FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A Fox News channel sign is seen on a television vehicle outside the News Corporation building in New York City, in New York
FILE Photograph: FILE Photograph: A Fox News channel signal is found on a tv vehicle outdoors the News Corporation setting up in New York City, in New York, U.S. November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/

March 26, 2021

By Tom Hals

WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) -Dominion Voting Techniques Corp explained it filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News on Friday, accusing it of attempting to enhance its scores by falsely saying the business rigged the 2020 U.S. presidential election from Donald Trump.

Fox hosts and friends gave everyday living to a untrue declare that Dominion dedicated election fraud to aid elect President Joe Biden, “taking a tiny flame and turning it into a raging fireplace,” Dominion lawyer Stephen Shackelford told reporters.

The lawsuit follows equivalent scenarios versus Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell and the Republican previous president’s personalized law firm Rudy Giuliani, according to Shackelford.

Dominion, which describes alone as the primary provider of U.S. election know-how, mentioned it submitted the lawsuit in Delaware condition court docket.

Trump dropped the November 2020 election to Biden, a Democrat, but continued to make untrue promises of widespread voter fraud, which Dominion stated was amplified by Fox.

His supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as Congress moved to certify the election effects, leaving five dead.

The repeated promises that the election was marred by fraud sunk in with Republican voters, even though, and Republican lawmakers now cite people untrue beliefs among the voters as justifying new restrictions on voting.

On Thursday, Georgia’s Republican governor signed into legislation limitations that activists stated was targeted on cutting down the influence of Black voters who aided Democrats get the White Dwelling and attain slim command of the U.S. Senate.

In its lawsuit, Dominion said Fox Information tried out to attract viewers faithful to Trump by amplifying all those fake statements, such as assertions that Dominion’s methods altered votes despite efforts by the voting methods firm to established the report straight.

“Fox Information Media is happy of our 2020 election protection, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism, and will vigorously protect towards this baseless lawsuit in court,” claimed a statement from the business, which is owned by Fox Corp.

The lawsuit alleges prime Fox personalities hosted visitors such as Powell to unfold lies about Dominion and then recurring and amplified all those bogus claims.

Shackelford said Dominion could sue men and women. “I do not consider this is going to be the final lawsuit,” he stated.

The organization tasks the “radioactive falsehoods” distribute by Fox will price tag it $600 million over the future 8 years, according to the lawsuit. Further more problems was performed to the price of the small business, according to the lawsuit.

Dominion’s lawsuit provides to the growing checklist of defamation instances stemming from the election.

Eric Coomer, a senior Dominion worker, sued Trump’s re-election campaign and the owners of professional-Trump news retailers Just one The us Information Community and Newsmax Media in December. Last thirty day period, Dominion asked social media retailers to preserve posts from the networks as nicely as from Fox News, Trump and other individuals.

Smartmatic, which will make voting equipment, designed identical promises in a defamation lawsuit that alleged Lou Dobbs and two other Fox News hosts falsely accused the firm of helping to rig the election versus Trump. The day after Smartmatic sued on Feb. 4, Fox canceled the weekday application “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”

Fox Information filed a movement to dismiss the Smartmatic lawsuit.

In evident response to the increasing number of defamation situations, conservative U.S. news stores have started to depend on well prepared disclaimers or extra prerecorded programming to repudiate pro-Trump conspiracy theories spouted by attendees and hosts.

(Reporting by Tom Hals added reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington and Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru Editing by Scott Malone, Mohammad Zargham and Jonathan Oatis)