Newsmax, One America News sued by voting technology firm Smartmatic

WASHINGTON / NEW YORK, Nov 3 (Reuters) – Election technology company Smartmatic on Wednesday sued US right-wing television networks One America News and Newsmax, saying they should be held accountable for spreading conspiracy theories about the 2020 US presidential election.

In separate lawsuits, Smartmatic accused OAN and Newsmax of knowingly making false claims that the electoral technology company rigged the election of then-President Donald Trump.

According to Smartmatic, the networks have duplicated false claims to attract Trump supporters who are unhappy with Fox News Network’s election coverage.

The privately held company sued OAN, based in San Diego, in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. The lawsuit against Newsmax, headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida, has been filed in a state court in Delaware.

A Newsmax spokesperson said in a statement: “While Newsmax has not yet received or reviewed the Smartmatic filing, Newsmax gave a detailed account of allegations made by well-known public figures, including the President, his advisers and members of Congress, as well as coverage of it Smartmatic’s claims in its defense. Today’s lawsuit by Smartmatic against Newsmax is a clear attempt to suppress the rights of a free press. “

An OAN representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Smartmatic didn’t say how much money it is asking Newsmax and OAN, but said electoral conspiracy theories stole $ 2 billion from the company. The damages owed by each of the defendants will be determined in the process, it said.

Smartmatic, headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, sued New York-based Fox News, its parent company Fox Corp, in February (FOXA.O) and several Fox hosts in New York state court alleging they falsely accused the company of rigging the US presidential election in favor of Democrat Joe Biden.

In the same case, Smartmatic also sued two lawyers linked to Trump’s Republican re-election campaign, Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, who advanced the conspiracy theory of election fraud.

Smartmatic’s lawsuit in this case stated that the defendants were to pay a total of $ 2.7 billion in monetary damages.

Fox News and its co-defendants have asked a judge to dismiss the case, arguing that their comment on Smartmatic is protected by the first amendment to the US Constitution.

Fox News, OAN, Newsmax, Powell and Giuliani also face each other Libel allegations Brought by Dominion Voting Systems, another private voting technology company that found itself at the center of false conspiracy theories in the weeks following the November 2020 election.

Like Smartmatic, Denver-based Dominion is demanding billions in damages. Dominion has also sued others, including the founder of My Pillow Inc Mike Lindell.

Dominion had an early win in August when a judge allowed his libel suits against Powell, Giuliani and Lindell to stand trial.

Fox News has asked a judge to dismiss Dominion’s allegations, arguing that Dominion’s lawsuit “threatens to stifle the media’s right to freedom of expression to inform the public of newsworthy allegations of greatest public concern.”

Reporting by Jan Wolfe in Washington and Helen Coster in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Stephen Coates

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