Dominion Voting Systems on Friday hit Fox News with a $1.6 billion defamation suit, arguing that the cable news giant “sold a false story of election fraud” following the 2020 presidential campaign in order to maintain its sagging ratings, according to the Associated Press.
The company argued that Fox News and its on-air personalities repeatedly amplified false claims that Dominion altered votes through algorithms in its voting machines. On-air talent also gave platforms to allies of President Donald Trump such as Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, who repeated inaccurate claims that were then amplified on the network’s sizable social media accounts.
The suit focused on how Fox News behaved differently than other news outlets, which reported objectively on the false accusations, and noted that the network’s post-election ratings dropped among viewers who thought it was not sufficiently supportive of Trump. “This was a conscious, knowing business decision to endorse and repeat and broadcast these lies in order to keep its viewership,” Dominion attorney Justin Nelson told the Associated Press.
A spokesperson for the network told TheWrap Friday, “Fox News Media is proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism, and will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit in court.”
Dominion lawyers told the AP that the company had suffered “enormous and irreparable economic harm” from the false claims — and noted that employees had been subjected to harassment and death threats.
In January, Dominion filed suits against former Trump lawyers Giuliani and Powell — and filed another suit in February against Mike Lindell, the CEO of the Minnesota-based MyPillow.
Smartmatic USA, another election technology company whose involvement in the 2020 presidential election was restricted to Los Angeles County, in February filed a $2.7 billion defamation suit against Fox News as well as on-air hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro. The following day, the company canceled Dobbs’ show and Fox News’ lawyers have since filed a motion to dismiss the suit.
According to Trump Attorney General William Barr and election officials across the country, there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. The former president’s legal team lost all substantive legal challenges to the election results.