Dominion Voting Systems filed defamation suits against two backers of right-wing cable outlets, Newsmax Media Inc. and Herring Networks Inc., alleging the two companies readily spread falsehoods about Dominion’s role in the 2020 presidential election. The suits are the latest in Dominion’s efforts to recoup what it believes are damages made to its reputation by several partisan media companies, including Fox Corp.’s Fox News Channel.
Dominion also filed a suit against Patrick Byrne, the former chief executive of online retailers Overstock,com. The suits were filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and also name Herring Networks owners Robert Herring and Charles Herring as well as two personalities, Chanel Rion and Christina Bobb, who appear on the Herring’s cable outlet OAN.
“The defendants in today’s filings recklessly disregarded the truth when they spread lies in November and continue to do so today. We are filing these three cases today because the defendants named show no remorse, nor any sign they intend to stop spreading disinformation,” said John Poulos, Dominion’s CEO, in a prepared statement. “This barrage of lies by the defendants and others have caused — and continue to cause — severe damage to our company, customers, and employees. We have no choice but to seek to hold those responsible to account.“
Dominion is seeking more than $1.6 billion in damages in each of the three suits.
At issue in the suits are allegations that the news outlets falsely communicated that Dominion’s voting technology switched votes meant for former President Donald Trump to current President Joe Biden. Authorities have certified the results of the 2020 election and found no discrepancies having to do with voting technology.
Newsmax said in a statement that it had not reviewed the Dominion suits but noted it “simply reported on allegations made by well-known public figures, including the President, his advisors and members of Congress,” and added: ” Dominion’s action today is a clear attempt to squelch such reporting and undermine a free press.” Herring Networks and representatives could not be reached for immediate comment, nor could Byrne.
In a meeting with reporters Tuesday, executives suggested that Dominion might bring legal action against other parties. “We are still exploring options,” said Stephen Shackelford, the attorney from the firm Susman Godfrey LLP who represents Dominion.