Tech Billionaire Invests Heavily In Smartmatic Lawsuit Against Fox News

Tech Billionaire Invests Heavily In Smartmatic Lawsuit Against Fox News

Reid Hoffman

Donald Trump

Any hope that executives at Fox News could stiff-arm and drag out the defamation lawsuit filed against them by voting technology company Smartmatic following the 2020 presidential election took a serious hit after a billionaire investor came to their rescue.

According to a report from the Washington Post, billionaire Linkedin co-founder Reid Hoffman has invested millions in the company that will allow it to bolster their legal battle with the media giant.

With Fox having already settled with Dominion Voting Systems to the tune of $787.5 million to make their 2020 election conspiracy defamation case go away, Smartmatic can now avoid being forced to drop their suit due to lack of funds.

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Noting that Hoffman was a behind-the-scenes backer of New York writer E. Jean Carroll's lawsuits against Donald Trump that led to the former president getting hit with $89 million in judgments, the tech billionaire is once again a player in a lawsuit tied to Trump — in this case his election loss.

As the Post's Jeremy Barr is reporting, Hoffmann explained his move in a statement, writing: “Smartmatic built a global business by using technology to better engage citizens, regardless of party or ideology, by making voting simple and trustworthy,” before adding, “After Donald Trump lost in 2020, however, Smartmatic became a target of the defamatory campaign to overturn his defeat.”

Speaking for Hoffman, spokesperson Dmitri Mehlhorn elaborated, "Not only is Smartmatic a great investment in terms of financial returns, this was a way to provide capital that would allow the truth to be found in the courts. This is a company that is a great company with a great CEO, and this case is a great case.”

The Post report goes on to note that "billionaires have previously wielded unexpected influence in media defamation battles. Peter Thiel, who co-founded PayPal, paid about $10 million to help finance a lawsuit filed by the wrestler Hulk Hogan against Gawker Media. Thiel had taken a dislike to Gawker after the gossip-focused website published unflattering articles about him and his associates. When Hogan won a $140 million judgment against Gawker, the company was forced into bankruptcy.(Hoffman was an early executive at PayPal, and both he and Thiel are part of the 'PayPal mafia.')"

Hoffman spokesperson Mehlhorn admitted, "When Reid deploys financial capital, that always has a philosophical element of protecting the rule of law. We’ve always thought the court system was an important part of the battle to protect America from MAGA.”

In a statement to Raw Story, Fox News wrote: “As a report prepared by our financial expert shows, Smartmatic’s damages claims against FOX News are highly implausible, disconnected from reality and on their face intended to chill First Amendment freedoms, so their alliance with a high profile Democratic donor and longtime supporter of President Biden to fund their lawsuit is entirely predictable. We remain ready to defend this case surrounding extremely newsworthy events when it goes to trial next year.”

You can read more here.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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