Fox News‘ legal team filed a motion on Monday to dismiss a $2.7 billion lawsuit by voting software company Smartmatic, arguing that the complaint is aimed at “stifling debate and chilling vital First Amendment activities.”
“This lawsuit strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Smartmatic’s theory is fundamentally incompatible with the reality of the modern news network and the deeply rooted principles of free speech law,” explained Paul Clement of Kirkland & Ellis Partner, representing the network’s legal team.
Smartmatic filed its lawsuit last week in New York state court in Manhattan, naming Fox News, three anchors and pro-Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.
In its 276-page lawsuit, Smartmatic argues that Giuliani and Powell “concocted a story about Smartmatic” and that “Fox joined the conspiracy to defame and smear Smartmatic and its election technology and software.”
“The story turned neighbors against neighbors,” the complaint continues. “The story led a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol.”
Smartmatic is seeking damages of “no less than $2.7 billion,” according to the complaint, and is requesting a jury trial. Its action against Fox follows two lawsuits filed last month by Dominion Voting Systems: one against Giuliani, the other against Powell.
The tech company has also threatened litigation against Newsmax and One America News Network, both smaller television networks that “promoted similar theories of voter fraud.”
“We continue to analyze our claims against OANN and Newsmax. We are taking a measured approach to pursuing our claims,” he said in recent days in a statement.
Dominion has also filed two defamation lawsuits against Giuliani, who is Trump’s personal attorney, and Powell, for $1.3 billion each. The company has issued similar threats among more than 150 people who, according to the company, have promoted the “unverified theory.”