Media

Fox News asks judge to compel Soros to produce documents as part of Smartmatic lawsuit

Fox News is asking a judge in New York to compel billionaire George Soros to comply with a subpoena and produce documents as the network seeks to defend itself from claims of defamation brought by voting systems company Smartmatic.

In a new court filing, Fox’s lawyers assert the network is “entitled to all evidence that is relevant to Smartmatic’s claims and Fox’s defenses, including evidence bearing on the full extent of Smartmatic’s entanglement with the Soros Group.”

Smartmatic sued Fox in 2021 for $2.7 billion, accusing the cable news giant of maliciously giving Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, former President Trump’s one-time attorneys, a platform to air false claims about the 2020 presidential election.

As part of its process of legal discovery, Fox is seeking to depose Mark Malloch Brown, who is the president of the Soros-backed Open Society Foundation and served as chairman of Smartmatic’s parent company.

“The Soros Group cannot refuse to disclose relevant evidence in their possession merely because one aspect of their connection to Smartmatic is already publicly known,” Fox argued in its legal filing.

A representative for Smartmatic did not return a request for comment on Fox’s motion.

After Fox issued subpoenas to Soros and his organization for documents related to the case earlier this summer, Soros and the Open Society Foundation issued a series of objections with the court, arguing Fox’s requests are “not relevant to the claims or defenses of any party” in the case.

“Mr. Soros objects to the Subpoena in its entirety on the grounds that its service is an abuse of process that constitutes harassment of a non-party,” an attorney for Soros wrote as part of the objection. “The Complaint in this Action cites, within its hundreds of pages, only a handful of vague allusions, made by Fox personnel or their guests, to a purported ‘connection’ between Smartmatic and Mr. Soros. This handful of stray, imprecise remarks does not provide grounds for the broad requests served on Mr. Soros, a private non-party to this Action.”

Soros, a progressive billionaire, is a frequent target of the political right, with conservative commentators and Republican elected officials often accusing him of using his wealth to influence U.S. elections and Democratic policy.

Fox earlier this year agreed to pay $787 million to Dominion Voting Systems to settle claims it brought against the network stemming from false statements made on its airwaves about election fraud and its software.

The network has so far unsuccessfully moved to have the Smartmatic case dismissed, which it has said it does not anticipate going to trial until 2025.

Updated: 12:18 p.m.

Tags George Soros

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