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Smartmatic sues Fox News over election-rigging claims

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Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News cable network and former president Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani are the targets of a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit filed Thursday by Smartmatic, a maker of voting technology.

The suit alleges they defamed the company by inventing a story that the election was stolen from Trump and decided to make Smartmatic the quote "villain."

Filed in New York County Supreme Court, it also names as defendants former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, and popular Fox hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro.

After the election, Trump and some of his supporters spread false claims of election fraud, including that Smartmatic and competitor Dominion Voting Systems manipulated the results.

Unlike Dominion, whose technology was used in at least 24 states, Smartmatic’s technology was only used in one place for the Nov. 3 presidential election: Los Angeles County, a Democratic stronghold which Biden won.

The lawsuit cited as evidence on-air exchanges such as one between Bartiromo and Giuliani on Nov. 17.

Bartiromo asked Giuliani: "What do you think went on here? Because when we spoke on Sunday, we talked about the software made by Smartmatic that was changing votes from Trump to Biden.”

On Dec. 10, Smartmatic sent a letter to Fox News demanding that it retract the allegations leveled by its employees and guests, but Fox did not issue a retraction.

Instead in December it aired an interview on the three hosts' programs, featuring an outside expert who confirmed there was no evidence to support the Smartmatic claims by Fox hosts and guests.

In a statement on Thursday, Fox said: “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.”

Video Transcript

- Rupert Murdoch's Fox News cable network and former President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, are the targets of a 2.7 billion defamation lawsuit filed Thursday by Smartmatic, a maker of voting technology. The suit alleges they defamed the company by inventing a story that the election was stolen from Trump and decided to make Smartmatic the, quote, villain.

Filed in New York County Supreme Court, it also names as defendants former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, and popular Fox hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro. After the election, Trump and some of his supporters spread false claims of election fraud, including that Smartmatic and competitor Dominion voting systems manipulated the results. Unlike Dominion, whose technology was used in at least 24 states, Smartmatic was only used in one place for the November 3 presidential election, Los Angeles County, a Democratic stronghold which Biden won.

The lawsuit cited as evidence on air exchanges, such as one between Bartiromo and Giuliani on November 17. Bartiromo asked Giuliani, quote, what do you think went on here? Because when we spoke on Sunday, we talked about the software made by Smartmatic that was changing votes from Trump to Biden. On December 10, Smartmatic sent a letter to Fox News demanding that it retract the allegations leveled by its employees and guests, but Fox did not issue a retraction.

Instead, in December, it aired an interview featuring an outside expert who confirmed there was no evidence to support the Smartmatic claims by Fox hosts and guests. In a statement on Thursday Fox said, quote, 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 the meritless lawsuits in court. Dominion voting systems has filed similar lawsuits against Giuliani and Powell.