Judge rules that Fox News can file a counterclaim against Smartmatic

(Mark Lennihan/AP)

Judge rules that Fox News can file a counterclaim against Smartmatic

Stephen Battaglio

January 24, 2024

Fox News is trying to fight Smartmatic’s defamation lawsuit by filing a lawsuit against it

go after

the voting machine company’s claim for damages.

The conservative news channel is being sued by Smartmatic for $2.7 billion. The lawsuit alleges that former President Trump’s lawyers falsely accused the company of manipulating vote counts in the 2020 presidential election, and that Fox News and three of its hosts Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro used the disinformation in their programs presented.

Fox News, which admitted it made false statements in its reporting as it settled a similar lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems, has said the damages sought by London-based Smartmatic do not reflect the company’s value and are targeted on curbing the conservative network’s freedom of expression.

Judge David B. Cohen of the New York Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Fox News’ counterclaim can stand. Smartmatic had tried to have the counterclaim dismissed.

A lawyer for Smartmatic could not be reached for comment. A representative for Fox News had no comment.

Cohen also wrote that the defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News cannot be the basis for a malice claim because the lawsuit did not proceed.

Dominion received $787.5 million from Fox just after jury selection in the April trial. The company sued for $1.6 billion over false statements Fox News made about its role in the 2020 election while covering up Trump’s fraud claims.

Delaware Court Judge Eric Davis ruled in a summary judgment that Fox News aired false statements about Dominion during its coverage of Trump’s election fraud allegations, but did not rule on actual malice, which would be determined at trial. He also rejected Fox News’ defense that reporting on Trump’s false allegations was justified because they were newsworthy statements from a sitting president.

Reviews by election officials and legal proceedings in numerous 2020 election battleground states have found no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could have changed the outcome of the 2020 election. Trump,




who made his third bid for the White House has been upheld

without proof

that the election was stolen and that many of his supporters still believe him.

Cohen previously rejected Fox News’ proposal to dismiss the case. The company argued that while Trump’s claims were false, they were newsworthy and therefore protected by US authorities

First 1st


Fox News attorneys have also focused on the amount of damages in a legal dispute over whether texts from Smarmatic executives that were inadvertently submitted during the case’s discovery process can be entered into evidence. The Court of Appeal is expected to rule on the case this spring.

Lawyers for Fox News said in court that the texts will be made public


internal concerns at Dominion about whether the $2.7 billion in damages sought in the lawsuit are justified.

Smartmatic lawyers argued that the texts are privileged information and should be excluded.

If Smartmatic and Fox News do not reach a settlement, the case is expected to be dismissed


trial next year.


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