The $1.6 billion defamation case Dominion Voting Systems brought against Newsmax following the 2020 presidential election is set to go on trial in late September 2024, a judge ruled, according to a CNN report published Monday.
The voting technology company sued the right-wing network in August 2021, alleging Newsmax deliberately made knowingly false statements regarding the 2020 presidential race and Dominion’s voting machines to boost its ratings and profits. On the same day, Dominion filed two additional defamation lawsuits — against One America News Network and former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne.
Newsmax unsuccessfully tried to get the lawsuit dismissed last year, but the network has continued to deny wrongdoing and expressed confidence that it will “ultimately prevail given the strong First Amendment protections provided to ensure free speech and a free press.”
In the lawsuit, Dominion said Newsmax spread misinformation because the falsehoods, including the baseless claim that Dominion was created in Venezuela by Hugo Chavez to interfere with elections, “attracted Trump’s public stamp of approval, attention, and admiration.”
“In short, this lawsuit is not about Newsmax covering President Trump; it is about Newsmax courting President Trump, by feeding its audience a torrent of lies that supported the false narrative that President Trump won the election,” the complaint states.
The case is overseen by Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis, who also presided over Dominion’s suit against Fox News.
Dominion took legal action against Fox News over the network’s broadcast of 2020 election lies about the company, but the two sides reached an eleventh-hour settlement for $787.5 million in April, avoiding a public trial that could have been embarrassing for the conservative network.
Prior to the settlement, Davis had declared it was “CRYSTAL clear that none of the Statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true,” but left the question of whether they meet the legal definition of defamation to the jury.
Newsmax is also facing a lawsuit from Smartmatic USA, another voting machine company, over its 2020 election coverage.