Smartmatic, an elections technology company, has issued a subpoena targeting former Attorney General Bill Barr amid its defamation lawsuit against Fox News over lies about Smartmatic that went out through the outlet.
That defamation case is seeking $2.7 billion in damages, and Fox is facing similar, sweeping defamation litigation from Dominion Voting Systems, another elections technology company that was — like Smartmatic — a subject of lies about the 2020 presidential election. Amid that separate case against Fox, Dominion also issued a subpoena for Barr. In the Smartmatic case, the new subpoena for Barr demands — with a deadline of September 16 — “any communication Barr had with Fox News employees about the 2020 election, Trump campaign, or Smartmatic after January 1, 2020,” CNN explains. Any communications apparently along those same lines between Barr and Rupert or Lachlan Murdoch — who lead Fox’s parent company — were also demanded, as were potential similar communications with longtime Trump goon Rudy Giuliani.
Giuliani is a co-defendant in the case Smartmatic brought. Meanwhile, Smartmatic’s subpoena targeting the former attorney general also demands materials Barr may have given to the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, to whom he’s testified. The panel has repeatedly aired footage from Barr’s closed-door testimony in public proceedings. The riot committee is planning on additional public proceedings later this year, and it’ll apparently be eventually releasing transcripts of all its interviews. In the meantime, Barr has clearly established he’s opposed to the nonsensical lies about the last presidential election from Trump and various goons of his, and CNN identifies that materials Barr may provide could help bolster Smartmatic’s case Fox knowingly aired false allegations regarding the elections technology company, which was hardly even involved in the 2020 elections process in the U.S., despite its usage in pro-Trump conspiracy theories about the election.
Presumably, there’s a possibility comms between Barr and Fox personnel could show individuals at the company becoming aware of the truth of what went on, particularly in regards to Smartmatic. One of the components of Barr’s testimony highlighted so far by the riot committee is his explanation of how he laid out the truth of what transpired during the electoral process to the then-president himself, which Trump obviously refused to accept in a meaningfully substantive sense. Barr also explained how the Justice Department actually examined key allegations of election fraud in Georgia — discovering, of course, there was essentially nothing to them. There’s never been any real-world legitimacy to the idea election fraud concerns simply weren’t investigated.
Although concerns are possible that Barr making a point of investigating election fraud claims could’ve given them credence beyond what they deserved, he indicated during committee testimony that he was concerned staying back, and leaving investigative efforts for later, could’ve meant a sort of secondhand threat to the transfer of power because of what would presumably be observers using the hypothetical lack of Justice Department action to make false claims about the election’s integrity. Obviously, preemptively providing that solid information about the security of the election didn’t exactly stop the pro-Trump election subversion efforts.