Speed Reads

Elections have consequences

Voting technology company Smartmatic sues Fox News and its top hosts for $2.7 billion over disinformation

Smartmatic has a high-priced demand for Fox News and its hosts — as well as a reminder of some simple facts of life.

On Tuesday, the voting technology company filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News, several of its hosts, and lawyers for former President Donald Trump. It's seeking $2.7 billion after the defendants' false claims of election fraud not only "caused irreparable damage to Smartmatic, but it contributed to an erosion of trust and civility in the country," the company alleged.

The suit targets Fox News; Fox Business hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro; and Trump-affiliated lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell. And it all starts with a harsh statement of facts: "The Earth is round. Two plus two equals four. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election for President and Vice President of the United States. The election was not stolen, rigged, or fixed."

The defendants in the case "have always known these facts," Smartmatic alleged in the suit. But because they "did not want" Biden and Harris to win, they "invented" a villain in Smartmatic and pinned false allegations of election fraud on them, the suit continued. Smartmatic provided election support in Los Angeles County — a place whose election results were never in dispute. All of these false claims "jeopardize[d] Smartmatic's survival," but also "led a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol," the suit said, going on to repeatedly excoriate the defendants' alleged role in destroying faith in democracy.

Voting machine company Dominion also sued Giuliani and Powell last month after the lawyers falsely claimed the company changed Trump votes to Biden.