Smartmatic seeks to depose four Fox officials as part of 2020 lawsuit

Smartmatic Subpoenas Fox Corporation Board Members in Defamation Lawsuit

Voting technology company Smartmatic has taken a significant step in its $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News by subpoenaing four Fox Corporation board members. This move comes after a New York judge previously ordered Fox to provide relevant documents from the board members—Anne Dias, Jacques Nasser, Chase Carey, and Roland A. Hernandez—that Smartmatic had requested.

Smartmatic’s argument revolves around the claim that executives at Fox were aware that claims of election fraud made by Donald Trump allies were false but chose to do nothing to stop the network’s coverage in order to protect the company’s business interests. The company asserts that the board members, due to their close proximity to the Murdochs, hold valuable information relevant to the case.

According to Smartmatic lawyers, the board members witnessed the control Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch had over Fox News, participated in relevant discussions and meetings, and were involved in exchanges of emails that Smartmatic considers crucial to the case. Specific meetings, conversations, and documents have been flagged by Smartmatic as important pieces of evidence.

One board member, Anne Dias, who runs an investment firm, was noted as an internal critic of Fox’s handling of the post-election period. Dominion Voting Systems, another election technology company involved in a lawsuit against Fox, obtained email evidence showing Dias had urged the Murdochs to step in after the January 6 Capitol insurrection and call out Trump for inciting violence. Dias and Nasser chose not to run for reelection to the Fox Corp. board last year.

Smartmatic has already secured relevant communications from other board members, including the Murdochs and former House speaker Paul D. Ryan. The lead attorney for Smartmatic, J. Erik Connolly, emphasized the importance of holding all responsible parties, not just the Murdochs, accountable in the lawsuit.

Both Smartmatic and Fox are expected to submit motions this fall, requesting the judge to decide on the case ahead of a trial scheduled for 2025. The outcome of this high-profile lawsuit could have significant implications for the media landscape and the accountability of news organizations in reporting on sensitive topics.

Original Story at – 2024-06-11 00:53:00

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