Voting machine firm Smartmatic alleges Newsmax has deleted evidence in lawsuit over false vote-rigging claims

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Smartmatic alleges that Newsmax has destroyed evidence in the voting machine company’s lawsuit against the right-wing news channel over false claims that Smartmatic helped “rig” the 2020 election, according to court documents made public this week. 

Lawyers for Florida-based Smartmatic allege that Newsmax engaged in a “cover-up” by destroying texts and emails of key executives that would demonstrate the network’s knowledge that voting fraud claims being pushed by former President Donald Trump and his allies were untrue. Smartmatic says the deletions occurred after Newsmax had received notice to preserve evidence for the pending suit.

The lawsuit is just one of many major defamation cases filed by Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems against news organizations over false claims about fraud in 2020 election. Most are still pending, and several may go to trial this fall — ensuring that Trump’s claims about a “rigged election” in 2020 will continue to be a focus even as the next presidential election nears.

The potential payments in damages to the plaintiffs are substantial. In 2023, just moments before opening statements in a Delaware courtroom, Fox News paid the voting machine company Dominion a settlement of $787.5 million over similar false claims it made on air.