Fox News personalities Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, and Lou Dobbs have filed a motion to dismiss the $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit voting software company Smartmatic filed against them, Fox News, and pro-Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.
“Smartmatic’s 285-page, $2.7 billion complaint is not just meritless; it is a legal shakedown designed to chill speech and punish reporting on issues that cut to the heart of our democracy,” Bartiromo’s attorneys said in its response to the lawsuit. Smartmatic alleges that its reputation was “irreparably harmed” by bogus claims peddled by the Fox hosts that the company stole the election from former President Donald Trump.
The three Fox stars’ motion to dismiss comes days after the network itself sought to toss the Smartmatic lawsuit, calling the suit “meritless” while adding that Fox is “proud of our election coverage which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism.” Following demands for retraction by Smartmatic in December, Fox ran fact-check segments debunking voting machine lies on programs hosted by Dobbs, Bartiromo, and Pirro.
The day after Smartmatic filed its lawsuit, meanwhile, the network abruptly announced that Dobbs’ top-rated Fox Business Network show had been canceled. Bartiromo and Pirro’s programs remain on the air.