March 2, 2024

Fox Corporation is asking a New York State court to drop a $ 2.7 billion defamation lawsuit brought against them by electoral technology firm Smartmatic.

Smartmatic, which supplies voting systems used in Los Angeles County, filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that Fox News, a subsidiary of Fox Corporation, had spread then-President Donald Trump’s lies about the election, including conspiracy theories related to his voting machines To make Trump a win and a curry favor.

The President’s deputies made unfounded claims that Smartmatic machines were used to steal votes for Trump and count them for President Joe Biden as part of a multi-year conspiracy, including outlandish theories about sending votes overseas.

In a response filed late Monday, Fox replied that Trump’s efforts to scrap the election results were “objectively newsworthy” and that Fox was serving in his role as a news provider by allowing the then president’s attorneys and deputies to make their case on television.

The lawsuit was filed with the Manhattan Supreme Court, a state litigation-level court.

“This lawsuit is at the heart of the news media’s First Amendment mission to educate on matters of public concern,” wrote Fox’s attorney Paul Clement in the 1964 file relied on New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, the seminal press Fall of Freedom.

“In short, Fox did exactly what the first change protects: it made sure the public had access to news creators and undoubtedly cutting-edge information that help fuel an” uninhibited, robust and wide-open “debate on rapidly evolving Promote events of unprecedented importance, “wrote Clement.

Clement, who served as attorney general under President George W. Bush for three years and is now a partner in the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, is one of the most famous lawyers in the country.

Image of the logo of Smartmatic, the company that supplies Venezuela’s voting technology, on a sliding door at the company’s headquarters in Caracas.

Ronaldo Schemidt | AFP | Getty Images

Smartmatic named Fox Corporation, Fox News, three Fox hosts and attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell in its lawsuit. Clement argued that Fox and his hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro could not be held liable despite leaving the door open to crack down on Giuliani and Powell.

Dobbs’ show on Fox Business Network, “Lou Dobbs Tonight”, was canceled by Smartmatic the day after the lawsuit was filed.

“If these surrogate mothers fabricated evidence or told lies with actual malice, a defamation lawsuit may be against them but not against the media, which covered their allegations and allowed them to try to substantiate them,” wrote Clement.

Fox’s reasoning puts forward an entirely different narrative than Smartmatic, which in its own filing claims that Fox’s hosts were part of a “conspiracy to defame and belittle Smartmatic”.

Smartmatic argued that Fox and his hosts teamed up with Giuliani and Powell to spread lies about the election in order to “regain his preferred status with President Trump and his supporters”.

Fox’s response lists a number of statements that show its hosts are questioning Giuliani and Powell’s claims.

For example, the file states that on her November 15th show, Bartiromo Powell asked, “Sidney, you feel like you can prove it[?] … How are you going to prove that, Sidney? Do you think you can prove it in court? “

The submission also makes the argument that Smartmatic “is clearly a public figure here”. If the court accepts this argument and agrees that Smartmatic is considered a public figure, it would be easier for Fox to dismiss the case. In a footnote, Clement also argues that the case against Fox Corporation should be closed on the sole grounds that Smartmatic could not demonstrate that the company “was directly involved in or controlled the speakers and statements in question”.

Fox News Media said in a statement that the company dismissed the lawsuit “because it is unfounded”.

“If the first change means something, it means Fox cannot be held liable for fair reporting and commenting on competing allegations in a highly competitive and actively litigation election,” the company said. “We are proud of our election reporting, which is in the highest tradition of American journalism.”

J. Erik Connolly, an attorney for Smartmatic, said in a statement that the company “has confidence in its case and looks forward to clarifying these issues for the court”.

The lawsuit against Fox is one of several defamation cases filed in Trump’s attempt to defile and reverse Biden’s victory.

Dominion Voting Systems, another voting machine maker backed by conspiracy theorists who support Trump, has filed a lawsuit against Powell and Giuliani. The company has also warned media outlets like Fox, Newsmax, One America News Network, and Epoch Times that they could face litigation.

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