According to a new report from Rolling Stone, staffers at the conservative media company Newsmax have seen some personal communications of theirs subpoenaed as part of the ongoing defamation lawsuit from Smartmatic against the network. Smartmatic is an election technology company that for some reason was often referenced in deceptive conspiracy theories after the last presidential election about what supposedly happened.
Smartmatic’s lawsuit against Newsmax mirrors other litigation that’s been brought by similarly aggrieved parties. Smartmatic itself is also suing Fox News, against whom Dominion Voting Systems recently secured a large financial settlement in their own case. At Newsmax, the materials that Smartmatic is pursuing as trial approaches specifically include communications outside official company contexts. Rolling Stone did not provide a list of targeted staffers.
J. Erik Connolly, a lawyer for Smartmatic, essentially stood by the company’s subpoena tactics in a statement that was provided to Rolling Stone. “Smartmatic intends to pursue discovery from the current and former Newsmax employees who participated in the egregious disinformation campaign against the company,” he said. “Some of the discovery has come, and will come, from the company. Smartmatic is pursuing these individuals to get the rest. Our complaint does not numerically specify the amount of damages we have suffered.”
Newsmax itself has previously filed an unsuccessful countersuit in this matter. Elsewhere, Rolling Stone noted how communications from personnel at Fox News were critical in Dominion building its essentially successful claims against that network. In general terms, the missives highlighted specific knowledge from high-ranking individuals at Fox about the falsity of claims that were being spread about the 2020 presidential election, including on the air at the network. Even Rupert Murdoch, the longtime media boss, was evidently on the side of acknowledging the brazen falsity. Individuals like lawyer Sidney Powell nonetheless found an opportunity at Fox to promote their lies.
Elsewhere in the world of defamation lawsuits against conservative interests, Alex Jones would be under threat of two additional trials if a bankruptcy judge declines the terms of a recently circulated arrangement that would give him until August 31 to reach settlements over those remaining claims, which relate to his lies.