Voting software company Smartmatic said Monday that it is sending legal notices to Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax for allegedly “publishing false and defamatory statements” and is demanding retractions from the news outlets.
The company claimed that the news organizations “could have easily discovered the falsity of the statements and implications” about Smartmatic “before publishing them to millions of viewers and readers.”
“They have no evidence to support their attacks on Smartmatic because there is no evidence. This campaign was designed to defame Smartmatic and undermine legitimately conducted elections,” said Antonio Mugica, CEO of Smartmatic, in a statement.
“Our efforts are more than just about Smartmatic or any other company. This campaign is an attack on election systems and election workers in an effort to depress confidence in future elections and potentially counter the will of the voters, not just here, but in democracies around the world.”
The company, which was founded in 2000 by Venezuelan engineers, said it only provided software and systems in Los Angeles County.
According to a letter (pdf) from Smartmatic to the three news outlets, the company claimed “Fox News told its millions of viewers and readers that Smartmatic was founded by Hugo Chávez” and was “designed to fix elections.”
Since the Nov. 3 election, the company has denied that it has any ties to Dominion Voting Systems, which has been the subject of much scrutiny from President Donald Trump’s legal team and other conservatives. Dominion Voting Systems was used in several key Nov. 3 election areas in Michigan, Georgia’s Fulton County, and Arizona’s Maricopa County.
Smartmatic does not “have any relationship with the company or companies who supplied voting technology in those states and counties,” the lawyers’ letter stated, again stipulating that it has no ties with Dominion.
Over the years, however, Smartmatic has drawn controversy for its management practices, with the New York Times in 2006 saying that “the role of the young Venezuelan engineers who founded Smartmatic has become less visible” and that its organization is “an elaborate web of offshore companies and foreign trusts.” In June 2017, the Philippine Department of Justice indicted several Smartmatic and Comelec personnel for making changes in an election transparency server during the May 2016 elections in the country, according to media reports.
Smartmatic’s lawyers also said in its letter to Fox News that left-wing billionaire investor George Soros has no ties with the company. The letter confirmed that Lord Mark Malloch Brown, the chairman of SGO—the firm that owns Smartmatic—is the president of Soros’ organization, Open Society Foundation, saying he was “was recently named president of the [Open Society] Foundation.”
The letter said that Fox, Newsmax, and OAN broadcast statements by Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and Fox’s Lou Dobbs, among others, that it described as defamatory toward Smartmatic.
“Please confirm by December 15, 2020, that Fox News will publish this retraction. Smartmatic reserves all its legal rights and remedies, including its right to pursue defamation and disparagement claims against Fox News and its anchors, reporters, and on-air guests. Accordingly, please confirm that Fox News will preserve all potentially relevant documents and information regarding the Reports and suspend all document destruction protocols related to these documents and information,” the lawyers said.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax for comment.
“As any major media outlet, we provide a forum for public concerns and discussion. In the past we have welcomed Smartmatic and its representatives to counter such claims they believe to be inaccurate and will continue to do so,” said a Newsmax spokesperson to other media outlets.