Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News on Friday, the first time Dominion has targeted a media outlet over its 2020 election coverage.
Dominion has already filed defamation lawsuits against former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. In its lawsuit against Fox, Dominion argues that the network “set out to lure viewers back — including President Trump himself — by intentionally and falsely blaming Dominion for President Trump’s loss by rigging the election,” the lawsuit says according to Axios.
“Fox, one of the most powerful media companies in the United States, gave life to a manufactured storyline about election fraud that cast a then-little-known voting machine company called Dominion as the villain,” the lawsuit says. “[E]ven after Fox was put on specific written notice of the facts, it stuck to the inherently improbable and demonstrably false preconceived narrative and continued broadcasting the lies of facially unreliable sources — which were embraced by Fox’s own on-air personalities — because the lies were good for Fox’s business.”
“These lies transformed Dominion into a household name,” the lawsuit continues. “As a result of Fox’s orchestrated defamatory campaign, Dominion’s employees, from its software engineers to its founder and Chief Executive Officer, have been repeatedly harassed. Some have even received death threats. And of course, Dominion’s business has suffered enormous and irreparable economic harm.”
Fox News denied Dominion’s allegations, telling The Daily Wire in a statement: “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.”
In its election coverage, Fox News had on Dominion spokesman Michael Steele to respond to allegations by Powell that the company’s machines had altered enough votes to flip the election from Trump to President Joe Biden. Steele said in the November segment that Powell’s allegations were “physically impossible.”
In February, the voting company Smartmatic filed a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, making similar allegations that the network smeared the company for profit. Fox News also denied those allegations, saying, “Fox News Media is committed to providing the full context of every story with in-depth reporting and clear opinion. We are proud of our 2020 election coverage and will vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit in court.”
Fox News has filed four motions to dismiss Smartmatic lawsuits against it and several of its hosts since the lawsuit was filed on Feb. 4. In a Feb. 8 statement, the media outlet slammed Smartmatic for attempting to dictate its coverage and accused the voting company of attacking the First Amendment.
“This suit strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Smartmatic’s theory is fundamentally incompatible with the reality of the modern news network and deeply rooted principles of free speech law,” Fox said in a statement. “FOX News has moved to dismiss the Smartmatic lawsuit because it is meritless. If the First Amendment means anything, it means that Fox cannot be held liable for fairly reporting and commenting on competing allegations in a hotly contested and actively litigated election. We are proud of our election coverage which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism.”
This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.