Fox News, along with Maria Bartiromo, Judge Jeanine Pirro and former host Lou Dobbs, filed a new response in their motions to dismiss the $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit from voting technology company Smartmatic.
The network is maintaining that Bartiromo, Pirro and Dobbs are protected by the First Amendment as they amplified then-President Trump’s false allegations of massive election fraud following the 2020 presidential election.
In this new legal brief filed in New York Supreme Court by law firm Kirkland & Ellis, the network is arguing that the company “strains to make this lawsuit seem like a garden-variety defamation suit rather than a glaring threat to core First Amendment freedoms.”
Fox adds: “Smartmatic may be frustrated that it became embroiled in a heated national controversy, but one cannot supply voting technology and expect to avoid the spotlight. Controversy comes with the territory. And it was the President’s allegations, not the press’s coverage of them, that put Smartmatic in the spotlight.”
In its brief filed at the start of the month, Smartmatic said Fox personalities “were not innocent bystanders and the disinformation generated during their interviews was no accident…”
Smarmatic added: The Fox anchors knew what [Rudy] Giuliani and [Sidney] Powell would say on their shows, asked questions to elicit lies about Smartmatic, and endorsed Giuliani’s and Powell’s investigation. The Fox anchors added their own defamatory comments about Smartmatic for good measure. This was a scripted performance by the Fox anchors, Giuliani, and Powell to defame and disparage Smartmatic for personal gain.”
Fox News’ attorneys contend that their hosts “repeatedly informed viewers that Smartmatic denied the allegations, pressed Giuliani and Powell to substantiate them, and aired skeptical coverage of them,” even if they were not “real-time counter interviews.”
Smartmatic filed the $2.7 billion lawsuit in February of this year, claiming that the network, including the aforementioned hosts, worked together on a “disinformation campaign” about the 2020 presidential election that is threatening its survival.
Another election systems company, Dominion Voting Systems, filed a separate, $1.6 billion lawsuit against the network late last month.