Smartmatic And OAN Reach Settlement In Election Rigging Defamation Case

Smartmatic has reached a settlement with One America News Network over claims that the news outlet amplified false claims that the voting systems company rigged the results of the 2020 election.

“Smartmatic has resolved its litigation against OANN through a confidential settlement,” said attorney Eric Connolly, who is representing the voting company in the lawsuit.

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The attorney for OAN, Chip Babcock, confirmed an agreement between the parties but also said that details were confidential.

A stipulation of dismissal was filed today in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.

Smartmatic still has lawsuits pending against Newsmax and Fox News for their amplification of election rigging claims.

OAN, though, was perhaps the most aggressive in advancing Donald Trump’s false claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. Trump’s attorney general and election security expert, among others, rejected those claims, and the then-president’s campaign and his allies lost dozens of court cases challenging the results.

In its lawsuit filed in 2021, Smartmatic alleged that “as other news organizations publicly acknowledged that they had seen no evidence to support claims of election fraud or of voting machines switching votes, OANN mocked those news organizations and doubled down on its attacks on voting machines. OANN knew its assertions about Smartmatic were not true. OANN had seen no evidence to support the assertions. But OANN chose to spread disinformation.”

Smartmatic provided election technology and services to Los Angeles County during the 2020 U.S. election, but not anywhere else in the country. In the lawsuit, the company said that “OANN published report after report naming Smartmatic as one of the voting machine companies that had conspired to steal the election by switching votes from former President Trump to current President Biden. It was all a lie. And OANN knew it.”

In response, OAN characterized the lawsuit as “meritless” and said that it was covering matters of “global public concern” before and after the 2020 election and that it continued to do so “after President Trump and his lawyers and campaign surrogates made newsworthy statements about the results of the election and roles played by Smartmatic and Dominion.” A federal judge denied the outlet’s motion to dismiss.

CNN first reported on the settlement.

It was nearly a year ago that Fox News reached a $787.5 million settlement with another voting company, Dominion Voting Systems, just as a defamation trial was set to begin in Wilmington, DE. Dominion still has lawsuits pending against Newsmax and OAN. A federal judge recently denied OAN’s counterclaim against Dominion, alleging that it tortiously interfered with its carriage contract with AT&T, which decided not to renew its affiliation agreement in 2021. An OAN claim against AT&T also was dismissed.

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