One America News repeatedly cited Smartmatic in reports alleging a rigged 2020 election.
One America News repeatedly cited Smartmatic in reports alleging a rigged 2020 election. Image via court records

The owner of San Diego-based One America News has provided nearly 187,000 documents to election-tech firm Smartmatic in response to its federal defamation suit.

Filings on discovery production in Smartmatic vs. OAN suit.
Filings on discovery production in Smartmatic vs. OAN suit. (PDF)

The so-called production in the 19-month-old case could be the tip of the iceberg, however, since Smartmatic seeks further information.

That’s clear from court filings Wednesday in the District of Columbia, where OAN operator Herring Networks has agreed to extend a deadline for making document requests.

Chicago-based attorney Emily N. Dillingham, representing Smartmatic, said in a 5-page note to Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya that both sides disagree on discovery issues.

Upadhyaya is handling only the discovery disputes. The overall case remains before U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols, who a year ago denied OAN’s motion to throw out the case.

In Wednesday’s filing, Smartmatic’s Dillingham wrote: “Among other issues, … the parties were still engaged in negotiation of custodians and search terms, and that document production in response to the parties’ initial sets of document requests had only just commenced.”

Further, she wrote that as of May 23 OAN had produced only 97 documents, “rendering it impossible for Smartmatic to determine what additional document requests would be necessary.”

But a week ago — May 24 — OANN produced 186,214 documents, Dillingham revealed.

“Smartmatic has yet to complete review of those documents and therefore cannot yet identify what additional documents it will need to request during the discovery process,” she said.

She also dropped another piece of intel: OAN has a new lead counsel. It’s not clear who that attorney is, and both legal teams didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Smartmatic sued Herring Networks and rival right-wing outlet Newsmax on Nov. 3, 2021 — exactly one year after the 2020 presidential election.

In its complaint, Smartmatic argued that its business valuation had fallen from $3 billion to $1 billion after OAN lied about the company, saying it rigged the 2020 election.

“The damage to Smartmatic from this parallel universe of lies and disinformation has reverberated across the United States and in dozens of countries around the world,” CEO Antonio Mugica said in a statement. “The global repercussions for our company cannot be overstated.”

The 197-page lawsuit added that it operated in just one county in the 2020 general election.

“Smartmatic did not play any role in the general election outside of Los Angeles County,” it said. “Smartmatic’s election technology, software, equipment and services were not used in any other county or state for the 2020 U.S. election.”

Further: “The first time it happened could be a mistake. The third, fourth and fiftieth times it happened were intentional choices.”

OANN had “every opportunity” to do the right thing, the suit says: “It could have reported the truth. Instead, OANN chose to do the wrong thing every time. It reported a lie.”

In the more famous Dominion Voting Systems case against Fox News, discovery led to revelations of texts and emails between Fox News executives and hosts, who indicated the voting fraud claims they aired were false.

Two months after private messages from the likes of Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson became public, Fox News settled with Dominion for $786 million on the eve of trial. And Carlson, the former La Jolla resident, was fired.

Boca Raton, Florida-based Smartmatic also is suing Fox News and its parent for $1.6 billion for defamation in a New York state court, alleging Fox hosts falsely accused the company of helping rig the U.S. election in favor of Joe Biden.

Under a proposed order, Smartmatic wants Judge Upadhyaya to give both sides until July 31 to serve document requests.