NEW YORK (AP) – Two election technology companies whose names are mentioned in President Donald Trump’s false allegations of widespread voter fraud in the presidential election are fighting back, prompting unusual public statements from Fox News and Newsmax.
The statements, over the weekend and Monday, came after the companies Smartmatic and Dominion faced the prospect of taking legal action for reporting false information about them.
Both companies were mentioned in the campaign’s suggestion that the vote count in swing states was being manipulated in favor of President-elect Joe Biden. The companies deny several statements made about them, and there is no evidence that a voting system changed or removed votes in the 2020 election.
A nearly two-minute pre-recorded segment aired over the weekend on a Fox Business Network program hosted by Lou Dobbs and Fox News Channel shows with Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro.
That came days after Smartmatic sent a letter threatening legal action against Fox and two other networks popular with Trump supporters, Newsmax and One America News Network.
The two-minute Fox segments aired in the form of a question-and-answer session between an off-screen voice and Eddie Perez, a voice technology expert at the non-partisan Open Source Election Technology Institute.
“I have not seen any evidence that Smartmatic software was used to delete, change, or modify anything related to voting tables,” Perez said.
The company says the only work pertaining to the 2020 US election was in Los Angeles. Trump attorney Rudolph Giuliani falsely claimed that Smartmatic was founded in Venezuela by former dictator Hugo Chavez for the purpose of establishing elections. Smartmatic was founded in Florida in 2000. The founder is Venezuelan, but the company said Chavez had never been involved, and his last work in Venezuela took place in 2017 when the software discovered the government had reported false turnout numbers.
After the segment aired on Bartiromo’s show on Sunday, she said, “So here we are. We will continue to investigate. “
Perez also said there was no clear business relationship between Smartmatic and Dominion; Trump’s lawyers have claimed without evidence that the Dominion vote-counting system used in some locations in the US elections had used Smartmatic’s software.
When asked about the segments on Monday, Smartmatic’s attorney, J. Erik Connolly, said the company “cannot comment on the recent Fox News airing due to potential lawsuits.”
The network did not comment outside of the on-air segments that aired over the weekend.
A statement broadcast by Newsmax anchors on Monday and also printed on the company’s website was much broader and involved both Smartmatic and Dominion.
In the statement, Newsmax said there were “several facts that our viewers and readers should know,” including the lack of a business relationship between the two companies or that Dominion had an ownership relationship with George Soros, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others.
“There has been no evidence that Dominion or Smartmatic used any software or reprogrammed software that manipulated the votes in the 2020 election,” Newsmax said.
Company spokesman Anthony Rizzo said Newsmax himself had never filed a claim of impropriety, but that others had appeared on the network to ask questions about Smartmatic.
“Like any major media outlet, we provide a forum for public concern and discussion,” he said.
There was no immediate response to a request for comment from OANN.
Dominion has not specifically targeted a news organization. Instead, her lawyers last week sent a letter to Sidney Powell demanding that the Trump supporter retract some of the “ wild and reckless ” allegations she has made about them.. The company said some of its employees have been stalked, harassed and threatened with death.
Powell, a Texas professional attorney, was on the president’s legal team right after the election, but was dismissed after making allegations of a plan to manipulate voting machines.
In their letter to Powell, Dominion lawyers Thomas Clare and Megan Meier said the company had no ties “with the Chinese government, the Venezuelan government, Hugo Chavez, (British politician) Malloch Brown, George Soros, Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. . “
Powell did not immediately return a request for comment.
Clare said Dominion’s immediate focus is on Powell for what she has said about the company.
“Looking ahead, we will certainly be scrutinizing others who took part directly in the smear campaign, as well as those who recklessly provided a platform for these discredited allegations,” he said.