Since the 2020 election was called for Joe Biden as the winner, Donald Trump and his team of lawyers, sycophants, and media representatives have engaged in a broad disinformation campaign to obscure the truth. A string of lawsuits from the voting machine manufacturer Dominion began in January, and the legal effort has already shown benefits in the effort to snap the MAGA machine into reality. Now, another voting machine manufacturer, Smartmatic, would like the chance to defend its reputation in court while squeezing Trump’s people for every dime they have.
“The Earth is round,” begins the 276-page complaint filed by Smartmatic in New York State Supreme Court on Thursday. “Two plus two equals four,” it continues, and “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election for President and Vice President of the United States.” That kind of simple, child-like explanation runs through the whole lawsuit that accuses the Fox Corporation, Fox News and its anchors Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro, as well as Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell of defamation. That’s a lot of defendants and Smartmatic is seeking a lot of money — $US2.7 ($4) billion to be precise.
Most of the focus of conspiracy theories surrounding voting machines has been trained on Dominion, a company whose machines were used around the country. Dominion has already sued Giuliani and Powell separately for defamation, and it seems to have put the fear of god into conservative networks like Newsmax. The accusations that Trump’s lawyers made were sweeping and inconsistent but can be paraphrased as some kind of variation on ‘these voting machine manufacturers worked with foreign governments and Democrats to electronically alter vote totals in favour of Joe Biden.’
There’s no evidence that any of that is true, and it’s unfortunate that the Trump team decided to throw Smartmatic’s name into their wild claims, especially considering the fact that the company claims its “only involvement in the United States in the 2020 election was as the manufacturing partner, system integrator, and software developer for Los Angeles County’s publicly owned voting system.” Even the most devout Kool-Aid drinker in the conservative cult wouldn’t think that L.A. would be a worthwhile target for suppressing the Republican vote.
It’s Smartmatic’s contention that Fox News and its hosts wilfully spread lies cooked up by Powell and Giuliani that break down into eight themes. From the suit, those themes are identified as:
Smartmatic’s election technology and software were widely used in the 2020 U.S. election, including in six states with close outcomes;
Smartmatic’s election technology and software were used by Dominion Voting Systems Corporation (“Dominion”) during the 2020 U.S. election;
Smartmatic’s election technology and software were used to steal the 2020 U.S. election by rigging and fixing the vote;
Smartmatic’s election technology and software sent votes to foreign countries for tabulation and manipulation during the 2020 U.S. election;
Smartmatic’s election technology and software were compromised and hacked during the 2020 U.S. election;
Smartmatic was previously banned from being used in U.S. elections;
Smartmatic is a Venezuelan company that was founded and funded by corrupt dictators from socialist and communist countries; and,
Smartmatic’s election technology and software were designed to rig and fix elections.
The full suit is embedded below if you want to read all the points of refutation, and it’s an easier read than most legal documents because the facts aren’t complicated and the lawyers writing it are having a good time.
Following Trump’s attempts to remain in office and the Capitol Hill riot, we’ve watched Republicans distance themselves from Trump and conspiracy theories only to come running back when they realise their voters won’t accept the truth. But lawsuits related to voting machines have at least forced Newsmax into awkwardly reading a statement saying there’s no evidence of fraud related to the machines whenever the subject comes up. That hasn’t stopped Rudy and others who are in too deep from trying to talk their way out of the situation, but the threat of legal action even has people like Steve Bannon treading very carefully.
As Mike Tyson says, “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” So far, Trump and his team have gotten away with telling thousands of documented lies, but few of them have had to back up anything in court. That’s changing, and the dam is even breaking for the man himself. Earlier today, House Impeachment Manager Jamie Raskin sent Trump a letter asking him to testify at the Senate trial next week. The former president isn’t required to show up, but Raskin wrote that the prosecution reserves the right to submit a refusal to testify as supporting evidence of a “strong adverse inference” regarding his actions leading up to the Capitol Hill riots on January 7. The subpoenas haven’t even come close to getting started.