Voting machine maker Smartmatic yesterday filed lawsuits against Newsmax and the owner of One America News Network (OANN), claiming the conservative news organizations conducted a “disinformation campaign against Smartmatic” and “acted with actual malice and ill will” by falsely claiming “that Smartmatic fixed, rigged, and stole the 2020 US election for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”
Smartmatic is seeking financial damages in the defamation lawsuits filed against OANN owner Herring Networks in US District Court for the District of Columbia and against Newsmax in Delaware Superior Court.
“OANN falsely stated and implied that Smartmatic’s election technology and software were compromised or hacked during the 2020 US election and sent votes to foreign countries to be compromised or hacked,” that “Smartmatic was founded and funded by corrupt dictators from socialist and communist countries,” and that “Smartmatic’s election technology and software were designed to and have fixed, rigged, and stolen elections before,” the lawsuit against OANN said. Smartmatic made largely identical allegations in the lawsuit against Newsmax.
Lawsuit: OANN chose to report lies
“The first time it happened could be a mistake. The second, third, fourth and fiftieth times it happened were intentional choices. OANN had every opportunity to do the right thing after the 2020 election for President and Vice President of the United States. It could have reported the truth. Instead, OANN chose to do the wrong thing every time. It reported a lie,” the lawsuit against OANN said.
As other news organizations told their audiences that Biden had defeated Donald Trump, “OANN told its audience that the election had been stolen and voting machines had switched votes cast for President Trump to President Biden,” the lawsuit said. “OANN knew it was not true. OANN had seen no evidence to support the assertion. But OANN chose to spread disinformation.” OANN continued doing this “in the months and weeks that followed.”
Smartmatic said it “provided election technology and services to Los Angeles County during the 2020 US election” but that its “technology and software were used nowhere else in the country… Even in Los Angeles County, the company played no part in the counting or tabulation of votes.”
“OANN’s choices have damaged Smartmatic’s reputation and brand by casting it as a corrupt company whose technology and software was used to steal the 2020 US election. OANN must be held accountable for its deliberate choice to spread disinformation,” the lawsuit said.
“Newsmax purposefully avoided learning the truth”
In the other lawsuit, Smartmatic alleged that in November and December 2020, “Newsmax published dozens of reports indicating that Smartmatic participated in a criminal conspiracy to rig and steal the 2020 US election and that its technology and software were used to switch votes from former President Trump to now President Biden. Smartmatic’s participation in the conspiracy was a fact, according to Newsmax and its guests, as was the use of Smartmatic’s technology and software to switch votes.”
Smartmatic argued that “Newsmax purposefully avoided learning the truth about Smartmatic and its election technology and software, establishing its actual malice. First, Newsmax intentionally avoided obtaining information from Smartmatic. No one from Newsmax ever contacted Smartmatic to verify any statements it made or published.” Newsmax also “allowed a myriad of guests to appear on its various news programs and make false statements and implications about Smartmatic without showing any proof or evidence for those statements” and “did not interview anyone with personal knowledge of Smartmatic’s involvement in the 2020 US election or the allegations being made about Smartmatic,” Smartmatic alleged.
“A myriad of information was available to Newsmax that showed its statements and implications about Smartmatic and the use of its technology and software in the 2020 US election (and in contested states) were false. Newsmax either ignored this information, and thereby acted with reckless disregard or broadcast and published its false statements knowing they were false based on this information,” the lawsuit said. Smartmatic made virtually identical allegations against OANN.
Dominion Voting Systems sued Newsmax and OANN in August. Dominion and Smartmatic have both sued Fox News.
We contacted Newsmax and OANN about the lawsuits and will update this story if we get any response. According to a Deadline article, Newsmax issued a statement saying that it “reported accurately on allegations made by well-known public figures, including the president, his advisors and members of Congress, as well as reporting on Smartmatic’s claims in its defense. Smartmatic’s action against Newsmax today is a clear attempt to squelch the rights of a free press.”