Fox News Media moved to dismiss a $2.7 billion lawsuit Monday, according to a press release created by the company.
“This suit strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Smartmatic’s theory is fundamentally incompatible with the reality of the modern news network and deeply rooted principles of free speech law,” said lawyer Paul Clement who filed the motion, according to the press release.
Smartmatic, an election technology company which oversaw the voting systems of Los Angeles County, California, accused Fox of “intentionally” lying and participating in a “conspiracy” to spread disinformation, according to a Feb. 4 statement.
The motion filed by Fox News Media in response to the lawsuit claims that when high-ranking elected officials such as the president claim the election was rigged, citizens have a right to know the evidence behind both sides of the story.
“Smartmatic’s effort to saddle FOX with billions of dollars of liability just for covering all sides of a vigorous debate of profound national importance must be dismissed,” the statement claims. “When a sitting President and his surrogates bring lawsuits challenging the results of an election, the public has a right to know the substance of their claims and what evidence backs them up, full stop.”
Fox News Media commented on the ongoing lawsuit, saying it was “meritless.”
“FOX News has moved to dismiss the Smartmatic lawsuit because it is meritless. If the First Amendment means anything, it means that Fox cannot be held liable for fairly reporting and commenting on competing allegations in a hotly contested and actively litigated election. We are proud of our election coverage which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism.”
We are defending our company by filing a defamation & disparagement complaint in the NY State Court against @FoxNews for false claims about us related to the Nov US 2020 #election. We must hold them accountable for knowingly broadcasting baseless claims https://t.co/yxs3QV05U3 pic.twitter.com/GX24DFbarm
— Smartmatic (@smartmatic) February 4, 2021
The lawsuit, announced by Smartmatic in a statement Thursday and filed in New York State court in Manhattan, seeks punitive damages in addition to the $2.7 billion. (RELATED: ‘There Is No Evidence’: Voting Technology Company Targets Fox News, Other Outlets Over ‘Defamation’)
“One of the biggest challenges in the Information Age is disinformation. Fox is responsible for this disinformation campaign, which has damaged democracy worldwide and irreparably harmed Smartmatic and other stakeholders who contribute to modern elections,” Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica said.
President Donald Trump’s legal team has faced a series of losses in state and federal courts and ultimately failed to overturn the electoral votes of any state. Dominion Voting Systems, another election technology company, filed a lawsuit in January against Rudy Giuliani seeking $1.3 billion.