In a series of high-profile legal battles, voting machine companies Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic are set to return to courtrooms across the United States. These proceedings are expected to coincide with Donald Trump's pursuit of a second presidential term, potentially bringing new evidence and testimonies into the public spotlight.
Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, both embroiled in controversy following the 2020 election, have been at the center of unsubstantiated claims of election rigging by Trump allies and conservative media. Despite the lack of credible evidence of significant voter fraud, these accusations have led to multiple defamation lawsuits against entities like Fox News, Newsmax, and individuals such as Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, as well as Mike Lindell of MyPillow fame, among others.
2024 Trials Spotlight
Over ten related court cases are expected to unfold as Trump navigates the primaries and possibly the general election in 2024. These trials could compel former Trump aides and supporters to testify under oath, potentially unveiling new details about the origins of the false election rigging claims.
This ongoing legal drama is poised to continually remind the electorate of Trump's efforts to contest the 2020 election outcome. A landmark case in this saga was Dominion’s lawsuit against Fox News and Fox Corporation, which settled for $787.5 million.
This case brought to light thousands of pages of internal communications, exposing the skepticism and disbelief with which many Fox News journalists viewed the president's allegations of a stolen election. Notably, Tucker Carlson, a prominent conservative TV host, privately expressed his disdain for Trump, according to these documents.
RonNell Andersen Jones, a law professor specializing in the First Amendment, notes the recurring themes in these legal battles: "The same conspiracy theories, the same people, the same consequences for democracy — all of that is on deck again."
Key upcoming trials include:
Smartmatic v. Mike Lindell and MyPillow: Known for his pillow infomercials, Lindell has become a figurehead in conservative circles and a vocal proponent of election fraud theories. Smartmatic's lawsuit in Minnesota alleges defamation and deceptive business practices, with a trial possibly commencing as early as April 2023.
2. Smartmatic v. Newsmax Media: This lawsuit, filed in November 2021, accuses Newsmax Media of defamation. The trial is scheduled for June 2023 in Delaware. High-profile Trump allies like Stephen Bannon and Michael Flynn have been subpoenaed in this case.
3. Dominion Voting Systems v. Newsmax Media: In a $1.6 billion defamation suit filed in August 2021, Dominion targets Newsmax. The jury trial is set for September 2024 in Delaware, with key motions due in July 2023. 4. Smartmatic v.
Fox News: In this major lawsuit, filed in February 2021, Smartmatic seeks $2.7 billion, accusing Fox News of defaming the company by portraying it as the perpetrator of election fraud. The trial is anticipated in 2025, with significant filings expected before the 2024 election.
These trials not only highlight the ongoing political and legal ramifications of the 2020 election but also underscore the complex interplay between media, politics, and the legal system in shaping public perception and trust in democratic processes.