Voting company Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against far-right network Newsmax can move forward, a judge ruled Thursday, as Dominion and rival company Smartmatic pursue 11 defamation lawsuits over baseless election fraud claims about their voting machines.
Delaware state Judge Eric M. Davis denied Newsmax’s motion to dismiss the defamation suit, finding the news network likely knew its allegations against Dominion were “probably false” and its reporting may have intentionally left out evidence showing Dominion wasn’t involved with election fraud.
Dominion sued Newsmax in Delaware state court in August and sued One America News Network (OANN) and its anchors in federal court, alleging the two far-right networks promoted fraud allegations despite knowing they were false and “helped create and cultivate an alternate reality where … Dominion engaged in a colossal fraud.”
Denver-based Dominion filed its first lawsuit in January against pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell, who has been the most prominent person spreading the fraud claims, seeking $1.3 billion in damages, and U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols denied Powell’s motion to dismiss the case in August.
Nichols also ruled lawsuits Dominion filed against attorney Rudy Giuliani, MyPillow and its CEO Mike Lindell can move forward—though the cases against them and Powell may not go to trial until late 2023 or 2024, based on a schedule the judge set in early March.
Dominion sued Fox News in March 2021 alleging the network had knowingly spread false news about its machines to improve failing ratings, and a Delaware state judge denied Fox’s motion to dismiss the case in December.
Dominion also sued former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne in August, alleging the businessman “manufactured and promoted fake evidence to convince the world that the 2020 election had been stolen” using Dominion voting machines, and Nichols denied Byrne’s motion to dismiss the case in April, ruling “a reasonable jury could find Byrne acted with actual malice” in spreading provably false assertions about Dominion.
Smartmatic sued Fox News and its anchors Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo in February 2021, alleging the defendants “engaged in a conspiracy to spread disinformation about Smartmatic,” and New York Supreme Court Justice David B. Cohen ruled in March that the $2.7 billion lawsuit can move forward against those defendants.
Cohen dismissed Smartmatic’s allegations against Powell and Fox anchor Jeanine Pirro, and dismissed some claims against Giuliani but let others move forward.
Smartmatic has separately sued Powell in federal court, which is still pending.
Smartmatic sued MyPillow and Lindell in January for defamation and deceptive trade practices in federal court, alleging the CEO spread “lies” about the company and “intentionally stoked the fires of xenophobia and party-divide for the noble purpose of selling his pillows.”
Smartmatic also sued OANN in federal court and Newsmax in Delaware state court in November, alleging both networks “reported a lie” and spread fraud claims about the company—whose machines were only used in California in 2020—knowing they were false; those lawsuits and Lindell’s suit are still pending, and Newsmax has countersued Smartmatic.
$1.6 billion. That’s approximately how much Dominion is asking for in damages against Byrne, OANN, Newsmax and Fox News. Its lawsuits against Powell, Giuliani and Lindell are each seeking $1.3 billion in damages. Smartmatic’s Fox News lawsuit is seeking $2.7 billion in damages, but its OANN, Newsmax and Lindell complaints do not specify exact figures.