On Wednesday, voting software company Smartmatic filed libel suits against right-wing TV stations Newsmax and One America News for falsely claiming that the firm was involved in rigging the 2020 presidential election in favor of President Biden.
The lawsuits allege that Smartmatic’s business was hurt by claims made over the channels in the months following the November 3 election, when Joe Biden defeated incumbent President Donald Trump. The company is asking a jury on both claims to determine pecuniary damage.
Boca Raton, Florida-based Newsmax and San Diego-based OAN have repeatedly stated that Smartmatic and its software have changed their voices to ensure Biden’s victory.
Smartmatic technology and services were only used in Los Angeles County during the 2020 elections, not in any of the wavering states that decided on the presidential competition.
The lawsuits say the channels’ reports also contained false claims that Smartmatic is a Venezuelan company controlled by corrupt dictators. The company is headquartered in Boca Raton, USA; its worldwide headquarters are in London.
“The damage Smartmatic has done from this parallel universe of lies and disinformation has affected the United States and dozens of countries around the world,” Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mujica said in a statement. “The global impact on our company cannot be overstated.”
Smartmatic’s lawsuits allege that the promoted channels lie about the company and its role in elections solely to boost their ratings. Both Newsmax and OAN have become rivals of conservative viewers who watch Fox News in recent years, and both have provided significant airtime to Trump’s lawyers, allies and representatives who are sowing doubts about the election result.
“Despite claims of providing viewers with fair and unbiased reporting, these agencies have pursued Smartmatic by spreading false information about the company after last year’s election, all in an effort to increase viewership and revenue,” said J. Eric Connolly, attorney for Smartmatic. … in the statement.
A Newsmax spokesman said the company had not yet received the submissions to court, but defended its message.
“Newsmax accurately reported on the allegations of well-known public figures, including (Trump), his advisers and members of Congress, and also reported on Smartmatic’s claims in its defense,” the spokesman said in a statement. “Smartmatic’s action against Newsmax today is a clear attempt to undermine the rights of the free press.”
OAN did not respond to a request for comment.
Smartmatic has previously filed $ 2.7 billion in defamation against Fox News, alleging that its hosts spread false news about the company while covering alleged electoral fraud. Lawyers Rudolph Giuliani and Sidney Powell, who spearheaded Trump’s legal efforts to overturn the election results, are also defendants in this lawsuit.
Fox News is awaiting a decision on its dismissal motion.