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Election software company Smartmatic accuses Fox News of defamation, demands retractions, threatens lawsuits

Election software company Smartmatic accuses Fox News of defamation, demands retractions, threatens lawsuits

The company said it was the victim of a 'disinformation campaign' regarding the 2020 election.

Election software company Smartmatic on Monday demanded that Fox News and other right-of-center media outlets retract "false and defamatory" statements made about the company in the wake of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

In legal notices and retraction demands, the company accused Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network of making "dozens of factually inaccurate statements" as part of a "disinformation campaign" to discredit the results of the election.

Business Insider obtained a copy of a letter addressed to Fox News executive vice president and general counsel Lily Fu Claffee claiming that the network "continually and repeatedly published demonstrably false information and defamatory statements."

"Fox News told its millions of viewers and readers that Smartmatic was founded by Hugo Chávez, that its software was designed to fix elections, and that Smartmatic conspired with others to defraud the American people and fix the 2020 U.S. election by changing, inflating, and deleting votes," the letter stated.

The company, which designs and implements election security technology, was central to claims of voting fraud made by attorney Sidney Powell as part of the legal challenges to the 2020 election filed on behalf of President Donald Trump. Powell and others claimed that Smartmatic's software was created in Venezuela at the direction of socialist dictator Hugo Chavez "to make sure he never lost an election." She also claimed Smartmatic worked in partnership with Dominion Voting Systems, a voting machine manufacturer, as part of a conspiracy to illegitimately swing the election for former Vice President Joe Biden.

At the time, Smartmatic issued a statement denying Powell's claims and clarifying that no ownership nor financial relationship exists between itself and Dominion.

"Smartmatic had nothing to do with the 'controversies' that certain public and private figures have alleged regarding the 2020 U.S. election," Smartmatic said Monday. "Multiple fact-checkers have consistently debunked these false statements with stunning consistency and regularity."

"They have no evidence to support their attacks on Smartmatic because there is no evidence. This campaign was designed to defame Smartmatic and undermine legitimately conducted elections," Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica said. "Our efforts are more than just about Smartmatic or any other company. This campaign is an attack on election systems and election workers in an effort to depress confidence in future elections and potentially counter the will of the voters, not just here, but in democracies around the world."

Smartmatic's statement noted that contrary to claims made by Powell and others, the company's only involvement in the 2020 U.S. election was as a manufacturing partner, system integrator, and software developer for Los Angeles County's voting system.

Smartmatic has reserved "all its legal rights and remedies, including its right to pursue defamation and disparagement claims" should Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network refuse to retract their respective statements.

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