Newsmax Says Dominion Lawsuit Against It, OAN is 'Attempt' to 'Undermine a Free Press'

Dominion Voting Systems, the vote-counting machine maker at the center of a 2020 presidential election fraud conspiracy, filed defamation lawsuits on Tuesday against conservative broadcasters and a prominent ally of Donald Trump.

The filing names Newsmax, One America News, their executives and Patrick Byrne, the former CEO of Overstock.com, arguing that false claims that the company rigged the election for President Joe Biden have amounted to $1.6 billion in losses, company value and damage to Dominion's reputation.

But Newsmax spokesman Brian Peterson said in a statement that the broadcast company's 2020 election coverage was founded on allegations made by the president, his advisers and members of Congress.

"Dominion's action today is a clear attempt to squelch such reporting and undermine a free press," Peterson said in the statement.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Melissa Carone Testimony
Melissa Carone, who was working for Dominion Voting Services, speaks in front of the Michigan House Oversight Committee in Lansing, Michigan on December 2, 2020. The president's attorneys, led by Rudy Giuliani, have made numerous allegations of election fraud. JEFF KOWALSKY/Getty Image

"We are filing these three cases today because the defendants named show no remorse, nor any sign they intend to stop spreading disinformation," Dominion CEO John Poulos said in a statement.

Dominion filed defamation suits earlier this year against Fox News and Trump allies Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow. They have all asked judges to dismiss the suits.

One of the nation's leading providers of vote-counting machines and software, Dominion has faced a barrage of claims by Trump allies and supporters, including that the company was created in Venezuela to rig elections for the late leader Hugo Chavez and that it has the ability to switch votes.

Dominion says OAN and Newsmax trumpeted those false claims to boost their own profits at Dominion's expense.

Law enforcement and election efforts, including Trump's attorney general, Bill Barr, have confirmed that there was no election fraud sufficient to sway the results.

OAN founder Charles Herring did not respond to a text message seeking comment.

Byrne responded to a request for comment by texting a graphic purportedly plotting election results from a Senate runoff in Georgia.

Dominon Voting Machines
FILE - This Sept. 16, 2019, file photo shows a Dominion Voting system in Atlanta, Ga. Dominion Voting Systems filed defamation lawsuits Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, against right-wing broadcasters and a prominent Donald Trump ally over their baseless claims that the 2020 election was marred by fraud. John Bazemore, File/AP Photo