- Dominion Voting Systems sent letters to the One America News Network threatening to sue for defamation, accusing the network of spreading unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about the election-technology company.
- OAN responded with letters of its own, asking Dominion to preserve certain documents concerning the election in order to help the network make its case if it ends up in court.
- The requests reiterated some of the figures involved in the election conspiracy theories, including the former president of Venezuela Hugo Chávez and the billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros.
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In response to threats of a defamation lawsuit, the One America News Network is leaning further into some election conspiracy theories that the network has featured on its shows.
Dominion Voting Systems previously sent OAN letters threatening to sue, accusing the network of spreading the unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that the election-technology company manipulated votes in favour of President-elect Joe Biden in the November general election.
Dominion also asked the network to save any documents or correspondence related to Dominion, Insider’s Jacob Shamsian previously reported.
In letters reviewed by Insider, OAN responded by requesting Dominion keep records of certain documents so the network can “preserve its own claims and defences in the event of litigation.”
The conservative news network sent similar letters to Smartmatic, another election-technology company.
Supporters of President Donald Trump have alleged, without substantial evidence, that Dominion’s voting machines and Smartmatic’s voting software helped flipped votes from Trump to Biden. There are also groundless claims that Dominion has secret ties to Smartmatic.
The material OAN requested be preserved concerns that claim, as well as other baseless conspiracy theories that prompted Dominion’s lawsuit threats in the first place.
In the letters dated December 23, the list included voting software and hardware, communications about the 2020 election, digital and manual ballots, and the voting machines themselves.
In letters sent a day later, OAN requested the companies’ save any correspondence between Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica and a number of individuals, including former president of Venezuela Hugo ChÃ¡vez and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
The president’s allies have also claimed without evidence that Smartmatic was working with the socialist Venezuelan government and ChÃ¡vez, who died in 2013, to disrupt the US presidential election.
The list of material to preserve includes documents concerning George Soros, the billionaire investor and philanthropist who is a frequent target of right-wing conspiracy theorists.
In addition to OAN, Dominion has sent letters to Fox News and Newsmax with threats to sue for defamation, as well as conservative media figures like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, among others.
The company has also sent letters to some of Trump’s allies, including attorneys Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani.
Mugica, the Smartmatic CEO, has also said the company is considering pursuing lawsuits against Fox News, Newsmax, and OAN, for spreading the groundless claims, saying they have hurt his business.