint.

  • "But more fanciful still, Smartmatic insists that these phantom losses are all attributable not to the coverage of the President’s allegations against it, but to a handful of segments on Fox News," stated the complaint, which was filed Thursday in the New York State Supreme Court.
  • "That claim does not pass the straight-face test."

Smartmatic did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The big picture: A judge earlier this month allowed Smartmatic to move ahead with several claims against Fox News, its host Maria Bartiromo, former host Lou Dobbs and ex-Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. The suit against Fox News host Jeanine Pirro was dismissed.

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