By Marshall Cohen | CNN
Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Newsmax over the right-wing network’s airing of 2020 election lies is scheduled to go to trial in late September 2024, a Delaware judge decided.
Dominion sued Newsmax in the wake of the 2020 election over the network’s on-air promotion of the false claim that the voting technology company rigged the election against then-President Donald Trump by flipping millions of votes to Joe Biden. The network denies wrongdoing.
The decision by Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis means — barring an out-of-court settlement — Trump’s lies about the 2020 election will be front and center at a four-week trial during the closing weeks of the 2024 election.
Davis presided over a similar high-profile defamation case brought by Dominion against Fox News over the network’s airing of election lies. The case ended in April with a last-second $787 million settlement, the largest publicly known defamation settlement in US history.
Dominion filed its lawsuit against Newsmax in August 2021 and is seeking $1.6 billion in damages.
The allegations stem from Newsmax broadcasts that included claims that Dominion “has a long history of rigging elections,” its software “altered and flipped” votes in the 2020 election, and that the “entire election was hacked” in Biden’s favor. None of those claims were true, even though they were peddled on Newsmax by Trump allies, including Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Lindell and Patrick Byrne, who are facing defamation lawsuits of their own.
Newsmax is also facing a massive defamation suit from Smartmatic, another voting technology company that was accused by right-wing figures of rigging the 2020 election.
The pro-Trump cable network has pushed back against the lawsuits by arguing that it was accurately reporting on statements made by Trump and his attorneys, and that its coverage included a disclaimer in late 2020 saying that there was “no evidence” that Dominion or Smartmatic “manipulated votes” in the election.