Former Watergate Prosecutor Tells CNN: Defamation Lawsuit ‘Could Actually Change The Behavior of Fox News’
Nick Akerman, the former assistant special prosecutor for Watergate, told CNN’s Ana Cabrera that he thought that the $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit that Smartmatic filed against Fox News and several of its on-air personalities had the potential to “actually change the behavior of Fox News.”
Smartmatic’s lawsuit, filed earlier this week, named Fox News, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, as well as pro-Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, alleging that the defendants had promoted misinformation that Smartmatic had committed election fraud to steal the 2020 election from former President Donald Trump. News broke a day later that Fox Business was cancelling Dobbs’ show, even though it was the highest-rated program on the network.
“I know you say this lawsuit is a real threat to the existence of Fox News,” said Cabrera. “Explain.”
“Everybody always asks me, what is the big difference between back in Watergate and today?” Akerman replied. “And one of those big differences is Fox News. That people do not get their facts from the same place and have the same facts, because Fox News basically follows the alternate facts that Donald Trump spewed out.”
“What is amazing here is, this suit is really a viable lawsuit,” Akerman continued, mentioning that he had experience both bringing and defending these kinds of lawsuits. “They have gotten very powerful evidence that the defendants…purposely lied and used [Smartmatic] as the villain here to try and create a lie and give legs to this lie, in order to make it believable.”
Akerman praised Smartmatic for filing the suit, explaining that it would be overreaching and a violation of First Amendment rights for the government to attempt to take action, but “what you’ve got now is you actually have a private company bringing a lawsuit here to–for defamation that could actually change the behavior of Fox News…and change the behavior of a lot of other companies that are like Fox News out there.”
“We’ve got now two lawsuits like this out there that are really forcing companies like Fox News to think twice before spinning these lies on behalf of Donald Trump and others,” Akerman concluded.
“Finally,” Cabrera responded. “Right? That’s my reaction.”
Watch the video above, via CNN.
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