Smartmatic sues right-wing media Newsmax and OAN for defamation over electoral conspiracy theories

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MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell is interviewed by the One America News Network during former US President Donald Trump’s rally at the Lorain County Fairgrounds in Wellington, Ohio, the United States, on June 26, 2021. Gaelen Morse / Reuters

  • Smartmatic is suing Newsmax and One America News over electoral conspiracy theories.

  • He alleges that the two right-wing networks defamed them by pushing false allegations that they rigged the results of the 2020 election.

  • The company joins Dominion, a rival company also targeted by conspiracy theorists, in defamation lawsuits.

Smartmatic filed lawsuits against right-wing media networks One America News Network and Newsmax on Wednesday, claiming the media defamed the election technology company by pushing conspiracy theories about the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

“The damage done to Smartmatic by this parallel universe of lies and disinformation has reverberated across the United States and in dozens of countries around the world,” Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica said in a statement. “The global implications for our business cannot be overstated.”

Smartmatic, as well as rival election technology company Dominion Voting Systems, were both subject to conspiracy theories falsely alleging they were in cahoots with each other, developed a secret ballot-swinging technology under the regime of the now deceased Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The two companies have filed numerous defamation lawsuits against conspiracy theorists and the companies they claim have helped advance those bogus claims.

The company has previously sued Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, two lawyers who worked for then-President Donald Trump and who pushed the false theories. Smartmatic’s new lawsuits claim Newsmax and OAN have defamed the company by giving Powell and Giuliani a platform to uncritically make their false claims.

The lawsuits, which total nearly 440 pages, also say the networks’ own hosts made false claims about Smartmatic’s role in the 2020 election and booked other guests who knew little about the election administration but still lied about Smartmatic.

“The first time this happened could be a mistake. The second, third, fourth and fiftieth times this happened were intentional choices,” Smartmatic’s lawyers wrote in its lawsuit against the company. . “OANN had every chance to do the right thing after the 2020 election for President and Vice President of the United States. He could have reported the truth. Instead, OANN chose to do the wrong thing. thing every time. He reported a lie. “

Rivalries with Fox News

Smartmatic’s lawsuit claims Newsmax was motivated by its rivalry with Fox News.

“Since its inception, Newsmax has wanted to be the next Fox News, the most powerful and profitable news agency in the world,” the lawsuit said. “Fox News has earned its place by garnering billions of loyal viewers around the world. Fox News has for years led news agencies in the United States and abroad.”

Rudy Giuliani, lawyer for President Donald Trump, center, poses for photos with OAN correspondent Chanel Rion, left, and his assistant Christiann & # xe9;  Allen, in front of the White House, Wednesday, July 1, 2020, in Washington.

Rudy Giuliani, lawyer for President Donald Trump, center, poses for photos with OAN correspondent Chanel Rion, left, and his assistant Christianne Allen, outside the White House, Wednesday, July 1, 2020, in Washington. AP Photo / Evan Vucci

But Newsmax concluded that it couldn’t compete with Fox News by sticking to factual information.

“Although Newsmax has not yet received or reviewed the Smartmatic dossier, Newsmax has accurately reported on the allegations made by well-known public figures, including the President, his advisers and members of Congress, as well as reports on Smartmatic’s claims in its defense, ”Newsmax told Insider spokesperson Anthony Rizzo. “Smartmatic’s action against Newsmax today is a clear attempt to crush the rights of a free press.”

Smartmatic’s lawsuit against OAN argues that it was seeking a similar competitive advantage. The company pointed out that OAN had released “docu-films” by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who pushed a separate set of conspiracy theories on Dominion and Smartmatic, claiming baselessly that their machines had been hacked by authorities. Chinese.

OAN or Newsmax, according to the lawsuits, avoided calling in electoral technology experts and avoided officials and articles from reputable news agencies that contradicted their claims.

OAN representatives did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

Smartmatic only worked in one county in 2020

Smartmatic also filed a lawsuit in February against Fox News and several of its presenters, as well as Powell and Giuliani. This lawsuit demanded $ 2.7 billion in damages.

The new lawsuits against OAN and Newsmax ask for damages to be calculated at trial. They also say that Smartmatic has paid over $ 400,000 for public relations assistance, $ 100,000 for cybersecurity increases and $ 700,000 for staff retention since it became the subject of theories. conspiracy.

The lawsuit against One America News (OAN) was filed in federal court in Washington, DC, and the lawsuit against Newsmax was filed in a court in the state of Delaware.

The lawsuits highlight an irony in the lies blamed on Smartmatic. While conspiracy theorists have sought to describe it as a massive, obscure enterprise that influenced the nationwide election outcome, only one U.S. county used Smartmatic’s technology in the 2020 election: Los Angeles, where current President Joe Biden was expected to win.

an oan of news america

A One America News Network reporter works during a campaign rally with President Donald Trump at Newport News / Williamsburg International Airport on September 25, 2020 in Newport News, Virginia. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Since Smartmatic played no role in the general election outside of Los Angeles County, Smartmatic had no reason to be concerned about being involved in a discussion of election results in some of the states where the vote count was closer than in California, “read the lawsuits. “For example, Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin were states where the vote count between Democratic and Republican presidential and vice-presidential candidates was much closer than the California margin, but Smartmatic played no role in the elections that were held in those states.

The court documents also point to another irony in the lies about Smartmatic. While conspiracy theorists claim election flipping technology was developed for use in Venezuela, the truth is that Smartmatic alerted the world in 2017 when the Venezuelan government announced false election results.

“Smartmatic stopped providing electoral technology and software to Venezuela after the government announced a total number of votes different from the actual number of votes,” the lawsuits say. “Smartmatic has publicly revealed that the Venezuelan government announced an inflated total vote count in 2017.”

Read the original article on Business Insider


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