Amid widespread allegations of voter fraud and rigged elections surrounding November’s presidential race, some allies of former President Donald Trump claimed that Dominion Voting Systems supplied voting machines that were programmed to effectively steal the election from the GOP incumbent.
For its part, the company maintains that all such accusations are patently false and has sued multiple people and entities for their part in spreading the unproven claims. In its latest move, Dominion is pursuing legal action in the form of a $1.6 billion defamation suit against the Fox News Channel, which provided a forum for guests, contributors, and hosts who disseminated such speculative rumors.
“To serve its own commercial purposes”
The company has previously filed similar lawsuits against prominent members of Trump’s inner circle, including his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and lawyer Sidney Powell.
Its lawsuit against Fox News marks the first attempt to go after a news organization, but its lawyers say they have a good reason for doing so.
At the crux of the complaint is the allegation that Fox News perpetuated a conspiracy about “rigged” voting machines to draw in viewers, many of whom were under the impression that fraud led to Trump’s loss to President Joe Biden.
As the lawsuit states: “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.”
Attorneys say that since the cable news network allowed so many individuals to enhance and bolster these claims, Dominion took an irreparable hit to its reputation. Additionally, the company insists that the reports have led to serious backlash — including death threats — aimed at the company and its employees.
“A conscious, knowing business decision”
Notably, the lawyers claim that the company made multiple attempts to work with Fox News to set the record straight but network executives ignored the efforts.
In response to threats of similar lawsuits, other networks aired disclaimers that made it clear they took the potential for costly lawsuits seriously.
Attorney Justin Nelson, however, implied that Fox News looked the other way and used the conspiracy to help boost its sagging ratings.
“This was a conscious, knowing business decision to endorse and repeat and broadcast these lies in order to keep its viewership,” the lawyer said.
It remains to be seen whether Dominion emerges victorious in its massive lawsuit, but the company has also suggested that it is leaving the door open for similar legal action against individual Fox News personalities. The cable news network issued a statement on Friday declaring that it is “proud” of its election coverage and “will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit in court.”