Dominion has filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, saying the cable news company falsely claimed the company’s voting machines rigged the 2020 presidential election.
“It’s the first defamation suit filed against a media outlet by the voting company, which was a target of misleading, false and bizarre claims spread by President Donald Trump and his allies in the aftermath of Trump’s election loss to Joe Biden,” according to AP News.
The falsehoods helped spur on rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in a violent siege that left five people dead, including a police officer. The siege that led to Trump’s historic second impeachment before an acquittal vote handed down by the US Senate.
Dominion argues that Fox News purposefully propagated the story of election fraud and linked it to the voting machines in order to “serve its own commercial purposes,” and ruining the companies reputation in the process.
“The truth matters. Lies have consequences,” the lawsuit said. “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 confirmed by the Department of Justice, the FBI and several media outlets, there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election, even though elected officials have pandered about the false claims. Even former President Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, confirmed there was no mass effort to commit fraud in the election.
“Republican governors in Arizona and Georgia, key battleground states crucial to Biden’s victory, also vouched for the integrity of the elections in their states. Nearly all the legal challenges from Trump and his allies were dismissed by judges, including two tossed by the Supreme Court, which has three Trump-nominated justices,” according to AP News.
Despite all of this, some Fox News on-air personalities continued to run with false allegations that Dominion had altered votes through algorithms in its voting machines that had been created in Venezuela for the sole purpose to rig elections for the late dictator Hugo Chavez. Trump allies Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, were used as guests on the network to spread the claims, and then amplified those claims on Fox News’ massive social media platforms.
Attorneys for Dominion said Fox News casts a much different shadow than other media outlets who piggybacked off the claims.
“This was a conscious, knowing business decision to endorse and repeat and broadcast these lies in order to keep its viewership,” said attorney Justin Nelson, of Susman Godfrey.
“Though Dominion serves 28 states, until the 2020 election it had been largely unknown outside the election community. It is now widely targeted in conservative circles, seen by millions of people as one of the main villains in a fictional tale in which Democrats nationwide conspired to steal votes from Trump,” the lawsuit said.
Dominion has also sued Giuliani, Powell, and Mike Lindell, the CEO of Minnesota-based MyPillow over the claims. To date, the voting company is seeking $5.5 billion in damages via the four lawsuits including the one against Fox.
The suit was filed in Delaware, where both companies are incorporated, though Fox News is headquartered in New York and Dominion is based in Denver, according to AP News.