Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit on Friday seeking $1.6 billion in damages against Fox News, arguing that the network knowingly spread misinformation about the company's role in nonexistent voter fraud, AP reports.
Why it matters: This is the first time Dominion has sued a media company in its efforts to collect billions in damages from pro-Trump figures who have pushed baseless conspiracies about its voting machines.
- Dominion has previously sued Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, and the pro-Trump MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. All have appeared as guests on Fox News.
- Smartmatic, another voting company accused in baseless allegations of an international communist plot to rig the election for Joe Biden, filed a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox, some of the network's top hosts, Giuliani, and Powell in February.
Details: Dominion argues that Fox News "sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process," per AP.
- "Dominion said in the lawsuit that it tried repeatedly to set the record straight but was ignored by Fox News," AP writes.
- “This was a conscious, knowing business decision to endorse and repeat and broadcast these lies in order to keep its viewership,” said Justin Nelson, an attorney representing Dominion.
The big picture: Defamation lawsuits have so far proven somewhat effective in curbing the spread of disinformation about voter fraud on cable TV, although political disinformation about the coronavirus and the Capitol attack on Jan. 6 is still prevalent on some conservative networks, particularly in primetime, as Axios reported in February.
The bottom line: There was no widespread fraud in the 2020 elections. The Department of Homeland Security called the election "the most secure in American history."
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