Earlier this month, a Venezuelan businessman sued Fox News, Lou Dobbs, and Sidney Powell for defamation, claiming that they falsely linked him to an election-rigging scheme. He wants $250 million in damages.
People who say that Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems, two companies that make election technology, worked together to rig the 2020 presidential election against President Trump and in favor of Joe Biden, Majed Khalil says. He says that Dobbs and Powell wrongly threw him into their conspiracy theory.
Khalil was never the “COO” of an operation to rig votes for the now-dead Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, but both Dobbs and Powell, in media appearances and on social media, allegedly spread parts of this false theory. They both said that Khalil was involved in a plan to rig the 2020 US presidential election as well.
Smartmatic, on the other hand, has said that the Venezuelan government changed the results of elections that used its software.
They said that the faked election results in Venezuela were a precursor to the 2020 election, which Dobbs called a “cyber Pearl Harbor” and “electoral 9-11.” Dobbs also made up a story about Khalil being a “liaison” for Hezbollah, and Powell kept up the conspiracy theory in a November 8, 2020, appearance on the Fox Business show “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” the lawsuit says.
During the lawsuit, Khalil said that he had no connection to Smartmatic or Dominion and that he had never been a part of a US election in any way. The lawsuit also says that Powell and Dobbs didn’t talk to Khalil before they said what they said, which is also true.
In December, Khalil filed his lawsuit in a New York state court. Most people didn’t know about it at the time. As a Venezuelan citizen, Khalil can be tried in a federal court in New York City because Fox News moved it there. On December 2, the case was docketed and assigned to US District Judge Louis L. Stanton, a Reagan appointee.
Powell’s lawyer didn’t respond to Insider’s request for comment right away. After Biden won the 2020 presidential election, Powell appeared on Dobbs’ now-canceled Fox Business show. This has led to several defamation lawsuits that Fox News has tried to fight in court. The company’s lawyers are also representing Dobbs in all of the election-related defamation lawsuits that he has to deal with.
Smartmatic sued Fox News, Dobbs, and several other hosts in February, demanding $2.7 billion in defamation damages. Fox News canceled “Lou Dobbs Tonight” soon afterward, and Dobbs has since announced the launch of a podcast not affiliated with the network. A New York state judge is weighing a motion from Fox News to dismiss Smartmatic’s lawsuit.
Dominion, too, filed a lawsuit against Fox News in March. A Delaware state judge denied Fox News’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit earlier this month.