Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox News on Friday, the Associated Press reported. The cable news outlet, the suit alleges, falsely claimed that Dominion rigged the 2020 presidential election.
The voting company has filed multiple defamation suits, including against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Donald Trump campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and attorney Sidney Powell, in response to false claims spread about the business following the 2020 presidential election. This is the first suit Dominion company has filed against a media outlet, the AP noted.
The 443-page complaint obtained by the AP accuses Fox of "intentionally and falsely" claiming Dominion caused President Donald Trump's loss to President Joe Biden "by rigging the election" — all because Fox's ratings were dropping as viewers believed the cable outlet was bing "insufficiently supportive" of Trump:
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. After the November 3, 2020 Presidential Election, viewers began fleeing Fox in favor of media outlets endorsing the lie that massive fraud caused President Trump to lose the election. They saw Fox as insufficiently supportive of President Trump, including because Fox was the first network to declare that President Trump lost Arizona. So Fox 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 suit says Fox's "outlandish, defamatory, and far-fetched fictions" include:
- "Dominion committed election fraud by rigging the 2020 Presidential Election";
- "Dominion's software and algorithms manipulated vote counts in the 2020 Presidential Election";
- "Dominion is owned by a company founded in Venezuela to rig elections for the dictator Hugo Chávez"; and
- "Dominion paid kickbacks to government officials who used its machines in the 2020 Presidential Election."
The company says Fox knew the statements about Dominion were lies at the time but "recklessly disregarded the truth."
Though the only defendant named in the suit is Fox News, the filing does call out specific hosts — Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, and Jeanine Pirro — as well as Lindell, Giuliani, and Powell, who appeared on Fox as guests.
Fox responded to the suit with an email saying, "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," Axios reported.
This is the second voting company to sue Fox for defamation in the wake of the 2020 election. Smartmatic filed a $2.7-billion suit against the cable news outlet on Feb. 4.
Fox filed a motion to dismiss the Smartmatic suit on Feb. 8, the cable outlet noted in an email to TheBlaze.
This story has been updated.