On November 3rd, Smartmatic, an election technology company, sued One America News Network (OANN) and Newsmax for defamation over claims related to the 2020 presidential election.
The lawsuits, filed against OANN in Washington D.C. and against Newsmax in Delaware, allege that the conservative news organizations aired dozens of reports accusing Smartmatic of participating in a conspiracy to rig the election against Donald Trump.
According to the suit filed against OANN’s parent company, Herring Networks, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the network knowingly and repeatedly spread lies about the company’s role—and the outcome—of the presidential election.
“OANN knew Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election for President and Vice President of the United States. OANN knew the election was not rigged, fixed, or stolen. OANN knew voting machines did not switch votes from former President Donald Trump to current President Joe Biden. OANN had every opportunity to provide its audience these facts. It chose to do the opposite,” the complaint reads.
The suit against Newsmax, filed in the Superior Court for the State of Delaware, makes similar accusations. “Newsmax knew Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election for President and Vice President of the United States. Newsmax knew the election was not fixed, rigged, or stolen. Newsmax knew voting machines had not switched votes from former President Trump to now President Biden. Those facts were being published by government officials, election specialists and everyone with firsthand experience with the 2020 U.S. election,” reads the complaint.
These suits are the latest move by voting technology companies to hold media organizations responsible for spreading disinformation about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.
Last February, Smartmatic filed a $2.7 billion dollar defamation lawsuit against Fox News, and in August, rival Dominion Voting Systems filed three separate $1.6 billion defamation suits against OANN, Newsmax, and a Trump ally for spreading lies about the election results. Dominion has also filed billion dollar defamation suits against Fox News, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, and former Trump lawyers Rudy Guiliani and Sidney Powell.
Newsmax characterized Smartmatic’s recent suit as a “clear attempt to squelch the rights of a free press.” “While Newsmax has yet to review the Smartmatic filing, Newsmax reported accurately on allegations made by well-known public figures, including the President, his advisors and members of Congress, as well as reporting on Smartmatic’s claims in its defense,” Anthony Rizzo, a spokesman for Newsmax, wrote in an emailed statement to The Washington Post.
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