Electronic voting systems maker Smartmatic is suing Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News network and Trump lawyer Rudolph Giuliani, claiming they defamed it by falsely accusing it of helping to rig the US presidential election.
The suit, filed in New York County Supreme Court on Thursday (local time), also names as defendants former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, Fox Corp and Fox hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro.
Smartmatic alleged that Fox and other defendants invented a story that the election was stolen from Donald Trump and decided to make Smartmatic “the villain in their story”.
“Fox News used the story to preserve its grip on viewers and readers and curry favours with the outgoing administration – one of their anchors was even able to get a pardon for her ex-husband,” the lawsuit says, referring to Pirro.
Pirro’s husband Albert was convicted in 2000 of conspiracy and tax evasion. He was pardoned on January 20, just 45 minutes before Joe Biden took over from Mr Trump as US president.
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Smartmatic’s lawsuit seeks more than $US2.7 billion ($A3.6 billion) in compensatory and punitive damages. The company also wants defendants to retract “false statements and implications.”
“We are proud of our 2020 election coverage and will vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit in court,” a Fox News Media spokesperson said.
Florida-based Smartmatic’s technology was used in only one place for the November 3 presidential election – Los Angeles County, which was won by Mr Biden.
After the election, Mr Trump and some of his supporters spread false claims of election fraud, including that Smartmatic and competitor Dominion Voting Systems manipulated the results.
Dominion Voting Systems has filed similar lawsuits against Mr Giuliani and Ms Powell.