Smartmatic, a technology company with a self-described mission of “building the most secure, accessible and easy-to-use election technologies ever designed, to safeguard the election process from start to finish,” has threatened to take legal action against Fox News, Newsmax and One America News.
The company, which finds itself baselessly lumped in with Dominion Voting Systems as a conspirator in ensuring President Donald Trump’s election loss, is demanding retractions and threatening defamation lawsuits as it hemorrhages business amid an onslaught of attacks.
“The Dominion Voting Systems, the Smartmatic technology software, and the software that goes in other computerized voting systems here as well, not just Dominion, were created in Venezuela at the direction of Hugo Chavez to make sure he never lost an election after one constitutional referendum came out the way he did not want it to come out,” Powell asserted in November.
According to an Associated Press fact-check of the claims, “Dominion does not have any ties to Venezuela, nor does it have a partnership with Smartmatic” and Smartmatic is an “international company incorporated in Florida by Venezuelan founders.”
“The company states on its website that it’s not associated with governments or political parties of any country,” the AP notes.
And according to Reuters, Smartmatic has “no current relationship with Dominion and had almost nothing to do with November’s election.”
“Smartmatic helped tally votes only in left-leaning Los Angeles County, where Biden’s victory was never in doubt,” the report said.
But the public statements of Powell, Rudy Giuliani and other Trump allies caused damage to Smartmatic that has amounted to an “existential” threat against the company, Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica told Reuters.
“I don’t think there is one customer in the world that has not come back to us to tell us either that this is a problem and this could endanger our future relationship–for existing customers—or that this could endanger a potential new contract,” Mugica said last week.
On Monday, the company announced it was taking steps to defend its reputation and existence.
“Smartmatic announced today that it is issuing legal notices and retraction demand letters to Fox News, Newsmax and One America News Network for publishing false and defamatory statements. The demand letters identify dozens of factually inaccurate statements made by each of the organizations as part of a ‘disinformation campaign’ to injure Smartmatic and discredit the 2020 U.S. election,” a press release began.
The company said that Fox News, Newsmax, and OAN could have “easily discovered the falsity of the statements and implications made about Smartmatic by investigating their statements before publishing them to millions of viewers and readers,” but did not. Smartmatic pointed to fact-checkers like the ones referenced above.
“Smartmatic had nothing to do with the ‘controversies’ that certain public and private figures have alleged regarding the 2020 U.S. election. Multiple fact-checkers have consistently debunked these false statements with stunning consistency and regularity,” the press release continued.
CEO Antonio Mugica said the president’s allies simply 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,” he said. “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.”
Smartmatic said that it reserved the right to sue for defamation and disparagement.
In November, Rudy Giuliani went on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo and also linked Smartmatic to both Hugo Chavez and Dominion.
“And, the software that they use is done by a company called Smartmatic, a company that was founded by [Hugo] Chávez and by Chávez’s two allies, who still own it. And it’s been used to cheat in elections in South America. It was banned by the United States several — about a decade ago. It’s come back now as a subcontractor to other companies,” Giuliani said. “It sort of hides in the weeds. But Dominion sends everything to Smartmatic. Can you believe it? Our votes are sent overseas. They are sent to someplace else, some other country. Why do they leave our country?”
Law&Crime reached out to a Fox News representative for comment on the Smartmatic legal threat.
[Image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images]
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