Dominion claims that Newsmax repeatedly hosted guests who made false claims about the election technology company “rigging” the 2020 election in favor of President Joe Biden.
A Delaware judge will allow Dominion Voting Systems to pursue its defamation lawsuit against Newsmax, which the elections technology company accuses of intentionally spreading false information and conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election.
According to The Hill, Superior Court of Delaware Judge Eric Davis refused a motion from Newsmax to dismiss the complaint, saying that the media outlet “knew the allegations were probably false” and that “there were enough signs indicating the statements were not true to infer Newsmax’s intent to avoid the truth.”
“Given that Newsmax apparently refused to report contrary evidence, including evidence from the Department of Justice, the allegations support the reasonable inference that Newsmax intended to keep Dominion’s side of the story out of the mainstream,” Davis wrote in his ruling.
The Hill notes that Dominion Voting Systems, which sells voting machines and tabulators across the country, filed defamation lawsuits against various entities, including Newsmax, One America News, and former Overlook.com C.E.O. Patrick Byrne.
The lawsuits allege that the defendants harmed Dominion’s company’s reputation by circulating baseless rumors that the election technology company had somehow manipulated votes to favor Joe Biden.
Newsmax repeatedly hosted Sidney Powell, an attorney and former member of Trump’s legal team.
Powell was also among the most prominent proponents of what some left-leaning media outlets have termed “The Big Lie,” referring to the belief that Donald Trump would have won the 2020 presidential election were it not for fraud.
Powell, for instance, told Newsmax’s “Greg Kelly Reports” that there was a “systematic problem” with Dominion’s voting machines.
She later suggested that these alleged problems were intentional and designed to preclude Trump’s re-election.
“We know Dominion has a long history of rigging elections,” Powell said during a 2020 Newsmax appearance.
Dominion says that Powell was but one of several guests that Newsmax allowed to repeatedly spread false election claims that Dominion’s technology helped “steal” the vote for Biden.
According to Dominion’s defamation lawsuit, Newsmax’s ratings rose by over 145% in December 2020 compared to December 2019.
At the same time, Dominion says that it was negatively impacted by Newsmax’s willingness to host conspiracy theorists, claiming that it had to spend $600,000 on private security services and an additional $700,000 combating disinformation.
The Hill notes that defamation lawsuits must provide compelling evidence that the defendant—in this case, Newsmax—acted with “actual malice,” insofar as they spread claims they knew were false or spread them with “reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.”
Newsmax told The Hill in an earlier statement that Dominion’s defamation lawsuit is a “clear attempt to squelch […] reporting and undermine a free press.”