Dominion Voting Systems sued Fox News Friday accusing the network of defamation, in the fourth lawsuit it has filed over baseless election fraud claims about the company’s voting machines. Here’s everyone who has been sued so far, and who could face litigation next:
Denver-based Dominion filed a $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox News alleging the network had knowingly spread false news about its machines to improve failing ratings, saying they had “set out to lure viewers back…by intentionally and falsely blaming Dominion” for President Donald Trump’s loss.
The company filed its first lawsuit in January against pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell, who has been the most prominent person spreading the fraud claims, seeking $1.3 billion in damages.
It filed suit later in the month against Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, alleging he used the conspiracy theory about Dominion’s machines to personally “enrich himself” while knowing the claims were false.
Dominion made similar allegations against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, suing the businessman and his company in February and claiming Lindell “sells the lie” involving the company’s voting machines “because the lie sells pillows.”
Dominion has identified more than 150 people as potential targets of litigation, and it has sent letters to preserve evidence and warning of potential litigation to Newsmax, One America News and right-wing figures including pro-Trump attorney Lin Wood, Fox News anchors and Melissa Carone, who Giuliani has promoted as a witness to supposed voter fraud efforts.
The company sent letters to social media networks in February asking them to preserve posts from Trump and his campaign, as well as from Trump allies including former Trump advisor Michael Flynn, Fox anchor Jeanine Pirro, Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis and far-right political commentator Dan Bongino.
What To Watch For
Dominion’s attorneys told reporters Friday the company is continuing to investigate claims made against it by other individuals and media networks on the right, and they anticipate more lawsuits may be coming. “I don’t think this is gonna be the last lawsuit filed,” attorney Stephen Shackelford said. Though the company named only Fox News as a defendant in their lawsuit Friday and not individual anchors like Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity who spread the claims, Dominion’s counsel said they “have not ruled out” bringing subsequent lawsuits against individual Fox personalities. The company has also not ruled out suing other media outlets like Newsmax and OAN.
$6.8 billion. That’s the total amount Dominion is asking for in damages from those it’s sued thus far, filing three $1.3 billion lawsuits against Powell, Giuliani and Lindell and a $1.6 billion suit against Fox News.
Those sued have largely remained defiant: Fox News said in a statement Friday the company “is proud of our 2020 election coverage” and would “vigorously defend” themselves against the litigation, Giuliani said the lawsuit against him was “another act of intimidation by the hate-filled left-wing” and Lindell said he “welcomed” Dominion’s lawsuit, telling Forbes before it was filed, “Dominion, please sue me.” Powell’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss her lawsuit this week, which alleged her statements about the company should not be taken seriously and “reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact.” It is a “well recognized principle that political statements are inherently prone to exaggeration and hyperbole,” Powell’s attorneys argued.
Dominion’s voting machines are at the heart of a right-wing conspiracy theory alleging they were used to fraudulently flip votes from Trump to Joe Biden, which is not substantiated by evidence. Dominion says that the claims have substantially hurt its business and put its employees in danger. The voting company controls about 30% of the U.S. market, according to data cited by ProPublica in 2019—making it the second-largest business of its kind in the country—and said in its Fox News lawsuit that it has contracts with 28 states. Business analytics firm Dun & Bradstreet estimated the company’s 2021 annual revenue will be $40.15 million, though the company alleges it has lost out on state contracts over concerns raised by constituents and Republican lawmakers about the fraud claims, including a $10 million contract in Stark County, Ohio, and a $100 million contract in Louisiana.
In addition to Dominion, rival voting company Smartmatic has also filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit against Powell, Giuliani, Fox News and several of its anchors. Fox News and its personalities have similarly denied the claims in that lawsuit and filed motions to dismiss.