“Smartmatic Sues Newsmax and One America News Network, Claiming Defamation”


The legal battle against disinformation from right-wing media outlets is expanding.

Smartmatic, an election technology firm that became a target of pro-Trump conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential race, sued Newsmax and One America News Network on Wednesday for defamation, demanding that the conservative cable networks face jury trials for spreading falsehoods about the company.

The new lawsuits add to a growing suite of litigation by Smartmatic and another election technology provider, Dominion, which found itself mired in the same conspiracy theories. In February, Smartmatic sued Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corporation and several Fox anchors on similar grounds, as well as two of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, Sidney Powell and Rudolph W. Giuliani.

“We are holding them accountable for what they tell their audience,” J. Erik Connolly, a lawyer for Smartmatic, said in an interview.

Dominion has sued FoxNewsmax, One America NewsMs. PowellMr. Giuliani, and Mike Lindell, the chief executive of MyPillow.

Smartmatic and Dominion were both accused by pro-Trump forces, without evidence, of rigging vote tallies in key states to swing the election to Joseph R. Biden Jr., part of a large-scale effort by Mr. Trump’s allies to cast doubt on the 2020 results. Those conspiracies have only expanded in the year since Mr. Biden won, as leading Republican officials and media personalities have continued to raise doubts about Mr. Trump’s defeat.

The lawsuits are one tactic being used to address an urgent civic matter: how to curb misinformation that has flowed copiously from right-wing news and opinion outlets.

For Newsmax and One America News — relatively fledgling outlets that have nurtured small but devoted followings — the stakes may be existential. Unlike Fox, which is hugely profitable, Newsmax and One America News are poorly positioned to absorb significant financial penalties.

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