Smartmatic, a voting technology company, has filed a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, top Trump defender Rudy Giuliani, and others over their reality-disconnected claims about the company’s supposed role in an imaginary election fraud scheme that Trump allies claimed handed victory to Joe Biden. As CNN summarizes, some of those involved in pushing the lies about Smartmatic “aimed to tie the company to the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez,” while others “suggested that Dominion [Voting Systems] used Smartmatic’s voting software in swing states and that votes were exported out of the country to be tabulated,” but none of these claims are true. In the 2020 election, Smartmatic wasn’t even used anywhere in the country besides Los Angeles County.
Besides Fox and Giuliani, the new Smartmatic lawsuit also names Trump-allied lawyer Sidney Powell and prominent Fox hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro. Antonio Mugica, who founded Smartmatic and serves as its chief executive, told CNN that the company had “no choice,” adding that the issue is “existential” because of the impact of the lies on the business operations of the company.
Smartmatic’s new lawsuit reads, in part, as follows, referring to the lies from the Trump allies in question:
‘They needed a villain. They needed someone to blame. They needed someone whom they could get others to hate. A story of good versus evil, the type that would incite an angry mob, only works if the storyteller provides the audience with someone who personifies evil. Without any true villain, defendants invented one. Defendants decided to make Smartmatic the villain in their story.’
Smartmatic is well-prepared for the lawsuit — they have J. Erik Connolly as a lawyer, and Connolly once helped obtain one of the largest defamation settlements ever recorded in the U.S., although the exact amount doesn’t appear to be publicly known. Meanwhile, at another point, the new Smartmatic defamation lawsuit reads as follows:
‘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. These are facts. They are demonstrable and irrefutable.’
As summarized by CNN, Smartmatic said that the lies about the company from Trump allies “undermined its business relationships around the world, resulted in a wave of threats against its staff, and contributed to a $767.4 million drop in its parent company’s projected profits over the next five years.” Some $350,000 a year over the next two years will be needed to help protect the company’s workers from potential physical attacks, while nearly $5 million across the next five years will be required to help defend the company against cyberattacks, CNN adds. These substantive threats against the safety and security of Smartmatic employees are some of the real world consequences of deranged lies from Trump allies.