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Political Litigation

Rudy Giuliani Countersues Election Company Smartmatic for Legal Fees

— June 15, 2022

Giuliani is claiming that a partial dismissal of Smartmatic’s defamation lawsuit means the company owes him money.

Former New York City mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani has filed a counter-lawsuit against Smartmatic.

As has reported before, election technology company Smartmatic filed defamation lawsuits against Giuliani and other prominent Trump supporters in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. Smartmatic claims that Giuliani spread unfounded rumors that the company manipulated ballots to favor sitting President Joe Biden.

Now, Giuliani is hoping to recover legal fees, saying that Smartmatic’s complaint is baseless.

Giuliani also alleges that Smartmatic’s lawsuit is effectively an attempt to censor him.

“Smartmatic’s litigation tactics, including its facially implausible damages claims, are a naked attempt to attack a well-known public figure,” Giuliani wrote.

Reuters reports that several other Smartmatic defendants—including Fox News and Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo—have filed similar countersuits, citing New York state’s “anti-SLAPP” laws.

Anti-SLAPP—short for “strategic lawsuits against public participation”—were originally intended to protect journalists and members of the media from frivolous litigation.

Collectively, Giuliani, Fox, and Bartiromo are appealing a New York Supreme Court decision that allowed most of Smartmatic’s claims to proceed.

Donald Trump speaking at a campaign rally, flags in the background.
Donald Trump. Photo by Gage Skidmore, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0

However, Smartmatic has stood firm in its allegations, saying that Giuliani and his counterparts played an integral role in spreading unfounded rumors of the company’s corruption.

“These defendants are primary sources of much of the false information,” Smartmatic said in a February statement. “Their unfounded accusations were reported by other media outlets, journalists, bloggers, and influencers.”

Business Insider notes that Smartmatic’s original claim focused on 13 reports aired on Fox News between November and December 2020, where numerous network personalities—including hosts and guests—said that Smartmatic “stole” the election.

Some of the rumors were downright bizarre, with Fox hosts and guests going so far as to say that Smartmatic “was a Venezuelan company under the control of corrupt dictators from socialist and communist countries; its election technology was used in six ‘swing’ or ‘battleground’ states with close outcomes.”

Smartmatic broadly claims that election-related conspiracy theories have decimated its business; the company is seeking in excess of $2.7 billion in damages from the defendants.

Giuliani, however, says the New York Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss some of Smartmatic’s claims means that the company owes him money.

“This lawsuit is plainly designed to censor and chill anyone who might consider exercising their constitutional rights to cover allegations by public figures concerning Smartmatic or its voting systems that Smartmatic deems unflattering,” Giuliani attorneys wrote.

A spokesperson for Smartmatic told Business Insider that it believes Giuliani’s countersuit is baseless and will likely fail.

“Smartmatic is confident in its claims against Mr. Giuliani,” the company said. “Every court that has considered claims against individuals who spread disinformation following the 2020 U.S. election has found those claims to be meritorious.”


Rudolph Giuliani sues Smartmatic to recoup legal fees in Fox News lawsuit

Rudy Giuliani counter-sues Smartmatic, asking for voting systems company to pay his attorney fees. The company filed a $2.7 billion election defamation lawsuit against him, Fox News hosts and guests over outlandish conspiracies

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