Rudy Giuliani asks the voting system company Smartmatic to pay his legal fees.
Giuliani on Monday filed a counterclaim in the company’s $2.7 billion 2020 election defamation lawsuit.
In 2021, Smartmatic filed a libel suit against Fox News, Rudy Giuliani and the network’s hosts.
Rudy Giuliani has asked a New York State Supreme Court judge to order voting systems company Smartmatic to pay his attorney’s fees in a counterclaim filed in the sweeping lawsuit in defamation of the company’s $2.7 billion against Fox News, Giuliani and others, according to court documents.
In February 2021, Smartmatic filed a libel suit against the network, Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and current and former hosts including Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, and Maria Bartiromo.
At the time, the company claimed that Powell and Giuliani were using right-wing outlets like Fox News to amplify their baseless theories about the 2020 presidential election.
“These defendants are the main sources of much of the misinformation,” the company said last February. “Their baseless accusations have been repeated by other media outlets, journalists, bloggers and influencers.”
Now, Giuliani claims that because Judge David B. Cohen dismissed a handful of Smartmatic’s claims against him in March, the election software company should pay his legal fees.
“Smartmatic’s legal tactics, including its seemingly implausible claims for damages, are a naked attempt to attack a well-known public figure,” Giuliani’s attorneys said in the counterclaim. “This lawsuit is clearly designed to censor and chill anyone who might consider exercising their constitutional rights to cover up allegations by public figures regarding Smartmatic or its voting systems that Smartmatic deems unflattering.”
In March, Cohen ruled that Smartmatic’s $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox News could proceed, denying Fox’s motion to dismiss the case, according to court documents.
The original lawsuit focused on 13 reports that appeared on Fox News between November and December 2020, where people on the network, including hosts and guests, shared false conspiracies that Smartmatic stole the election, and “was a Venezuelan company under the control of corrupt Socialist Party dictators”. and communist countries; its election technology has been used in six “pivotal” or “battleground” states with close results,” according to the lawsuit.
In March, Cohen dismissed all of Smartmatic’s claims against Pirro and Powell.
Cohen also dismissed some defamation claims against Giuliani due to a legal technicality, but other claims against Giuliani were allowed to proceed.
The majority of the initial requests are still ongoing. Meanwhile, the company also filed a lawsuit against Powell in a DC court, as claims against it were dismissed on jurisdictional grounds.
In late March, Fox News appealed Cohen’s decision to allow the lawsuit to continue, also filing a counterclaim under New York’s anti-SLAPP law, alleging the outlet was merely reporting the news and the hosts were sharing stories. opinions protected by the First Amendment. Lawyers for the network also claimed that Smartmatic filed a lawsuit because the company was losing money.
In Giuliani’s latest counterclaim, his attorneys used similar arguments, saying the lawsuit “challenged speech fully protected by the First Amendment and New York law,” alleging that “there is no legal basis on which to hold Giuliani responsible for the speech to be published.”
“Smartmatic is confident in its claims against Mr. Giuliani,” Smartmatic attorney J. Erik Connolly told Insider in an emailed statement. “Every court that has considered claims against individuals who disseminated disinformation after the 2020 U.S. election has found those claims to be meritorious.”
Lawyers representing Giuliani did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
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