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On Friday, Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News over claims that Dominion helped rig the 2020 election.
The Associated Press reports that Dominion has argued the right-wing cable news channel targeted the company with a series of misleading or straight-up false claims of election fraud after Trump lost the 2020 election to Biden. Fox News amplified a number of these claims in the immediate aftermath of the election, and Dominion has asserted that Fox did so in order to boost ratings. Many of these claims helped inspire Trump supporters to take part in the U.S. Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, which resulted in the death of five people.
“Fox engaged in this knowing and reckless propagation of these enormous falsehoods in order to profit off these lies,” the lawsuit reads. “Fox wanted to continue to protect its broadcast ratings, catering to an audience deeply loyal to President Trump.”
The Trump administration repeatedly shared unfounded claims of election fraud in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s loss, although on at least a few occasions some onscreen personalities did debunk such claims.
“The truth matters. Lies have consequences,” the lawsuit continues. “Fox sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process. If this case does not rise to the level of defamation by a broadcaster, then nothing does.”
As the AP pointed out, Trump allies such as Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani were invited on the show to amplify the unfounded claims.
Dominion Voting serves 28 states, and has become a target of conservative ire following the 2020 election. Millions of people attempted to paint the company as fraudulent, asserting that it had changed votes through algorithms in its voting machines. Some even claimed the algorithms were created in Venezuela to help rig elections for Hugo Chavez.
This isn’t the first lawsuit Dominion has filed following the election. In January, the company filed a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani after he continued to peddle “demonstrably false” allegations that saw its employees become the targets of harassment. Giuliani called the lawsuit “another act of intimidation by the hate-filled left-wing to wipe out and censor the exercise of free speech.”
Last month, voting technology company Smartmatic filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox News, Rudy Giuliani, and Sidney Powell over similar accusations that they amplified unfounded claims of election fraud. CNN reported that the suit accused the parties of engaging in a “disinformation campaign,” inventing and spreading dangerous claims that undermined public confidence in elections.