Dominion Voting Systems has filed a $1.6bn defamation lawsuit against Fox News, arguing the United States cable news giant falsely claimed in an effort to boost faltering ratings that the voting company had rigged the 2020 presidential election.
It is the first defamation suit filed against a media outlet by the voting company, which was a target of misleading, false and bizarre claims spread by former President Donald Trump and his allies in the aftermath of Trump’s election loss to President Joe Biden.
The claims were used to spur on rioters who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 in a violent siege that left five people dead, including a police officer. The breach led to Trump’s historic second impeachment in the House of Representatives, although he was later acquitted in a Senate trial.
In the suit, Dominion argues that Fox News, which amplified inaccurate assertions that Dominion altered votes, “sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process,” according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by The Associated Press.
Some Fox News on-air reporting segments have debunked some of the claims targeting Dominion, while some employees of the network elevated false charges that Dominion had changed votes through algorithms in its voting machines that had been created in Venezuela to rig elections for the late dictator Hugo Chavez.
On-air personalities brought on Trump…