Christmas just got a lot less festive for Fox News Channel, Newsmax and Rudy Giuliani because of a threatened big bucks defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems.
“This disinformation campaign against Dominion has caused the company permanent and irreparable damages which are exacerbated by your ongoing refusal to retract,” says a letter sent today to the trio on behalf of the much-maligned voting software and hardware corporation.
Responding to frequent accusations on conservative media and Donald Trump’s personal lawyer that Dominion’s voting machines shifted millions of ballots in favor of Joe Biden over the former Celebrity Apprentice host in last month’s election, the correspondence added “litigation regarding these issues is imminent.”
Following previous legal threats by voting machines manufacturer Smartmatic that saw on-air retractions by FNC and Newsmax, the letters Wednesday from veteran defamation attorneys Tom Clare and Megan Meier of Virginia-based Clare Locke LLP on behalf of Dominion clearly weren’t messing around.
“With this letter you are on notice of your ongoing obligations to preserve documents related to Dominion’s claims for defamation based on allegations that the company acted improperly during the November 2020 presidential election and somehow rigged the election in favor of President-Elect Joe Biden,” they noted in black and white to Giuliani, as well as FNC and Newsmax.
AKA – Trump can deny he lost all he wants, but we’re coming for you.
From soon-to-be ex Attorney General Bill Barr on down, various fired and still hired federal and state government officials have said that the election was fair and not marred in any significant fashion by fraud, despite Trump and GOP claims to the contrary. “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or were in any way compromised,” proclaimed the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in late November.
Neither the White House nor reps for Newsmax responded to Deadline’s request for comment on the looming lawsuits, which could see damages sought in the hundreds of millions for the Toronto and Denver-based Dominion.
Fox News did not have a direct response to any potential defamation action.
However, a spokesperson for the Rupert Murdoch-owned FNC did advise Deadline to check out the November 22 interview their Eric Shawn had with J Alex Halderman of the University of Michigan on the matter. “To allege that a company like Dominion, that not only sells in many states across the country, but hopes to sell future machines, would engage in an attack that they know they would be discovered doing …well, it doesn’t make any sense,” Halderman said. “It’s not a technically feasible claim whatsoever, he added, also noting that there is “no evidence, none that Dominion voting machines changed any vote.”
Clearly Dominion’s lawyers don’t think the segment was enough of a mea culpa to get Fox off the potential defamation hook.
The fact that Dominion voting machines were not the reason for Trump’s loss had to be put in the most up-close and personal terms to Newsmax, which has still refused to acknowledge Biden as the winner and President-elect with less than a month before the inauguration.
“More troubling though, Newsmax’s broadcasts present a clear and present danger to the health and safety of Dominion’s employees,” the correspondence to the Chris Ruddy founded outlet states, with similar language used for FNC and the ex-NYC Mayor. “They have been stalked, harassed, and threatened because of the false claims you published to a global audience. The volume of these threats has required the company to hire private security firms to intervene and defend against the barrage of threats.”
Newsmax and Giuliani re already now embroiled in one lawsuit from Dominion, or rather more specifically the company’s director of product strategy and security.
Yesterday, after weeks of being thrust into the spotlight in claims of stealing the election for Biden and working with far-left groups. Eric Coomer sued the growing Newsmax and Giuliani plus the Trump reelection campaign, former and perhaps future Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, the fledging One America News Network and other right-leaning media outlets for defamation.
Personally attacked by Trump and referred to by Giuliani as “a vicious, vicious man,” Coomer’s suit says he is taking the defendants to federal court because of “untold damage to his reputation as a national expert on voting systems,” says the filing by Denver firm Cain and Skarnulis PLLC
That damage includes direct threats on his life and a $1 million bounty by Trump supporters.
“Spreading false conspiracy theories about American election workers can have devastating consequences,” says Coomer’s lawsuit. Fox News, Rudy Giuliani and Newsmax may discover that too now if Dominion carry through on their own legal action.