A Georgia mother and daughter who processed ballots in Atlanta for the 2020 presidential election are suing The Gateway Pundit, a right-wing conspiracy theory website, for falsely claiming they manipulated ballots. According to the complaint filed in the circuit court for St. Louis City, Missouri, by Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shay” Moss, the website published dozens of false stories about them, calling them “crooked Democrats” and claiming that they “pulled out suitcases full of ballots and began counting those ballots without election monitors in the room.”
In a motion submitted on Monday, Powell’s lawyers argue that her statements are not actionable under defamation law because she made them as an advocate-attorney of Donald Trump. Dean of Missouri Law School Lyrissa Lidsky called this argument absurd: "Attorneys have ethical obligations not to lie, and she made the false statements in her capacity as an attorney."
Much like the case that was laid out during Trump’s second impeachment trial, Swalwell’s lawsuit also asks the judge to consider Trump’s behavior in the months leading up to the Capitol attack. He argues that Trump’s speech on the day of the attack, in which he urged supporters to march to the Capitol, should be interpreted as a last-ditch effort to undo the election results.
The judge wrote that California Representative Devin Nunes failed to state adequate claims and to request a retraction before he filed his lawsuit against CNN.
Fox’s lawyers argue that they had a First Amendment privilege to report newsworthy allegations–even false ones–in a neutral way. They also claim that Smartmatic failed to establish a key requirement of a defamation claim—that Piro, Dobbs, and Bartiromo acted with “actual malice.”