Fox News and Newsmax, facing lawsuits, walk back wild fraud claims about voting-machine companies
In light of the looming defamation lawsuit, Fox News and the right-wing network Newsmax have begun broadcasting segments that reduce wildly alleged election fraud against voting machine and software makers Smartmatic and Dominion.
"Newsmax would like to clarify its reporting and indicate that certain allegations about these companies have not been reported as true," said host John Tabacco on Monday, writing the "opinions and allegations" "various guests, lawyers and elected officials" to appear on the network . The allegations, which the companies claim to be baseless and widely derided as ridiculous, came from former Trump attorney Sidney Powell, who accused the two companies of conspiring with Democrats and the Venezuelan government to win the election Tip Joe Biden.
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"Newsmax has found no evidence that either Dominion or Smartmatic owns or has a business relationship with the other," said Tabacco. “We have no evidence that Dominion is using Smartmatic's software or vice versa. No evidence has been presented of Dominion or Smartmatic using software or reprogramming software that tampered with the 2020 election. "
Tabacco also noted that Smartmatic's software was only used in Los Angeles during the 2020 election and not in the battlefield states where the Trump campaign has claimed that fraud led Biden to victory.
On Friday, Fox News began broadcasting a prepackaged retraction of many of the claims made on the network in recent weeks. It consisted of an interview with Eddie Perez, director of the Open Source Election Technology Institute, and was first shown on Lou Dobbs Tonight.
Perez answered a series of questions that appeared to be specifically written to appease Smartmatic and Dominion, who had both threatened to sue Fox News. Perez later told CNN that he had not been told what the interview would focus on.
In a widely ridiculed press conference on November 19, Powell aimed at Smartmatic and Dominion.
“The Dominion voting systems, the Smartmatic technology software and the software used in other computerized voting systems, not just Dominion, were developed in Venezuela under the direction of Hugo Chavez to ensure that he never lost an election after a constitutional referendum came out the way he didn't want it to, ”Powell said, with no evidence to support their claims.
Thanks in part to that press conference, Dominion and Smartmatic have become regular topics of conversation on Newsmax, Fox News, and One America News Network (OANN), all of which supported President Trump's unsubstantiated claims about election fraud.
In its retreat, Newsmax made it clear that claims by Powell and others who appeared on the network alleging that Dominion was owned or influenced by Democrats or foreign governments were not factual.
"Dominion has stated that the company has no ownership or relationship with the Pelosi family, the Feinstein family, the Clinton family, Hugo Chavez or the government of Venezuela," said Tabacco. “Neither Dominion nor Smartmatic have any relationship with George Soros. Smartmatic is a US company and is not owned by the Venezuelan government, Hugo Chávez, or any foreign official or corporation. "
Last week, Smartmatic asked the three networks to withdraw because of "false and defamatory statements". An attorney representing Dominion sent a letter to Powell asking for the company's claims to be withdrawn immediately, leading to death threats against a number of the company's employees.
Powell is represented on the matter by high profile attorney Lin Wood, who sent a concise response to Dominion's attorneys.
“I have carefully checked your letter of December 15, 2020. I am not impressed. Mrs. Powell does not withdraw anything. Submit your lawsuit, ”the letter says.
OANN has not yet responded to requests to withdraw Dominion and Smartmatic.
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